Judas Child Paperback – 28 Oct 1999
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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.
"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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Great story ; sad ; profound ; spooky ; well worth the money .
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First time I have read any of this authors books and I was not disappointed . Without doubt on of the best books I have read this year . Left me wanting more I the same vein . Read morePublished 24 months ago by Book worm
Great book, great writer. I read this book a few years ago and really enjoyed it, looking forward to reading it againPublished on 31 Oct. 2013 by Marie Boyle
I have this in hardback and was one of the first one's i bought for my kindle. It is an excellent thriller, the characters are really interesting and you care what happens to all... Read morePublished on 24 Jan. 2013 by CAS
This is one of the best books I have read. The characters are rounded and in some cases unforgettable. I am a great fan of the author. Read morePublished on 9 Sept. 2012 by Cherril
This is a truly fantastic book. If you're thinking about buying or reading it - stop thinking and do it !!
Carol O'Connell has created a unique tale. Read more
I couldn't put it down! This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I could easily imagine this book as film and would pay good money to watch it. Read morePublished on 12 Mar. 2006
I ordered this book having enjoyed Carol O'Connell's Mallory books, and feel as though I have been bowled over. Read morePublished on 2 Dec. 2004 by S. M. Hillman
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... Read morePublished on 12 Sept. 2003 by lawyeraau