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Mallory's Oracle

by Carol O'Connell

Series: Mallory (1)

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1,0442617,432 (3.77)93
Adopted off the streets as a child by a policeman's family, NYC policewoman Kathleen Mallory had never shaken the wild nature of her youth, and when her adoptive father is murdered during a series of stabbings, she is driven to find the truth.
  1. 40
    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (kraaivrouw)
    kraaivrouw: I think Lisbeth and Mallory have a lot in common.

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Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
Very readable with some great characters, but the mystery itself didn't have quite the payout I was hoping for. Might read more in the series though. ( )
  bookbrig | Aug 5, 2020 |
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. (fr Amazon)

Although I enjoyed the mystery, I didn't particularly like the main character - I felt she was too emotionless and disconnected. We aren't given any reason to like or be intrigued by her. Some of the auxiliary characters had more personality than she did! ( )
  Terrie2018 | Feb 21, 2020 |
Mallory's Oracle
2 Stars

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.

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. ( )
1 vote Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
I did enjoy this, just had trouble remembering who was who, lol. Very detailed crime, with a couple of good plot twists. The one with his 'ain't was v good, well played out. Mallory did feel at times like a J D Robb/Dallas book without the futuristic universe. ( )
  libgirl69 | Jan 24, 2018 |
If you enjoyed [b:Girl with the Dragon Tattoo|2429135|The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)|Stieg Larsson|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1275608878s/2429135.jpg|1708725] you would definitely enjoy this one as well. ( )
  librarymary09 | May 24, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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For Paul Sidey, with thanks
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The dog came when she called.
"... when Helen died, he had been at the grave with Louis and Kathy. The watch and ring were more than gold to Louis, and he would not have given them up while he lived. The boy hovered close to the cage ... only wanting money to fill his veins with magic and fly away. There was a light tap at the pawnbroker's window. Kathy Mallory had come.... and she walked in slow, stalking on long legs in dungarees. A black blazer over her T-shirt hid the gun....: her eyes were cold green jewels set in ivory and framed in an aureole of gold."
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Adopted off the streets as a child by a policeman's family, NYC policewoman Kathleen Mallory had never shaken the wild nature of her youth, and when her adoptive father is murdered during a series of stabbings, she is driven to find the truth.

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Book description
Serial-killing, insider-trading, the occult and the vices of wealthy Manhattan widows are the themes that collide in this heavy first novel starring police sergeant Kathleen Mallory. Mallory was a 10- or 11-year-old thief living on the streets of New York City when Detective Louis Markowitz captured her; he and his wife adopted her and successfully civilized the young sociopath. 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 without witness. Mallory (don't ever use her first name), whose criminal instincts and keen intelligence were lucratively channeled into computer science ("officially" for the NYPD), takes a leave-of-absence from the department to seek vengeance on her own; unable to recognize "love", she owes "the old man" to put things back in order.... "A deal is a deal."
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