It is early January 2005 as The Fourth Victim, a sequel to Hose Monkey, begins. It has been a few months since those events and ex NYPD detectives Joe Serpe and Bob Healy are both still working in the home heating oil business in the New York City area. Their plan is to take some of the profits each week and set that aside. Hopefully, in two years they will have enough to get out of the oil business they both pretty much hate for various reasons and buy a bar because Healy believes that is what cops do best if they aren’t doing security work. The plan is working, but the execution murders of delivery drivers are a huge concern and a direct threat.the fourth victim

This is especially the murder of the fourth victim, Rusty Monaco, that hits home in a number of ways. Like Joe and Bob, Rusty was a retired NYPD detective. He was a racist and obnoxious jerk on the NYPD and his two years in the oil business haven’t made him any better at being a decent human being. But, when it counted back when they were police, he stepped up. Joe Serpe can never repay the debt he owes Rusty Monaco. That guilt is a powerful motivator for Joe and before long Joe and Bob are working a murder case with tentacles far beyond the oil heating business.

Tony Spinosa, better known as Reed Farrel Coleman, has penned an excellent sequel to the powerful Hose Monkey. Along with a complex mystery, the author sprinkles in details and depth for all the characters major and minor, and plenty of setting descriptions to bring The Fourth Victim alive for readers. Since some secondary storylines from the earlier book continue here and other aspects are discussed it is best to read this two book set in order starting with Hose Monkey.

If you like gritty crime mystery novels you won’t be disappointed. Highly recommend both books.


The Fourth Victim
Tony Spinosa (Reed Farrel Coleman)
Bleak House Books (now Tyrus Books)
October 2008
ISBN# 978-1606480090
Hardback (also available in paperback and e-book)
240 Pages


I received an ARC for this title back in June of 2008 from Publisher Benjamin Leroy for my use in an objective review. Back then Ben ran Bleak House Books which later became Tyrus Books.



Kevin R. Tipple ©2015

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