If you're the type of reader who prefers likable, touchy feely main characters, move away from this book (and the entire series). Kathy Mallory is not the character for you. Found living on the streets as a young child, she was taken in and raised by a police officer and his wife, both of whom soon realized that Mallory's sociopathic tendencies required special handling. Mallory does not form relationships like normal people. She doesn't bond; she doesn't chit chat; she doesn't smile; and she certainly doesn't laugh. She's like a hand grenade with a loose pin-- Handle With Care. A small portion of her past is revealed in The Man Who Cast Two Shadows, and although readers will be moved to feel compassion towards her, rest assured that Mallory herself will show none to anyone.
The plot is tight and suspenseful, dealing with the woman's death, Mallory's toying with a killer, and a boy who may have telekinetic powers. The setting of New York City could be declared one of the cast of characters. O'Connell shows a touch of poetry now and again in her prose, but the tone of her poetry is bleak. More of the story could be told from Mallory's point of view, and there are a few too many times when we're told about her behavior rather than seeing it for ourselves. All in all, Mallory is like a black hole at the very heart of this book, and if you can withstand her gravitational pull and resist the need for her to change, you are in for a treat involving one of the most fascinating characters in crime fiction.
From the cover: Formerly a child of the streets, now a brilliant computer hacker and NYPD sergeant, Kathleen Mallory's powerful intelligency is matched only by the ferocity with which she pursues her own unpredictable vision of right and wrong. And she will need every bit of that intensity now, in a murder case that strikes close to home in more ways than one."
I HAVE NOT READ THIS BOOK.
Cyndi N. (cyndi) reviewed The Man Who Cast Two Shadows (Kathleen Mallory, Bk 2) on
Formerly a child of the streets, now a brilliant computer hacker and NYPD sergeant, Kathleen Mallory's powerful intelligence is matched only by the ferocity with which she pursues her own unpredictable vision of right and wrong. And she will need every bit of that intensity now, in a murder case that strikes close to home in more ways than one.
From Publishers Weekly: "O'Connell's second novel (after Mallory's Oracle) brings back NYPD Sergeant Kathy Mallory, plunging this tough-minded yet soulful heroine into another convoluted case. When a woman killed in Central Park is mistakenly identified as Mallory, the former street urchin and computer whiz sets herself up as bait by moving into the apartment building that houses her three main suspects. Using a computer and the building's electronic bulletin board to psych out the killer, she stirs up more than she bargained for,including someone who wants her dead. Other elements in the intelligent plot include a crime of passion, a suspenseful cat-and-mouse game and a boy who may be telekinetic and whose stepmothers keep dying. The dialogue is crisp, the prose supple, but the overall tone is dour, sometimes, in fact, mournful. Not enough of the story is told from Mallory's point of view, however, and O'Connell tends to evoke her mysterious behavior through description rather than through action. As a result, Mallory,who with her bitter youth, street smarts and rough edges carries echoes of Andrew Vachss's Burke,remains an enigma, a major absence at the center of the plot..." Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal: "Few mysteries embody the intensity of O'Connell's second Kathy Mallory title. Mallory, a street urchin fostered by a now-dead New York cop and his wife, follows in her father's footsteps as a primo detective. Taken off suspension to cover the murder of a woman at first identified as Mallory herself, she pits her uncanny intelligence and formidable computer skills against a compulsive and evasive adversary. Moments of wry humor invade the author's incisive prose, tempering an admirable female protagonist sure to gather a following. Highly recommended." Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.