I did not care for this book. The main character Mallory came across as arrogant and unlikeable. Mallory's partner and cop friends never stopped putting Mallory on a pedestal and the constant references to the brilliance of Mallory's adoptive cop father (slain in the line of duty) and the homey wisdom of her adoptive mother grew tiresome after a while. There were several subplots and odd occurrences that appeared to be tossed in for some unknown reason, only to never be resolved. I found the character of Mallory's business partner, Charles Butler, to be a much more interesting character, but he was never fully developed.
I'm sure the author didn't intend Mallory to be a sympathetic character, and there she succeeded very well indeed. I found Mallory to be exceedingly unlikable, and unrealistic to boot. Worse, the story was uninteresting, told in muddled and confusing prose that didn't seem worth the effort to read. Despite the cover blurbs from some well-known writers, this wasn't a great book, or even a moderately good one.
I have mixed feelings about this book. It started out well, introduced an intriguing character in the hard-edged tough babe Kathleen Mallory, a computer genius cop with borderline ethics who nevertheless loves the law. Her adopted father, detective Louis Markowitz, is murdered by a serial killer he was pursuing. Mallory is determined to conduct her own investigation despite being put on bereavement leave.
I loved the fascinating characters in this book and the different flavor of the atmosphere, so dark and complex, particularly in its central figure. Yet as the convoluted mystery progresses, it occasionally got bogged down in circuitous language and scenes that seemed to be inserted for the sake of confusing the reader. While it is a typical ploy of authors to throw red herrings in one's path, it went overboard in the attempt to muddy the waters and weave a tangle of threads into a tapestry whose final picture is revealed in the end. It's a great first novel in what looks to be a promising series, but the author failed to completely endear me to her character and style by what I felt was a "trying too hard" attempt to produce a labyrinthine story that fell a little short in the climax it wanted to achieve, with the villain's motives a bit of a questionable stretch. Still, I would give another book in the series a try as authors need a few volumes to get in stride, and I hope O'Connell's writing improves with the next installments.
Did not care for Kathleen Mallory...........she seems like a shell!
This is the first one in the series. I may try another one!
I loved "Bone By Bone", one of O'Connell's novels. The characters in it were realistic and it was so well written. Wonder why the difference?????
This is the first book in a great thriller series set in New York City, with an intriguing heroine, Kathleen Mallory. You will enjoy her edgy "code of ethics" and how she pursues finding "justice" for victims of crime.
I really wanted to like this book, as it was my first one read written by Carol O'Connell. I really didn't care for the main character, a former juvenile delinquent, street urchin adopted by a cop named Markowitz. The characters were many and varied, but the story unfolded in such a choppy way, with lengthy flashbacks to Mallory's adoptive mother Helen, and her slain cop father Louis. There were seances, crazy mediums, quirky characters galore. I really wanted to find out who was killing all these rich elderly ladies in Gramercy Park, but I gave up in disgust well before the denouement. This gritty realism in the genre of tough female characters (such as from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) is definitely not my cup of tea.
Dark, gritty, and fascinating characters...... reminiscent of Andrew Vachss. The whodunnit was well-thought out and complex, and the character of Kathy Mallory is intriguing. I just ordered the second book in this series.
This series features Mallory, a sociopathic NYC police sgt. Earlier this year I read book 6 or 7 in the series and just couldn't find anything to like or admire about Mallory. Now that I've read this one, the first in the series, I understand her a little better and will continue to read more by O'Connell. I wonder if the magicians subplot runs through all the books?
This has been my favorite series ever since it was first published. You just know Kathy Mallory is going to get the bad guys. There are 9 books in the Mallory series and they are worth reading from start to finish.
Another series to catch up on. O'Connell is a writer, a wordsmith. I am not fond of her Mallory but I am interested in finding what O'Connell does with her and what I suppose will be continuing characters. So, good read, good writing, you'll enjoy.
Adopted off the streets as a little girl by a police inspector and his wife, Kathleeen Mallory is still not altogether civilized, even though she is now a Sergeant with the Special Crimes Section. With ferocious intelligence, Mallory operates by her own inner compass of what's right and wrong. She is a thing apart. And today, she is a thing possessed. Mallory is propelled onto the street when the body of her adoptive father is found stabbed in a tenement next to that of a wealthy Gramercy woman. The murders are clearly linked to 2 homicides he had been investigating and now his cases become Mallory's.
Tapes are in great shape but box is a little flimsy.
I found this book and her second book, "The Man Who Cast Two Shadows" at a thrift store. I gobbled up the first one, and then the second one. The characters are unique. They aren't people you meet on a daily basis, and the books had me wanting more information about them to figure them out. I've loaned the book to a friend who passed it on to her daughter, so I bought my daughter another copy!
Mallory's Oracle is the story of a tangled web of unsolved serial murders and the woman who makes them her obsession- New Tork City police sergeant Kathleen Mallory. It is dark,suspenseful, and unforgettable
From Publishers Weekly: "Serial killing, insider trading, the occult and the vices of wealthy Manhattan widows are the themes that collide in this heavy-handed first novel starring an unusual policewoman. Kathleen Mallory was an 11-year-old thief living on the streets of New York City when Detective Louis Markowitz rescued her and raised her in his home. The novel opens a decade later when Markowitz, a widower, is found dead beside the third in a series of Gramercy Park dowagers slashed and murdered in broad daylight. Mallory, whose early criminal instincts and keen intelligence have been loosely channeled into computer science, is forced to take a leave from the department and decides to seek vengeance on her own. ..." Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal: "The investigation of a series of murders of wealthy, elderly women from the Gramercy Park area intensifies when Louis Markowitz, the head of the NYPD Special Crimes Section, is found dead with the third victim. Kathleen Mallory, his adopted daughter and a policewoman assigned to office duty, is beautiful, intelligent, fiercely independent, and obsessed with finding the killer. Mallory's computer skills supplement the street-survival savvy she learned before her adoption and the "wall" of clues and case details left by Markowitz. All of this leads her to seances, magic acts, dysfunctional families, insider trading, and, eventually, the knowledge her father had at his death. Mallory is the major, but not the only, complex and successfully realized character to emerge in this skillfull debut, which has the international publishing world's attention. Highly recommended."--V. Louise Saylor, Eastern Washington Univ. Lib., Cheney. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --