"A good serial killer tale"
While James Joseph "JJ" Donovan was enjoying his
vacation with his ex-wife in the Virgin Islands, his
partner, Dr. Boris Koulomzin attends a Yankees game when he
mistakenly receives a manila envelope. However, the
messenger must have changed his mind because following the
game, he tries to kill Boris. JJ returns home to a badly,
battered and frightened Boris because the content of the
envelope describes the work of a serial killer.
Johnny St. John believes God has assigned him to
provide salvation by delivering the very sick. Johnny does
his task so well, killing people that JJ fears for Boris'
life. JJ decides to go after this self-anointed mercy
angel even though his actions place him in peril from a
brilliant but twisted right hand of God.
THE PALE GREEN HORSE is an interesting serial killer
tale that uses medical science and the streets of New York
to add a deep authentic chill to the plot. The story line
is action-packed due to a rising death count, but the
solution feels more like the air let out of a balloon. The
cynical hard-boiled JJ is a fun character to follow as he
seeks clues to the whereabouts of the culprit before Boris
joins the death list. Johnny is a fascinating villain, as
he believes in what he is doing, yet at times seems too
theatrical in accomplishing his "heavenly deeds". Though
not as smooth as BROKEN MACHINES, THE PALE GREEN HORSE
provides a complex intriguing tale that will garner Michael
I. Leahey new readers and satisfy his previous fans.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted March 15, 2002
J. J. Donovan is sitting on the beach, his back against a
palm tree, watching the sun rise over the Caribbean. He
wears the self-satisfied expression of a man who spent half
the night reveling with his ex-wife. Donovan and his ex,
Kate Byrne, have been enjoying a romantic vacation in the
U.S. Virgin Islands. As he sips hot tea and watches the
colorful spinnakers on sailboats dancing out beyond the
barrier reef, he has no way of knowing that his close
friend and partner, the inimitable Dr. Boris Koulomzin, has
been seriously injured. Before the sun sets again in
paradise, Donovan and Kate will be on a plane headed home.
On returning to New York City, they find Dr. Koulomzin
bruised and bandaged, with several hundred crusty stitches
crossing his face and jawline. The Professor is also
scared. The mistaken delivery of a plain brown envelope to
his seats at Yankee Stadium has managed to change his life
forever. A demented man named Johnny St. John is desperate
for the return of that envelope. And St. John, who believes
he is the right hand of God, is prepared to mete out his
own deadly form of justice.
The envelope that Mr. St. John will stop at nothing to
possess contains photographs and confidential information
about three innocent-looking people--a young actor, a
sculptress, and a businessman. These three individuals seem
to have nothing in common. Except for the fact that they
are all very sick.
In this fast-paced sequel to Broken Machines, Donovan finds
himself racing against time to save these helpless,
innocent people, while trying to expose the man behind a
scheme to murder them for their viatical, or death,
benefits. Along the way, he earns the wrath of Johnny St.
John. A man with eyes so black they don't reflect light,
St. John ultimately threatens to destroy everything J.J.
Donovan holds dear.