If you receive a warning such as "don't ever let your grandmother read this book," or "read this book during the day; if not, expect to sleep with your lights on," you would probably think you were in for a very hardcore thriller.
The Deal Master starts out with a fairly brutal murder. Another is committed several months later in the same manner as the first, then they stop. The killer takes a hiatus for several months before striking again, bringing together a team of specialized agents in the Los Angeles police force, hand-picked by the commissioner himself.
Detective Bill Gillette is brought in as team leader. As the case is slow going, the life of each team member takes a turn out of the ordinary. All the events happen for a reason, and if you think someone is behind the scenes manipulating the characters, you might just be right. Who can be manipulating everyone to get to one person: Bill?
Every step that brings Bill closer to solving the crime is another step farther from finding the real manipulator. William has his suspicions, but every time he questions someone who should know something, he hits a dead end. Everything leads to one name and one man, but then nothing leads to the same name or man. Of course, as things end up, the one man and one name that turns up is none other than a legend of old, the Pied Piper.
So if you believe in the legend, it can only mean one thing: the manipulator/murderer did it all as his form of revenge to get the one man who could hurt him in the long run.
This is the first piece by Gerard F. Bianco, and self-published. I almost felt that the author was just writing something to get it out there. At times the story seems disjointed, and the pieces just seem to be there. The whodunit is not too difficult to figure out; the why behind the situation is a bit trickier. In the long run, I believe this author has some potential for future cop thrillers or procedural-type stories.