Cover image for Funeral march
Funeral march
De Felitta, Frank.
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Publication Information:
New York : Bantam Books, [1991]

Physical Description:
348 pages ; 18 cm
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Author Notes

Frank Paul De Felitta was born in the Bronx, New York on August 3, 1921. During World War II, he served as a pilot in the Army Air Forces. He wrote scripts for a weekly radio thriller entitled The Whistler. He went on to write for TV anthology series and produced and directed documentaries. In 1966, he directed an NBC documentary in which Booker Wright, a black waiter from Mississippi, spoke candidly about how shabbily he had been treated by customers in a whites-only restaurant. Wright was eventually murdered. De Felitta won a Peabody Award for his documentary work. He also wrote the screenplays for the films Anzio, The Savage Is Loose, and The Entity. He wrote several horror novels including Audrey Rose and For Love of Audrey Rose. He also wrote the screenplay for the 1977 film Audrey Rose starring Anthony Hopkins. He died on March 29, 2016 at the age of 94.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

A serial killer is on the loose in Los Angeles. Looking for a connection between the first two murders, Lieutenant Frank Santomassimo of the LAPD pays a visit to Kay Quinn, a professor at the USC cinema department. An expert on Alfred Hitchcock, she helps confirm Santomassimo's hunch that the killer is re-creating Hitchcock's films, leaving behind a single kernel of buttered popcorn as a signature. The killer strikes again. Santomassimo and the professor become romantically involved, and also find that they themselves are targets, when the killer tries unsuccessfully to restage The Birds, with the professor as the luckless teacher played by Suzanne Pleshette, and Sabotage, with Santomassimo as the detective killed by a bomb. The denouement finds the two of them and the killer at the Statue of Liberty, engaged in a crucial scene from Saboteur. The Hitchcock tie-in provides an interesting twist to this moderately suspenseful tale. The title refers to Gounod's "Funeral March of a Marionette," the theme music of Hitchcock's television show. ~--Mary Ellen Quinn

Publisher's Weekly Review

An advertising executive's jog on the beach turns into a run for his life when he is pursued and then killed by a remote-control toy plane packed with plastique. A pretty young secretary steps into a hotel shower and is electrocuted when she turns on the tap. Only their bizarre nature seems to link the two crimes until LAPD's Lt. Fred Santomassimo has an equally outre thought: Could these murders be based on the Hitchcock films North by Northwest and Psycho ? Santomassimo calls on Kay Quinn, who teaches cinema at USC. As the gruesome Hitchcock parodies continue, Quinn advises the police on themes, motives and settings. She proves too helpful; the killer decides to make her the star of a breathtakingly scary version of The Birds. When Quinn escapes, her nemesis devises a more spectacular end for her. His chilling twist on Saboteur takes them both to the Statue of Liberty, where the Hitchcock plot is given a further spin by Professor Quinn as she too is drawn into the world of cinematic obsession. Crafted with intelligence and suspense worthy of the master himself, this taut, sophisticated thriller will win new fans for De Felitta ( Audrey Rose ) . $80,000 ad/promo. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

YA-- Not a Silence of the Lambs copycat, but a masterfully written, taut thriller that will stick with readers. A frustrated, psychopathic film director, obsessed with the artistic genius of Alfred Hitchcock, uses scenes from many of the master's famous films as his modus operandi in a string of bizarre serial killings. Fred Santomassimo (homicide detective, LAPD) and Kay Quinn (professor, USC Film Department) try to anticipate and track down the killer as the body count rises. Abounding with imagery from Hitchcock films, this novel has their atmosphere as DeFelita zooms in, cuts from scene to scene, and changes points of view. Characters are fleshed out, taking on lives of their own, and almost existing even after the book has been put down. What Josephine Tey has done for Shakespeare with Daughter of Time (Buccaneer Bks., 1976), DeFelita has done for Hitchcock. --John Lawson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.