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Judas Child Paperback – 28 Oct 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New edition edition (28 Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099244527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099244523
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.5 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,077,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Everyone knows that they caught the local child killer, and that formerly popular local priest Father Paul Marie is doing hard time. Everyone is so sure that, when 15 years later two little girls disappear, the police are sure that they have run away and will turn up soon. Everyone, that is, except for state police investigator Rouge, whose sister was the victim 15 years ago, and scarred beautiful criminologist Ali, who believes Father Paul Marie's claims of innocence. They have their own problems--why is his family broke, and what caused her scar? Things are not going as well as they might for the killer either; this particular pair of children have resources of pluck and ingenuity that constantly baffle him.

This is a departure for O'Connell; she has abandoned her usual detective, high-tech psychopath Mallory and her crew of misfits, for people less obviously extraordinary and brings the same skewed intelligent vision of human capability to bear on them. The switches between investigators trying to unravel past and present, and victims surviving against the odds, successfully wind up the tension to an almost unendurable pitch; O'Connell turns in a virtuoso combination of detection and suspense that is her best book yet. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Few readers will be able to resist the charms of her lyrical prose or her daringly original plot, and anyone unmoved by the soul-shattering climax should give up reading fiction altogether." (Booklist)

"A heart-stopping, twist-in-the-tail novel of intelligence and suspense. True thrills don't come cheap, but they sometimes come as well-written and mesmerising as this." (Frances Fyfield, Mail on Sunday)

"Scarily good" (Richard North Patterson)

"A menacing and unsettling thriller set against a mysterious winter landscape that reflects the cold heart of a serial killer . . . O'Connell is a consummate story teller . . . a unique talent who deserves to be a household name. Judas Child is a scary monster of a book that should make her just that." (Val McDermid, Express)

"Compulsive reading, a genuine page-turner, in which the "whodunnit" is only part of the puzzle" (Peter Millar The Times)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I actually cannot find the words to adequately describe this brilliant book. Carol O'Connell has got to be the best writer there was or is. Judas Child is a stunning, haunting and utterly extraordinary story that will grip you by the heart. This story of lost girls and a community torn is absolutely harrowing. Carol O'Connell's use of language beggars belief in all her books but in this story you will be startled by the intimacy and immediacy that pervades every word. I finished the last word of the story and was compelled to immediately start it all over. I would be astounded if I was the only one.
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By FictionFan TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 May 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When two children are abducted, at first it's hoped that they've been kidnapped for ransom. But the crime is similar to another that was committed fifteen years earlier, resulting in the murder of a child and the imprisonment of a local priest. Now the police have to consider if the earlier investigation got the wrong man, and if the pattern repeats, they know that both little girls will be dead by Christmas.

There are bits of this book that are great and then there's the rest which is... not so great. It gets off to an incredibly slow start. By a third of the way through there's been no real investigation of any kind - just a ton of stuff about various child killings and a relentless concentration on the grief of all the parents and siblings of the victims. It manages the feat of being voyeuristic, rather tasteless and dull at the same time. Sub-plots abound but never actually go anywhere - I'm sure there's something in there about corrupt politicians, the Mafia and truth-tests, but it's so badly done, I had no idea what was going on with it or what purpose it served, except to pad the book out unnecessarily. I found it unlikely that the police would use the abduction of two young children as an excuse to mentally torture the mother of one of them to get information on corruption in local politics. But, assuming this to be the case, it makes it impossible for the reader to like the investigators, surely, and yet I think on the whole we're supposed to.

The characterisation is fine, but every single character has a secret or a problem. Too much, too much! The FBI man who stalks his ex-girlfriend. The priest who's struggling with his faith.
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Format: Paperback
Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant. O'Connel excels with this novel. The tension builds up from page one, and the reader is immediately enmeshed in the story teller's web. The goodies are very good, and the baddies are particularly odious. This novel gives you everything - stylish characterisation, brilliant plot, fine prose - in a word its a stunning book. The juxtaposition between Mortimer Cray and the killer was masterly - and for someone like me, who likes to see the baddies get their comeuppance - well she delivers in spades. The ending was very satisfying. I've now read all O'Connell's books, and this one stands up really well against her Mallory stories. Perhaps she might consider writing another novel to include both Kathy Mallory and Rouge Kendall - go on Carol, you know you want to!!
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Format: MP3 CD Verified Purchase
I loved this book.Because of health issues,I read lots of book,and always have a good supply on my kindle.it can be hit or miss with the books and i usually read reviews before i get a book,so after reading good reviews,and being a fan of the crime genre I thought I'd give it a try,and I'm so glad I read it.
This is only the second book,the first being the green mile,to make me cry,and it made me cry more than once.the depth and emotion in the book,in my opinion make it a book not to miss.It tugged at my heart strings,but not with cheap shots,with deep story telling and the empathy I felt for the characters,including the animal character,was only brought about because of the fab writing.
The story itself was exciting and kept me guessing.and the story plays out at a pace that keeps things exciting,it never feels stale,and the story never feels forced or padded out.
This is the first book Iv read by this author and il be reading more.
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By A Customer on 19 April 2000
Format: Paperback
Another fantastic book by Carol OConnell ; be warned when I got to the twist in the story I screamed out " NO " on the train - most embarassing ! - its just I wasnt prepared for it !
Great story ; sad ; profound ; spooky ; well worth the money .
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By A Customer on 10 July 2000
Format: Paperback
One of the best books I have read in a long time! I am always on the look out for new and original crime authors and after this book I belive that Carol O'Connell is one of the best! I bought the book on the spur of the moment and I am so glad that I did. At parts a little upsetting because of the intensity of the characters the book demands continuous reading until you finally reach the climax. In these books you are always trying to second guess the guilty party but I can assure you, you can't. Truly amazing, I am out to buy the rest of her books!
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By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 Jan. 2003
Format: Paperback
This is an intensely gripping, suspenseful, tautly written, psychological thriller. The author, a master storyteller, weaves a compelling tapestry of events, as well as a complex plot in which history seems to repeat itself.
Several days before Christmas, in a small, bucolic, tightly knit town, two ten year old girls, best friends, Sadie Green and Gwen Hubble, suddenly disappear. One of the local cops, Rouge Kendall, becomes involved in the investigation and manhunt that ensues. The case calls to mind his own brush with a madman, when fifteen years earlier his own ten year old, twin sister, Susan, had likewise been abducted. She was found murdered on Christmas Day, and his family never fully recovered from the blow they were dealt by Susan's untimely and grisly death. A local priest, Father Paul Marie, was arrested for Susan's abduction and murder, tried, and convicted.
Enter Ali Cray, a former classmate of Rouge and Susan, who is now a forensic psychologist. Facially disfigured, she carries with her emotional baggage from her past. Yet, she is determined to make sure that justice is done in this case. She has a theory of the case about which she feels strongly. She believes that one of the girls functioned as a Judas child, a secondary target who is used as bait to lure the primary target into a trap. She also believes that Susan Kendall's fifteen year old abduction and murder and the current abductions are linked, notwithstanding the fact that Paul Marie is incarcerated at the time of Sadie's and Gwen's apparent abduction. Should Ali Cray be proven correct in her theory, an innocent man has been paying for the crimes of another all this time.
The author serves up a brilliant narrative, imbuing the two abducted girls with personalities that hook the viewers.
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