Born in Brooklyn, NY.
Stolen Flower, E.P. Dutton (New York, NY), 1986.
Predators and Prayers, Dorchester (New York, NY), 2005.
Smiling Wolf, Leisure Books (New York, NY), 2006.
The Night Stalker: The True Story of America's Most Feared Serial Killer, Kensington (New York, NY), 1996, reprinted as The Night Stalker: The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez, Kensington (New York, NY), 1997.
The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2006.
Stolen Flower and The Ice Man have been optioned for film.
Philip Carlo grew up on the tough streets of Bensonhurst, in Brooklyn, New York, where he witnessed the murder of a friend. Later, in another incident, Carlo was shot in the forehead. Carlo, however, escaped a life of crime. He noted on his home page: "Perhaps, if it wasn't for my love of books, the power, majesty and magic of the written word, I might have been drawn into a life of crime. Instead, I ended up devoting my life to writing about crime, in all its varied forms."
Carlo writes both fiction and nonfiction. His first book, the novel Stolen Flower, is about the abduction and sexual slavery of children. In Predators and Prayers, a serial killer focuses on priests with their own sordid pasts. On the case is Captain Tony Flynn of the New York Police Department. However, when Flynn discovers the murdered priests' secrets, the Church suddenly intervenes in the investigation. "This is an exhilarating police procedural suspense thriller that grips the reader from the moment the Church begins to complain," wrote Harriet Klausner on the Best Reviews Web site. Viviane Crystal, also writing on the Best Reviews Web site, noted: "A fast-paced thriller, this novel is gripping in detail and clearly accurate as written by one of the nation's foremost experts on serial killers and priestly predators."
In his third novel, Smiling Wolf, the author returns to the topic of pedophiles. This time, Frank DeNardo is hired by a missing journalist's father to find her after she disappears while investigating a story about vampires. Best Reviews Web site contributor Viviane Crystal wrote: "if you're a lover of vampires, horror, or a deeper mystery than average, definitely go for this one!"
Carlo's nonfiction books have focused on cold-blooded killers, whom the author interviewed in death row prisons. In The Night Stalker: The True Story of America's Most Feared Serial Killer, also published as The Night Stalker: The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez, Carlo focuses on the man who terrorized Los Angeles in the mid-1980s, committing robberies, rapes, and murders. A Satan worshiper, Ramirez typically bound and sexually tortured women before robbing them. "In the true-crime tradition of In Cold Blood and The Executioner's Song, Carlo compellingly tells the ghastly story from numerous points of view, including those of Ramirez," wrote Mark Bautz in People. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted: "Carlo speculates on the psyche of this chilling killer and introduces an intriguing supporting cast."
The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer tells the story of Richard Kuklinski, a Mafia hit man who led a quiet family life. The account relies largely on numerous interviews that the author conducted with Kuklinski, who claims to have killed as many as 200 people. Amazingly, Kuklinski, who liked to make his victims suffer, was able to hide his profession from his family. Writing in the Library Journal, Michael Sawyer commented that the author "has written another captivating true-crime book."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 15, 1996, Sue-Ellen Beauregard, review of The Night Stalker: The True Story of America's Most Feared Serial Killer, p. 1550; July 1, 2006, Mike Tribby, review of The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer, p. 12.
Daily Variety, March 9, 2007, Michael Fleming, "Hughes Sibs Target Hit Man," p. 1.
Library Journal, June 15, 2006, Michael Sawyer, review of The Ice Man, p. 86.
People, August 5, 1996, Mark Bautz, review of The Night Stalker, p. 33.
Publishers Weekly, April 1, 1996, review of The Night Stalker, p. 65; July 11, 2005, review of Predators and Prayers, p. 68; April 24, 2006, review of The Ice Man, p. 48.
Best Reviews,http://thebestreviews.com/ (June 12,2007), Viviane Crystal, reviews of Smiling Wolf and Predators and Prayers; Harriet Klausner, review of Predators and Prayers.
Curled Up with a Good Book,http://www.curledup.com/ (June 12, 2007), Christina Cooke, review of Predators and Prayers.
Philip Carlo Home Page,http://www.philipcarlo.com (June 12, 2007).
—Sketch reviewed by assistant, Laura Garofalo.