Ellory's American debut, A Quiet Belief in Angels, was released in the States just last year. Anniversary Man will be his second book published here (and hopefully the others are coming soon). Originally released in 2009, The Anniversary Man is a brilliant and disturbing look into the world of serial killers.
You'll recall that I was totally blown away by A Quiet Belief in Angels when I read it last September (post here), and The Anniversary Man proves what I'd suspected, that everything I loved about Quiet was no fluke. Like Quiet, Ellory (did I mention he's from the UK?) has once again chosen the US as his setting. Not that it matters except to point out that others have mentioned how convincing he is with his "foreign" settings. Personally it came as no surprise to me. If you've read A Quiet Belief in Angels, not only was that set in the United States, but it began in 1939 in a rural farm town. Ellory's a massive talent whose research appears impeccable. His careful plotting and his obvious care for settings, not to mention his phenomenal characters, have catapulted him to the top of my Must Read list. I'll guarantee that I'm not alone in this. I really can't wait to read more from him.
The Anniversary Man begins with John Costello, a sixteen-year-old kid in the throes first love. When he and his girlfriend are targeted by the Hammer of God killer in 1984, John is the only survivor. The killer is captured and imprisoned, where he commits suicide. Now, John has grown up and learned to deal with his tragic past, as best he can. But the one thing that plagues his mind is the question Why? Why him? Why Nadia? Why do serial killers do what they do? He's made himself an expert on serial cases, which comes in handy at work: he's a crime researcher with one of the NY papers. So it is John who first catches on when a copycat serial killer strikes the city. The killer is taunting authorities by copying scenes from some of the most prolific and famous serial cases in US history. The case lands in Detective Ray Irving's lap. Together, they must work to find the killer before it's too late. But with no real pattern, no way of determining which killer will be copied next, and no way to warn the massively populous city (and a police department that would rather keep a serial case under wraps that scare the public), John and Ray are truly under the gun.
Mystery/suspense/crime fiction readers should all be running out to buy Ellory's work. I believe that Overlook, the publisher who's introduced us to Ellory, has plans to publish at least one more of this books here in the states. I'm hoping for the whole backlist, and any future projects as well before all is said and done.
The Anniversary Man is set for release on June 10.