tick...tock..The Desperate Hours

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Author Imitates His Hero in New Thriller

PITTSBURGH, PA - If art imitates life, Pittsburgh author Robert Aiello has reversed that truth by imitating the fictional hero he created. To help promote his new suspense novel, The Desperate Hours, Aiello is demonstrating at bookstore signings what his hero Grant Montgomery is an expert at doing - reading minds.

In a typical demonstration, a bookstore customer selects a book, opens it to any page, concentrates on a word, a sentence or even a paragraph, and Aiello attempts to reveal the person's specific thought. So far, the suspense author has succeeded with each demonstration.

Is it really mind reading, ESP or mental telepathy?

"It's primarily entertainment," Aiello said. "I'm showing what my protagonist, Grant Montgomery, can do. Montgomery is a mentalist, a highly skilled entertainer who can make you believe he has psychic powers, but his powers are not supernatural. They are based on years of study and practice. If these bookstore demonstrations help to interest people in reading my new novel, then they are well worth the effort." Aiellonoted that in each of his novels, he reveals the secret of one or more methods used by mentalists to read minds.

"It's not enough to just write an entertaining thriller anymore," he said. "You have to give potential customers an added incentive to purchase the book."

The Desperate Hours, the third novel in Aiello's Grant Montgomery series, has just been released by Hats Off Books, Tucson, Arizona. In the thriller, someone from Grant Montgomery's past - a psychopath obsessed with settling an old score - kidnaps Grant's love interest to take his dark revenge. Grant and the police are baffled as the fiend begins his torturous mind games. Soon Grant must face the most deadly, vicious adversary he has ever known as he risks his life and races against time in a desperate attempt to save her - the woman he may not find alive.

"I believe Grant is unique in that there is no other mentalist in fiction," Aiello said. "I created him out of my life-long interest in the branch of magic known as mentalism or magic of the mind. Montgomery often has to use his in-depth knowledge of mentalism, including his powers of observation, to help solve a crime.

Aiello's first novel, The Deceivers, was published in 1999 and his second novel, Shadow in the Mirror, in 2001. Some of the same characters that appeared in the first two suspense novels also appear in his new novel. "However, I've written the series so that each novel can stand on its own," he said. "You don't need to have read the first two to understand and enjoy the third. They can be read out of sequence."

His past novels have received praise from various publications and from several nationally acclaimed mystery authors.

The Desperate Hours is a trade paperback original, (ISBN 1587364484, $18.95), distributed by Ingram, the country's largest book wholesaler. The novel is available at local bookstores or can be ordered directly from Hats Off Books, phone: 1-888-934-0888. It can also be ordered from Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Borders.com and other Internet ordering sites.