Mallory's Oracle (Kathleen Mallory, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Mallory's Oracle (Kathleen Mallory #1)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  3,249 ratings  ·  239 reviews
From Library Journal
The investigation of a series of murders of wealthy, elderly women from the Gramercy Park area intensifies when Louis Markowitz, the head of the NYPD Special Crimes Section, is found dead with the third victim. Kathleen Mallory, his adopted daughter and a policewoman assigned to office duty, is beautiful, intelligent, fiercely independent, and obsessed...more
Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Published June 1st 1995 by Jove (first published 1994)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mallory's Oracle, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mallory's Oracle

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonAnd Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieAngels & Demons by Dan BrownRebecca by Daphne du MaurierIn Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Best Crime & Mystery Books
163rd out of 4,383 books — 10,038 voters
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan DoyleAnd Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieDeath on the Nile by Agatha ChristieMurder on the Orient Express by Agatha ChristieOne for the Money by Janet Evanovich
Best Detective/Mystery Series
72nd out of 1,188 books — 1,393 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Carolyn
Unfortunately, not for me.

I gave this book a chance as it's been acclaimed by some as a crime thriller with compelling characters, and I love crime thrillers with compelling characters--Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander series being my personal favorite example--but I just couldn't get into it. The writing strikes me as cliche, and too often the lines seem overwrought to me, as in, describing a dog running, "paws touching lightly to the ground in the perfect poetry of a beautiful animal in motion...more
Courtnie
Reading this was sorta like listening to my 6 year old tell me a story. A re-telling in which I'm constantly saying (or thinking), "Wait, what? Slow down, I have no clue what you're saying".

Except this experience was more satisfying than hearing about the size of the bug (orgin unknown) that is crawling on the side of the house.

I had no idea what was going on half the time in this book. Fortunately, it doesn't matter that much because it happens so often that you quit caring. I was really just...more
Jerry
DO NOT waste your time on bad first O'Connell book...

The character of Kathy Mallory is introduced in this first of a set of (now) six stories about a NYPD detective. With these and one other hardback under her belt, one would think O'Connell must be a successful author. Not by our eyes! We have read and lectured about an extensive list of leading lady amateur sleuths, private eyes, and policewomen; and we'd have to rate Mallory as maybe the worst. While she's billed a thousand times by her auth...more
Linda Robinson
Now this is a crime novel. Or a police un-procedural. The set-up is marvelous. Wild child survivalist snatched off the streets by a smart cop and taken home to a June Cleaver mom whose first response was to hug the future hacker. Present day. Special Crimes Unit is stalking the Invisible Man serial killer. Getting nowhere slowly. Then the killer makes it personal for Mallory, our wild child grown. She abandons the modem for the street. Tech geekdom is not a qualification for surveillance and som...more
Kirsty Darbyshire

(spoiler alert i wrote this for a discussion on a mailing list at a point in the discussion where spoilers were fair play. so as well as being lengthy it rather gives the plot away. you have been warned.)

Mallory is definitely a totally unreal and completely unique character. I haven't come across a character like her and though I couldn't say that I liked her that didn't affect my enjoyment of the book at all. I liked the technique of having the main character being the loopy one.

What did bug

...more
Melanie Hierholzer
I needed a beach book after reading The Dream of Scipio and this book fit the bill. The rave blurbs on the back cover were by Nelson DeMille and James Patterson, two of my least favorite authors, so I approached this book with grain of salt firmly in hand.

The main character, Kathleen Mallory, was somewhat interesting, but I got tired of reading how beautiful she was, and what an effect she had on men, and her killer green eyes. Sheesh! Can we have an intelligent female detective who isn't a rav...more
Susan
Mallory's Oracle is the first book of the Kathleen Mallory mystery series by Carol O'Connell, set in 1990s New York City.

Kathleen "Kathy" Mallory was a street child caught thieving by NYPD detective Louis Markowitz. Louis and his wife Helen adopted and raised Kathy as a daughter. Now an NYPD officer herself, she specializes in computer work for the Special Crimes unit. When Markowitz is killed while investigating a serial killer, Mallory is placed on bereavement leave from NYPD, and she begins h...more
Titas
Aug 18, 2014 Titas rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Titas by: Skye Skye
Louis Markowitz is the head of the NYPD Special Crime Section who is investigating a series of murders of wealth elderly women. The murders are unique and the bodies are placed in broad daylight as if it is magic. But when Louis too gets murdered, steps up her adopted daughter Kathreen Malory who was a little street thug before being adopted. She is a beautiful, intelligent policewoman with computer skills of a master hacker who doesn't care about law when it comes to catching a killer. And as s...more
Eric_W
Sergeant Kathleen Mallory, of the New York City Police Department - but don't ever call her Kathy or Kathleen - was picked up off the streets by detective Louis Markowitz when she was an abandoned street-child of eleven caught stealing .. It was his wife's birthday, and the thought of all the juvenile department paperwork loomed too daunting, so he took the girl home where she was enveloped by his wife's love and became their daughter. She quit stealing because it made Helen., Louis's wife, cry...more
Joy
I'm glad I bought this at a bargain price. I was lured by the reviews at the back, even my favorite suspense author James Patterson said this book was "so good it will launch her career in one bold stroke". With those words, I was sold. I was really excited to read this thinking it's one of those gripping novels with a masterful writing style, but I was disappointed.

