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Night Work (Kate Martinelli #4)

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,413 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
Night Work

Kate and her partner, Al Hawkin, are called to a scene of carefully executed murder: the victim is a muscular man, handcuffed and strangled, a stun gun's faint burn on his chest and candy in his pocket. The likeliest person to want him dead, his often-abused wife, is meek and frail--and has an airtight alibi. Kate and Al are stumped, until a second body turns up-
Paperback, 416 pages
Published July 22nd 2000 by Bantam (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 06, 2009 Karen rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 22, 2008 Ann rated it did not like it
I listened to this on audiobook. I was hoping for a mystery that would make the miles fly by as I drove.

However, the additional detail about Kate Martinelli's life and the lives of her friends was ponderous, and made the book less of a mystery and more of an attempt at a novel. Adding quotes from a goddess, "Kali," also did not add any weight to the subject, and just made it seem, to me, pretentious.

Few mysteries can become novels; this is not one of them.

Also, I'm a stickler for credibility -
Feb 28, 2010 Kati rated it it was ok
A co-worker gave me this book because she thought I might like it. It is a brain candy kind of book... not a ton of literary value. And the cover is garish. In addition, it "tackles" issues of violence against women but nowhere in the book is a good analysis of violence against women represented. For instance, the main character mentions that she thinks women just keep going back to their abusive husbands because they had bad childhoods that took away all their self-esteem. This is an opinion th ...more
Carl R.
May 08, 2012 Carl R. rated it liked it
I was steered to Night Work--or actually its author--by a remark I read in Jon Carroll’s column in the San Francisco Chronicle. He spoke as if Laurie R. King were a household word in the mystery world, yet I’d never heard of her. Judging by the number of awards she’s won, the fault is mine. I’m glad to make her acquaintance.
I speculate that one of the elements of her and her work that first got Mr. Carroll interested is that the major players in the life of Kate Martinelli, Night Work’s chief
Sep 14, 2009 Annabelle rated it did not like it
Number One: Does this woman know anything about Lesbian culture? Her Lesbian main characters are sweet, sweet to each other all the time, have abstract, body-less sexual desire and want to kill and maim men who physically and sexually abuse women. Number Two: Does this woman know anything about Indian and Hindu culture? The Indian family whose daughter in law burns in a kitchen family, have no humanity. The husband of the victim is mentally handicapped. They have terrible taste in clothes and kn ...more
Nov 14, 2012 Elizabeth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, mysteries
So disappointing. I love the Kate Martinelli mysteries, far more than I like the Mary Russell series, but this one was just awful. I don't know who these people are who live in San Francisco but have never met an Indian person, and the stereotypes across the board (gay men, lesbians, working class people, Indians) really ruined this one for me ... not just because they were offensive, which they were, but because the characters lacked nuance and credibility.

I also felt that the whodunnit was ob
Tory Wagner
Jan 27, 2012 Tory Wagner rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I thought this one was a little slow in spots. The previous books seem to speed along with action and narratives, but in this one, King spent much more time delving into the relationships between the characters and their thoughts. I am not a fan of Lee, Kate's partner, and have a difficult time relating to Kate's need for her approval. It has nothing to do with their homosexual relationship, but more to do with the way in which they relate to each other.
Sherrill Watson
Aug 18, 2015 Sherrill Watson rated it it was ok
Kate Martinelli and her partner Al Hawkin are called upon to investigate a murder. By the end of the book there are several murders. I was never so put upon as to want to put a book down as this one. It takes place in San Francisco, so that's why 98% of the characters are lesbian, or gay. Burning a mail-order child bride which leaves her husband bereft -- there were too many references to Kali, a Indian, old-world, murdering goddess -- unrealistic affection between lesbian partners -- and Martin ...more
Jun 28, 2016 Heather rated it it was ok
I picked this book up because I had read a Laurie R King book previously and couldn't remember which one (turns out it was book 2 in the Stuvysent *probably spelt wrong*series). Anyway this book was ok. I thought it was odd that the characters all liked each other all the time, even when some of them (Roz) were clearly unlikeable.

