Jerry's Reviews > Mallory's Oracle

Mallory's Oracle by Carol O'Connell
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Jul 23, 10

Read in September, 2002

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 author as smart, intense, gorgeous (naturally), and maybe the world's greatest computer hacker (authors always make this look so easy - it's not), she seems more like a ventriloquist's dummy -- some words come out but there's no personality, nothing in her actions to intrigue or endear her to us. Is the fact that she's an ex-thief/bad girl supposed to charm us?

Put this together with a complicated, difficult to follow plot, with dozens of stick characters we practically need a scorecard to keep track of, we almost broke a long-standing rule and abandoned this two-thirds of the way through. Even the ending was unsatisfying -- while it did clear up the mystery (we use the term loosely), we readers would never have arrived there with the paucity of clues and countless irrelevant side trips and diversions. That Mallory solves the case (more or less) after leaving her hospital bed, pulling out her IV after a near-fatal poisoning and charging off on her own (no backup of course) just adds to the silly unrealistic action.

We're all the more put out because one of our favorite authors, Linda Barnes, recommends O'Connoll as one of her favorites. Why?

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message 3: by Karla (new)

Karla I am finding Carol O'Connell's writing intriguing and full of suspense even tho, I do agree with you about Mallory having nothing to endear us to her. I am reading Find Me, the ninth, my first, in the series.


message 2: by Kasia (new) - added it

Kasia S. Who is the "we" you keep using?


message 1: by Julia (new) - added it

Julia Harsh


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