The pace was slow, I don't get what's what most of the time, or maybe I'm not used to the too-suggestive writing style. Mallory's c...more
Lauren
Mallory's Oracle
2 Stars

Synopsis:
Kathleen Mallory began life as a thief on the streets of New York City until she was taken in my detective Louis Mankowitz and his wife. Now a police sergeant with an expertise in computer crimes, Mallory must investigate a particularly difficult homicide – the murder of her adoptive father – which is linked to the deaths of several elderly and wealthy women.

Review:
I really wanted to like this book but failed in almost every respect. The writing is elliptical and...more
Periwinkle
This is the first book of the very best detective series I've ever read. But since I can't stand crime novels as a rule, this might not be a compelling recommendation for a lover of the genre: It merely states, that this detective story is set apart from the rest.

Usually, the victim is the most interesting character of a crime novel; but since he or she is dead from the beginning, I never get invested into the story. The detective, on the other hand, is someone who the author thinks likable and...more
Liana
Mallory is described by the author as a sociopath. Emotionally scarred as a 6-year-old after she witnessed the murder of her mother in a small Louisiana town, Mallory flees to New York City, where she lives as a street child. She is caught trying to steal by police officer Louis Markowitz, who takes her home and becomes her foster father.

From age 10, Kathy, a "baby sociopath," grows up surrounded by Markowitz and his colorful circle of friends, including his partner, Sgt. Riker, who later become...more
Cindi
Apr 08, 2010 Cindi rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
I love O'Connell's Mallory Series. Her books are psychologically complex, gritty police procedurals with a twist: Mallory is basically a sociopath, a child rescued from feral survival on the streets then raised in the foster home of a policeman (Louis Markowitz) and his wife whose love partially civilizes her. Mallory has a unique gift for computer technology paired with high intelligence. The idea of giftedness, psychology and "magic" are all explored in fascinating ways. The series has the gen...more
Michael
Great introduction to what promises to be a rewarding and exciting series. Kathy Mallory moves from computer work with NYPD into fieldwork under the impetus of a quite personal tragedy: her homicide squad "father" has himself been murdered by a serial killer. The victims are old wealthy ladies from the Gramercy Park enclave who are slashed to death in daytime. Is there a financial motive or is this spree the output of a psycho? The draw for this is Kathy's background as a homeless, street-tough...more
LJ
MALLORY'S ORACLE - Ex
O'Connell, Carol - 1st in series

Kathy Mallory was saved from the streets and adopted by Louis Markowitz, a New York detective. Now Markowitz is dead, and his killer may be responsible for a number of other deaths. Kathy, now a police officer herself, begins a search for his killer, and an investigation into her own psyche.

1995 Top Read - Every now and then, a new author's first book will make you stop and say "wow!". This did that for me. Mallory is a fascinating protagonist...more
Kt Thames
I read this years ago and remember loving it - don't know why but I was less impressed this time around. Mallory (the heroine) is a female Clint Eastwood who looks, in my mind, like Angelina Jolie. The author describes her as a blonde, but in my eyes anyone this kickass must be a brunette. I am going to re-read the series over the next few weeks and hopefully I will end up enjoying the books as much as I remember. (and my apologies to the blondes out there - but brunettes rule!)
Stephanie
Finished MALLORY'S ORACLE by Carol O'Connell last night. I had never heard of this series before, and I apologize in advance but I cannot remember who told me to try this series for a female cop. (Please let me know so I can tag you!)

The book opens immediately with the murder of a cop who happens to be the foster parent of Kathy Mallory, the titular cop the series follows. Mallory's background is slowly revealed throughout the story and at first I really thought I was going to not like her as a...more
Bondama
I picked up this book several years ago, and when I checked the back for whoever was writing praise, and I was astonished. Every single thriller writer I admired: Lehane, Lescroart, Connelly, every single one of them praised this debut novel lavishly. I have just finished it for the 3rd time, and again, it simply takes my breath away. Totally and completely original.
Auntie J
1st in series. Those who know Kathy Mallory (who insists on being called just Mallory) best think she may be a sociopath. She's respected, even loved by some, but clearly she has issues. Mallory has a mysterious early childhood. By a quirk of fate she finds an outlet for her unique abilities on the right side of the law, as a New York City homicide detective.
Libri Òphiere
Carol alle prime armi non rende giustizia alle pontenzialità di Mallory