I thought that the book would have been better if there was more focus on the actual mystery and less on the description of the play that they went to see and the thes
Dec 16, 2012 L rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is a fine story w great characters, emotional tangles, social commentary, and an interesting plot. I'd have rated it higher, except that King can get rather pedantic in her Kate Martinelli novels. For me, this got in the way of the story.
Somjen Frazer
Oct 27, 2010 Somjen Frazer rated it liked it
So . . . I liked this book 4 stars amount, but it has some poliical problems. I hated the clunky way that King talked about South Asia and Hindu religion as well as the strange villian she picked.
Jul 20, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

I'm not usually into mystery/crime novels, but a friend recommended this one, and I'm glad she did. Follows a lesbian police detective as she investigates the deaths of a serious of wife-beating husbands. The tie in of Kali and other ancient cultural deities was a bonus.

Would have given it 5 stars, but the ending felt a bit rushed. At least it tied up all the loose ends nicely, though.

Glad to see a novel whose main cast are homosexual and accurately portrayed as real people who often fo
Jul 07, 2015 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: library, 2015
I didn't think this was quite as good as some of the previous books in the Kate Martinelli series. I enjoyed it, but the (view spoiler) Also, I didn't feel that the ending resolved things as well as I would have liked, especially since (view spoiler)

Also, Kate is much mo
Joe Slavinsky
Jan 24, 2016 Joe Slavinsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another fine Kate Martinelli book! Unlike Mary Russell, Martinelli is a character we can all identify with. Between her home life, and her job, it sometimes amazing how she can keep plugging away, every day. To her credit, she's a fighter, and realizes she has to keep going, to make the good parts of her life worthwhile. In this book, the case she's on hits particularly close to home, as a friend may be heavily involved in a series of murders. King deftly weaves a convoluted plot, with interesti ...more
May 14, 2013 Teresa rated it did not like it
I admit it, I'm a hetrosexual, non-feminist woman, and not ashamed to say it. I'm not opposed to reading a good book written by or that are about homosexual, feminists women or men, but I do resent novels that masquerade as a mystery to be in reality an anti-male rant. This is my fourth Kate Martinelli novel, but it will probably be my last.

I know King is a feminist but her views as projected through her characters in this book are anti-children(ironic since Kate and her partner are contemplati
Aug 05, 2013 Bonnie rated it really liked it
Kate and her partner, Al Hawkin, are called to the scene of a murder victim who has been handcuffed and strangled, a stun gun's faint burn on his chest, and candy in his pocket. The likeliest person to want him dead, his often-abused wife, is meek and frail--and has an airtight alibi. When a second body shows up also zapped, cuffed, strangled, and carrying a candy bar, they realize someone is targeting this type man--a convicted rapist. As newspaper headlines speculate about vendetta killings, a ...more
Mar 16, 2012 J rated it it was ok
Laurie King is a stylish writer, bur somehow I've tired of her. Liked Locked Rooms, but then the Mary Russell adventure after that seemed over-the-top in esoteric, obscure literary references and religious rites.

I'd read and liked several of the Kate Martinelli mysteries, so after a rest of several years from King, I picked this one up.

Very interesting plot -- there's a movement of "Ladies" who retaliate by killing men who have committed heinous crimes against women (rape, domestic violence, etc
Mar 29, 2010 Angela rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Like pretty much everything I've ever read by Laurie King, I quite enjoyed Night Work, the fourth installment of the Kate Martinelli series. Of the ones I've read lately, it's my least favorite--but this is in no way a disparagement, since I've found that even a lesser King work is still an excellent read.

In this particular work, as is often the case with a mystery novel with any substance, two seemingly disparate plots eventually become intertwined. Kate begins the story investigating incidents
Jean Poulos
Sep 26, 2013 Jean Poulos rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013-audio, mystery
This is the fourth book in the Martinelli series and I have read them in order. I have enjoyed the other books but this one, I feel, got hung up in the Hindi Gods particularly Kali the female avenger god. The books main theme was about battered women. I feel that King missed a great opportunity to go more in depth on the subject and use the book to educate men and women on the complicated problem. Instead, she went into discussions about the Hindi God Kali and some other female Gods. The charact ...more
Mar 08, 2009 Christianne rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 03, 2013 Sharon rated it really liked it
Although this is the fourth book in the Kate Martinelli series, it is the first one I've read.

