Cover image for Mr. X
Mr. X
Gaitano, Nick.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster, [1995]

Physical Description:
272 pages ; 25 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Focusing on the earliest extant version of the Grail legend, the author proposes a social interpretation of Chrétien's romance as a story concerned with earthly violence and vendetta.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Most callers to phone-sex lines are lonely men with no other outlet. But Laura Bingham, only two days on the job, gets one of the scary ones. This caller wants to find her and do all sorts of disgusting things to her. Al, who runs the operation, is equally terrified because the caller seems to know all about him. Al hires a nasty Chicago cop as a bodyguard. Both are murdered. The most likely suspect is Alex "Mondo" Mondello, a homicide cop with a grudge against the bodyguard. Jack Phillips, Mondo's partner, is asked by the squad commander to look into the case and to find the missing Mondo. Many of the characters here were introduced in Gaitano's earlier Special Victims [BKL Ja 15 94], a deservedly acclaimed first novel that is also set in the world of Chicago homicide detectives. Like its predecessor, this latest in the series is well plotted, atmospheric, and ends with an unexpected twist. --Wes Lukowsky

Publisher's Weekly Review

In his first cop thriller, Special Victims, Gaitano killed off his hero, making a sequel unlikely. But here rookie Jake Phillips, an important player in that book, returns to lead another look at Chicago's seamier side. Jake's partner, top homicide cop Alex Mondello (Mondo), becomes the major suspect in the murder of a much-hated fellow cop who was shot to death while acting as bodyguard for a small-time lawyer, also murdered, who ran a telephone sex business. Readers meet Mr. X, a sadist whose vicious conversation can drive even hardened sex-line ladies into whimpering despair, and who had it out for the lawyer. A connection between Mr. X and Mondo is established as Gaitano spins out a series of odd but believable coincidences that draw much of the cast into the same web. Gaitano continues to deliver the unexpected so that readers can't be sure that any characters, even the principals, will survive; he limns particularly well the fragile relationship between Jake and his debutante wife. The violent conclusion leaves the door open for a return visit by some members of this cast in Gaitano's promised third novel. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Realistic Chicago locales and characters, dirty politics, and police corruption lend credence to Gaitano's chilling suspense. The unknown Mr. X poses a taunting and self-assured threat to his victims: his appearances as a phone-sex freak and his behind-the-scenes manipulations of paid informants create chills and heighten tension. Detectives Jake Phillips and Alex Mondello (Special Victims, LJ 1/94) struggle hard to unmask him, especially after Alex, on the outs with his wife, is blamed for the murder of a sleazy cop. A wonderfully constructed police procedural, complete with excitement, violence, and nerve-wracking narrative interruptions. A fine choice. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.