Author: Carol O’Connell
Series: Kathleen Mallory (book #1)
Next in series: The Man Who Cast Two Shadows
My rating: 2 Stars
Synopsis: Kathleen Mallory began life as a thief on the streets of New York City until she was taken in my detective Louis Mankowitz and his wife. Now a police sergeant with an expertise in computer crimes, Mallory must investigate a particularly difficult homicide – the murder of her adoptive father – which is linked to the deaths of several elderly and wealthy women.
Review: I really wanted to like this book but failed in almost every respect. The writing is elliptical and convoluted with too many narrative threads that are difficult to follow and never seem to form a cohesive whole.
None of the characters is particularly likeable, especially the heroine who is a borderline sociopath. Her characterization is too reminiscent of the hero in the television show Dexter, which I stopped watching after three episodes because it is impossible for me to identify with a serial killer no matter how noble his intentions.
The serial killer plot is intriguing and has potential but the paucity of clues makes it virtually impossible for readers to figure it out for themselves. Moreover, the irrelevant subplots involving magicians, mediums and séances add nothing to the suspense, and detract from the murder mystery. In addition, while the identity of the murderer is ultimately revealed, the explanations for his actions are vague and imprecise.
Overall, the disagreeable characters, the excessive number of superfluous conversations and the lack of action make this a difficult book to trudge through. I do, however, recommend another of O'Connell's books - The Judas Child.