In this book, Officer Martinelli and her parter, Al Hawkin, are investigating two seemingly unrelated murders: one man is a baggage handler at the San Francisco airport, while the other is a Marin County executive. At the same time, she is trying to help her feminist minister friend Roz find out about a possible case of bride burning in the Indian community. Throw in complications about Martinelli's rel
Apr 06, 2016 Ayelet rated it liked it
I like the fact that she shows how much of police work is slogging through paperwork and waiting for results. On TV you get DNA evidence immediately but in the real world that doesn't happen. There was a little bit too much of the goddess for me but overall I liked the book. I had to skip books 2 & 3 because I couldn't get them as e-books through my library but she covered enough background that I didn't feel lost.
Angela Cosentino
Aug 03, 2015 Angela Cosentino rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
#4 in Kate Martinelli series by Laurie R. King. Recently discovered this author. Had heard of the Beekeeper's Apprentice but for some reason I couldn't get through it. Picked up a Kate Maritinelli novel , enjoyed it and went back to this author. Realistic characters with intriquing mystery police-type story that I find enjoyable.
Feb 17, 2014 Kaitlyn rated it did not like it
To be honest I was super confused but I guess that's what I get for jumping into the middle of a series. It seems to be pretty well written. I know I would've liked it more if I had read the books before. Not sure the book was good enough to read the first few though.
Apr 15, 2015 Sinecureseeker rated it liked it
This is a good, well-written mystery. It has a lot of feminist themes running through it which seem a little dated. Even though I am a feminist I felt I had to do a little slogging through some parts.
Mar 02, 2016 Charlott rated it really liked it
I read this book before, but I only remembered the solution when I got toward the end of the book. Having read previous books in the series helped me appreciate the characters.
Jill Porter
Apr 07, 2015 Jill Porter rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, mysteries
I love Laurie R. King. I wish that I could write mysteries, heck I wish I could think up a story that is half as good as the mysteries that she writes. This is a gooood book!
Jul 28, 2009 Kellyann rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
One of the reasons I love this book is because it parallels my thought-process regarding what I fondly refer to as "kick-ass goddesses" (such as Anat) and women's rage. Also, it features a female PhD scholar in Hebrew Bible. And you know how those can light up the place. :)

(Wish the Song of Songs stuff didn't rely so heavily on Marvin Pope, who is not the go-to person when it comes to the Song, but then neither Carr's Erotic Word nor Exum's commentary of the Song had been published by then. Stil
I love all the Kate Martinelli books (so far I've loved everything I've read by Laurie R. King.She weaves the relationships of the book, the politics of the book, and the actual murder in the books with different ratios each time. Sometimes, the relationships or politics are more important or just more interesting than the murder but the entwine like an interesting, sometimes beautiful, melody. The politics are at the forefront in this book which I would find annoying on one page, than fascinati ...more
Mar 27, 2014 Sandy rated it really liked it
I enjoy her writing style and the mystery and detective stories are well done. The gay/lesbian aspects are downplayed generally but the ranting and raging via Roz got tiresome.
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Q&A with Laurie R...: Writing Kate Martinelli 16 167 Sep 11, 2012 04:33PM  
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Edgar-winning mystery writer Laurie R. King writes series and standalone novels. Her official forum is
THE LRK VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB here on Goodreads--please join us for book-discussing fun.

King's most recent novel, Dreaming Spies, sees Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes travel from Japan to Oxford, in a case with international players and personal meaning. The Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series foll
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Other Books in the Series

Kate Martinelli (5 books)
  • A Grave Talent  (Kate Martinelli, #1)
  • To Play the Fool (Kate Martinelli, #2)
  • With Child (Kate Martinelli, #3)
  • The Art of Detection (Kate Martinelli, #5)

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