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The Man Who Cast Two Shadows (1995)

by Carol O'Connell

Series: Mallory (2)

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6421132,454 (3.82)56
In Central Park, a woman dies, while a witness watches, believing the brutal murder to be a prelude to a kiss. Mallory goes hunting the killer, armed with under the skin knowledge of the man's mind and the bare clue of a lie. Mallory holds on the one truth: everybody lies, and some lies can get you killed.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
I have read several of the Kathleen Mallory novels and, on the whole, enjoyed all. I thought this installment in the series was well plotted and offered different plot lines to engage the reader. With that said, I found myself a bit bogged down in the middle of the novel and not really buying into some of Charles' "character conjuring". The overall saving grace in these novels is the strength of the cadre of secondary characters O'Connell uses as a human foil to offset the hardline, unforgiving character of Mallory. Overall, things seem to balance out in the end and I came away enjoying the read. ( )
  Hardboiled | Feb 4, 2015 |
Mallory is a great character - razor sharp, both in intellect and personality. In this second installment, Kathy solves several pending cases at the same time (sardonically likening the schemes she's running to preparing a large dinner and trying to get everything to come out at the same time.) A story line about a kid who may or may not be able to wield knives through the air using only his mind is weird and distracting, though. Some dark humor but a sad and mournful tone throughout - both about Kathy and the victim's tragic end. ( )
  bookappeal | Aug 31, 2014 |
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. ( )
  cathyskye | Aug 31, 2013 |
i liked this at the outset but the middle dipped in energy, and in holding my attention. still, it was a fast, pretty fun read. i remember who recommended that i read this, but i'm not sure why, unless maybe it's the strong female lead character. although she's pretty unlikeable, and could have at least been nice to the cat if not to people. i think she was just a tad too close to being sociopathic for my comfort. also i didn't like the side stuff about calling up the dead. the other "paranormal" stuff felt more like it belonged in the story. i don't know, parts of this were really well written, and then there were parts that she could have done better. but overall it's a decent little detective story. ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | May 9, 2013 |
It has been awhile since I read this series, but I remember being very impressed. The author manages to escape genre as far as I'm concerned, combining fiction/mystery with an entertaining quirkiness. I will be reading this book again and that's rare.
  MarieTea | Apr 28, 2012 |
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This book is dedicated to an old friend, Richard Hughes, who does not sleep at night, but spends these hours counseling terrified children over the anonymous crisis lines—and to Covenant House, which shelters children who cannot go home again.
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Rain rat-tatted on the plastic hood of her slicker.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The Man Who Cast Two Shadows (US); The Man who Lied to Women (UK)
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In Central Park, a woman dies, while a witness watches, believing the brutal murder to be a prelude to a kiss. Mallory goes hunting the killer, armed with under the skin knowledge of the man's mind and the bare clue of a lie. Mallory holds on the one truth: everybody lies, and some lies can get you killed.

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Average: (3.82)
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