The Screaming Room Review
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As Lieutenant John Driscoll is burying his wife, Colette, who died after six years in a coma, two vengeful young serial killers are beginning a gruesome spree in New York City. The victims are tourists, and their bodies are found carefully posed and prominently displayed at tourist attractions around the city, one after the other. The mayor quickly pulls Driscoll out of his mourning to track down whoever’s terrorizing the city—as well as threatening to put a serious damper on the city’s tourism income.

As Driscoll tracks the killers, he and his team turn up some valuable—and surprising—clues that help to narrow down the list of suspects. And as they get closer, the killers’ story unfolds, dredging up painful memories of the past for Sergeant Margaret Aligante, who’s forced to face her past in order to do her job.

But the chase is on. With each new victim, the mayor’s trust in Driscoll wanes—and a wealthy businessman, whose daughter was one of the victims, begins to put more and more pressure on the investigation.

The Screaming Room is a sharp and fast-paced read with suspense that rarely lets up. O’Callaghan does a wonderful job of portraying his two killers. Readers will be horrified by the gruesome things the teens have done—but also by the things they’ve been forced to endure. You’ll find it hard not to feel—along with Aligante—that their actions might even be justified.

At the same time, however, Lieutenant Driscoll could have been a stronger character. Perhaps O’Callaghan’s last Driscoll book, Bone Thief, gives readers a little more insight into the character, but he isn’t entirely developed this time around. The book also suffers from some choppy and unrealistic dialogue—especially when it comes to the female characters. It can be a distraction at times, but, fortunately, it’s only a minor glitch—and it’s not distracting enough to ruin the story.

With the turning of each page, the story becomes more suspenseful. Despite a few flaws, The Screaming Room is a haunting and horrifying story that will pull you in and refuse to let go—and it’s such a quick read that you’ll find yourself at the end in no time at all.

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