Pubblicato per la prima volta nel 1994 con il titolo "Mallory's oracol", questo libro è l'opera prima di Carol O'Connell. Autrice dei miei gialli preferiti, la O'Connel, ha in questo romanzo centrato il suo personaggio ma ha ancora una pesante inesperienza di tessitura. Per i suoi estimatori già conquistati al fascino della prima detective che unisca un'inconsapevole fascino da miss alla spietatezza amorale del killer profess...more
Marleen
I tried and tried to enjoy this book, and there sure are parts and aspects to this story that appealed to me; for instance every time Kathy Mallory thinks about Louis and Helen Markowitz, the cop and his wife, now both deceased and who took her in when she was eleven, when she was a street kid, a thief. They gave her a home and love. Now Kathy Mallory, 25, is a cop herself with Special Crimes Unit, mainly being a computer specialist, lacking field experience.
There’s no way I can find Kathy sympa...more
Ssk
Got this as a birthday gift! And totally hated it. I tried to read at least the obligatory 60 pages that one is supposed to give a book, before you put it down as unreadable. Even that time was a complete waste, since I just couldn't gel with the storyline and characters.
Sam Amann
Edgy, absorbing study of a character, with a mysterious past, who can detect and crime solve with an ability and focus that strengthens the female detective/cop genre.
Someone rated it less than I, but, just like love novels aren't everyone's cup of tea, detecting and crime solving novels have their devotees.
Wish she would bring out a new book soon.
Mallory's fans might also like Robert B. Parker's SPENSER detective novels. Dry humor, devoted love, clever tactics, a humane and also tough hero.
And...more
Magpie67
Fantastic 5 star rating! Love character Mallory! Eccentric, smart and edgy writing! Witty dialogue and so much more!
Sarah
Was hoping for another great series, but this didn't grab me.
Goldenwattle
(Spoiler alert - I was requested to put this, although I have written nothing that the book doesn't give away itself by being obvious.)
The book kept me turning the pages. That's why I'm giving it three. However, many times the writing is over-dramatic to the point of corny, and I had to move past that objection before I could enjoy the book. But even though corny, some of the comments made me smile.
Was Mallory blonde or red-haired? I thought I read she was ginger early in the book, but later her...more
Elizabeth
The BIG problem with this book is that the title character is made out of cardboard. We know her because the other characters talk about her and not because she does anything particularly interesting or special herself. The BIG positive with this book is that all the other characters are very fun. Charles was my favorite with his large nose, scary smile, lack of guile and supreme intelligence. He sells himself short but I can understand why. He's used to not fitting in with anyone else and being...more
Teresa
A innovative mystery series about a sociopathic detective, Kathleen Mallory, and the village of family and fellow cops compelled to protect her from danger, which includes herself. "Mallory's Oracle" is the first in the series, delving into her origins through a multi-layered whodunnit that weaves in magicians and illusion. This house-of-mirrors structure reads a bit like a dream sequence, and in the beginning I found it hard to track the dialog and plot development. But rave reviews spurred me...more
Tracey, librarian on strike
123. Mallory's Oracle – Carol O'Connell
Mallory's Oracle was great fun. Everything about it was appealing – from the unique main character (unique in my experience, though I've seen comparisons to Dexter) to the setting to the trappings of the case to the writing.

Kathleen Mallory puts a different spin on "sociopath". I'm used to thinking of the label as only applying to the ones who go out and kill dozens (and applying to men) (like my former boss), and I suppose there is the seed of the idea th...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • A Grave Talent  (Kate Martinelli, #1)
  • The Calling (Hazel Micallef Mystery #1)
  • Kolymsky Heights
  • A Trouble of Fools (A Carlotta Carlyle Mystery #1)
  • City Of Fire (Lena Gamble, #1)
  • Vanishing Act (Jane Whitefield, #1)
  • The Marx Sisters (Brock & Kolla, #1)
  • Cyanide Wells (Cape Perdido, #2)
  • China Trade
  • Breakup (Kate Shugak, #7)
  • The Devil's Hearth (Fever Devilin, #1)
  • Death of an Englishman (Marshal Guarnaccia Mystery, #1)
  • Goodnight, Irene (Irene Kelly #1)
  • Blanche Among the Talented Tenth (Blanche White #2)
  • Cambridge Blue (DC Gary Goodhew Mystery #1)
  • Booked To Die (Cliff Janeway, #1)
  • A Share in Death (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #1)
42353
Born in 1947, Carol O'Connell studied at the California Institute or Arts/Chouinard and the Arizona State University. She lives in New York City.

Series:
* Kathleen Mallory

More about Carol O'Connell...
The Chalk Girl (Kathleen Mallory, #10) Judas Child Stone Angel (Kathleen Mallory, #4) Bone By Bone Find Me (Kathleen Mallory, #9)

Share This Book