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Night Work (Kate Martinelli, #4)
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Night Work (Kate Martinelli #4)

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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  2,031 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Homicide detective Kate Martinelli and her partner, Al Hawkin, investigate the murder of a muscular man, found strangled with a stun gun's burn on his chest and candy in his pocket. A second body, that of a convicted rapist, turns up, also zapped, cuffed, and with a candy bar. Speculation of vendetta killings draws Kate and Al into a network of pitiless destruction.
Paperback, 416 pages
Published July 22nd 2000 by Bantam Books (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,859)
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Karen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ann
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 -...more
Kati
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 Brush
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...more
Annabelle
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
Elizabeth
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...more
Tory Wagner
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.
L
Dec 16, 2012 L rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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.
Teresa
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...more
Bonnie
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
J
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...more
Angela
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...more
Jean Poulos
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
Christianne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sharon
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...more
Kaitlyn
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.
Kellyann
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...more
Sandy
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.
Joy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Spotsalots
Feb 12, 2012 Spotsalots added it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
This was readable enough, but for the most part it reminded me of 1980s lesbian mysteries that are ultimately most interesting for their place in literary history rather than for their actual literary qualities. The characters are somewhat stereotypical and the San Francisco setting, while accurately enough done (the author does after all live near San Francisco), does not really rise above average for books set in the Bay Area.

None of that would be so disappointing were it not for the fact that...more
Beth
This is a great feminist mystery that actually left me guessing until nearly the very end. King's Kate Martinelli series has gotten consistently better through each novel. The first one remains my least favorite, but the others have all been great fun (and NOT completely mindless, either).

I really enjoyed the historical and cultural connections in the story. King OBVIOUSLY knows her stuff when it comes to the Bible, history, feminism, detective work, and a myriad of other subjects. She strikes m...more
WK
Feb 23, 2009 WK rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: lrk
This is an story that covers a lot of ground, all within the realm of abuse. With the exception of one young girl who was married off into the wrong family, the world is a better place without the victims here. It had me wondering if I should join "The Ladies..."! I wouldn't recommend this novel for the faint of heart, but then they wouldn't make it past the introductory description of Kali. As with all of LRK's books I get more out of them each time I read them. This was our Feb 09 discussion b...more
Lori
lots of intertwined stories and characters to keep track of but it resolves most of them
Anuradha Murphy
I liked the character development and the plot, but parts of the story that touched on Hindu mythology and the goddess Kali were hard to get through. Using Kali as a symbol of feminism and Hindu rituals as a basis for a murder plot were highly unconvincing.
Jan
I have truly enjoyed the other books in the Kate Martinelli series by Laurie R. King. The first in the series "A Grave Talent" was award winning and brilliant. I also adore her Mary Russell-Sherlock Holmes series. I did not like this book. I didn't like the secondary characters, the subject matter or the resolution. When it comes to abuse against women and retaliation toward the men two wrongs don't make a right. This book left a very bad taste in my mouth. Maybe that was King's point?
Lucy
As usual, the focus here is more on the effect of the crimes on Kate and her crew, rather than the crimes and the criminal(s). This makes for some interesting musings on relationships - both abusive and healthy. Lots of Kali imagery. But... there was a wrap-up of all the action in one page. "Pat" is too mild of a word to describe this ending. I was pretty disappointed. I'm hoping this isn't a trend for all of King's books because I find her writing and musings very enjoyable.
Pammy
I've read several of the Kate Martinelli series, but this will probably 'hold' me for a while. It was my least favorite. Maybe it was just me...maybe not. Don't care to analyze.
Stacielynn
Another intelligent and well-written mystery featuring detective Kate Martinelli. This one has an intriguing plot that somehow combines such diverse topics as vigilante feminists and Indian bride burning. The author gave some short shrift to the Indian culture -- was disappointed that she resorted to easy stereotypes, but it wasn't badly done enough to be totally offensive, just noticeable.

LJ
Night work - NR
King, Laurie R. - 4th in Kate Martinelli series

After her last harrowing case, Kate Martinelli is more than ready for routine police work and her newfound serenity with longtime lover Lee. But then she's called to the scene of a carefully executed murder, and everything changes.

Focused too much on the relationship between the two women. Just didn't do it for me.
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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 The Bones of Paris sees Touchstone's Harris Stuyvesant and Bennett Grey find the darkness beneath the light of 1929 Paris. In the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, a brilliant teen bec...more
More about Laurie R. King...
The Beekeeper's Apprentice (Mary Russell, #1) A Monstrous Regiment of Women (Mary Russell, #2) O Jerusalem (Mary Russell, #5) A Letter of Mary (Mary Russell, #3) The Language of Bees (Mary Russell, #9)

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