THIRD RING by Phillip Tomasso III
Barclay Books - October 2001
ISBN: 1931402043 - Paperback
xplicit - Mild profanity and sexual content. Disturbing violent scenes.

Reviewed by Nancy Mehl,
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Nick Tartaglia is a P.I. with problems. While other private investigators follow unfaithful spouses, Nick seems to be a magnet for the bizarre and supernatural. A burglary that turns fatal pulls Nick into the world of the occult. Asked to interview one of the suspects, Nick finds that there is more going on than anyone wants to tell him. The burglar, Gordon Birdie, nicknamed, "Whine," was after a book - a special book - one of the three books that make up The Talisman. Someone has two of the books, Heaven and Earth, and Nick is thrown into a desperate race to find the third book - Hell. Hell is the third ring. When all three rings are joined together, the results could be cataclysmic. The person possessing all three rings can cast evil spells. Spells that can't be broken. Even though Nick has faced the supernatural before, (his client in the first book of the Nick Tartaglia series, TENTH HOUSE, was a ghost) - not even Nick is prepared for the evil that is unleashed around him. When "Whine" is attacked by small, hungry creatures called "minions"….well, never mind. Just keep the lights on and don't expect sleep to come easily for a few days.

Tomasso has a hit with his Nick Tartaglia series. His writing is real and flows just the way a detective novel should. The powerful and frightening plot captivates the reader, and the character of Nick is presented in a way that allows us to connect to him. His reactions are not drawn as a parody of what we think a PI should be; Nick is a real person, with real emotions, trapped in a situation that evokes real terror. His grief made me cry, his fear made me cringe, and his sense of humor made me laugh out loud.

THIRD RING is a frightening ride, full of twists and turns. But when the ride is over, all you want to do is buy another ticket and go again.


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