on 13 January 2004
Those of you who have read my earlier reviews of Mallory books know that I started out hating the gal, although with later novels STONE ANGEL and CRIME SCHOOL, I softened a bit, but still had no love for the principal character.
Now, Carol O'Connell gives us DEAD FAMOUS and I personally consider it the best crime story I've read this year. It had an hypnotic effect on me and I thoroughly enjoyed it from the beginning to the last word, and that last word just about blew me away. (Don't anyone dare peek because knowledge of the last word of the book will ruin much of your enjoyment)
I'll follow the lead of the staff reviewer and not go into the plot. I'll just say that it isn't your standard murder mystery. As a matter of fact, this isn't a true Mallory novel because she actually plays a supporting role this time.
The story is dominated by a hunchbacked lady, a radio shock-jock and his engineer...Crazy Bitch, and a cat which provides a symbolic link to the cat in an earlier Mallory novel. Mallory's former partner, Riker, is the most important series character in the book, and we come to know him quite well, better in fact than Mallory herself knows him. And it seems to me that there is another entity in the book, one of which I had some awareness in earlier books. It is as if New York City itself is an important character, a rather malignant being which feeds upon its denizens.
The book ends with a magnificent epilog in which Mallory is honestly trying to understand what is going on, but doesn't really have a clue.
The one difficulty here is that this book can't be read alone. To get the most out of it, you need to read the entire series and if you're like me, you will have a big problem with the main character. Many have given up on the series after the first two books because Mallory is especially hard to take at the beginning. But if you grit your teeth and continue, Mallory will grow on you (like a wart?) as you learn of the forces that shaped her.
And believe me when I tell you that this book, DEAD FAMOUS, is worth your reading the earlier books.
Trust me. <g>
on 14 January 2004
Carol o'connell has undone herself on this one. THe character of Malloy enchants us all with her cat eyes and stelth movements and this book is no exception.
It is focused around a jury, who's members keeping turning up dead. Malloy and Riker have to both figure this out on their own with Riker sharing more of the limelight in this book. IT STILL MAKES IT EXCELLENT! If you love carol o'connell you'll love this new installment of her characters. Although, i would have liked a bit more of Charles!