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The Prodigal Son (Carmine Delmonico #4)

3.29  ·  Rating Details ·  391 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
Internationally bestselling author Colleen McCullough presents a new novel in the thrilling, gritty series featuring Captain Carmine Delmonico, who must find a brilliant killer hiding out in the prestigious and cutthroat world of academia.Holloman, Connecticut, 1969. A lethal toxin, extracted from the blowfish, is stolen from a laboratory at Chubb University. It kills with ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2012)
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When I hear the name Colleen McCullough, I automatically think of The Thorn Birds. I read it when I was a teenager and it is still one of my favorite novels. When the publisher suggested that I read her new novel, The Prodigal Son, I was surprised. I had no idea that she had written a mystery series. For me, Colleen McCullough began and ended with The Thorn Birds. Well, no more…I have become a fan of her Carmine Delmonico mysteries.

The Prodigal Son is the fourth in the Carmine Delmonico series.
Nov 13, 2013 Mary rated it it was ok
In the interest of full disclosure I must tell you that the publisher provided me with a free paperback copy of this book.

I've been a fan and admirer of Colleen McCullough since "The Thornbirds". Her subsequent historical fiction is some of the best I have had the pleasure of reading. If that's what you're expecting, don't spend your time on this book.

The Prodigal Son is the fourth novel in the Carmine Delmonico series. In the prologue, John Hall, a long-lost heir recently arrived from Oregon, d
Sam Still Reading
Nov 27, 2012 Sam Still Reading rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: crime fans
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: ebook sent by the publisher - thank you!
Reading The Prodigal Son and other books in the historical crime fiction Carmine Delmonico series, you would never guess that they are written by the same author as The Thorn Birds. Colleen McCullough proves once again that she’s a master of fiction with a wide ranging imagination in this book.

Although this is the fourth book in the series starring Carmine Delmonico, detective in Holloman, Connecticut, the books are easily read as stand-alone novels or out of order. (However, I would recommend a
Nov 21, 2012 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of McCullough's fiction, especially her Master of Rome series. Now she's enjoying writing whodunits such as she loved when she was very young. This is #4 of the Carmine Delmonica series, set in the 1960s, so no DNA tests, cell phones, or other high-tech stuff. She kept me guessing about the identity of the murderer until Detective Delmonica arrived at certainty, though without proof. Plenty of plot twists here, and a surprise ending. In retrospect, I had a little bit of trouble bel ...more
Oct 15, 2014 Martinet rated it it was ok
This book made me weirdly uncomfortable, because I found it hard to tell if its reflection of racism and sexism during its setting (1969) was really accurate or if the book was racist and sexist in and of itself.

Also, I'm impressed that the police found a "Rubic cube" at a crime scene in 1969 when the Rubik's cube wasn't invented until 1974.
Adelaide Silva
No início custou e entrar na estória, não me conseguiu cativar e apesar de no decurso ter melhorado não consigo dar mais de 3*
Sandra Melo
Mar 10, 2015 Sandra Melo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
Gostei, quero ler mais livros desta serie.
Nov 18, 2016 Juanctoledo rated it really liked it
Tercer libro (aún no entiendo porque se saltaron el 3er libro de la serie, y tradujeron antes el 4to) de la saga Delmonico, aún en deuda con la maravilla que fue On/Off, pero cada vez se amplía más la personalidad del capitán Delmonico y su equipo de detectives, incluida su mujer, que ayuda en sus deducciones como sobremesa todas las noches. Un caso lleno de ramificaciones, un desenlace justo. Y esa manía de la autora en definir, tan femenina, a sus personajes masculinos que te hace sentir un po ...more
Dec 27, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Prodigal Son is a riveting mystery set in 1969. A deadly neurotoxin is missing from Dr. Millie Hunter’s lab. Millie is a gifted biochemist that is married to an even more famous biochemist, Dr. Jim Hunter. She is also the daughter of the Holloman Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Patrick O’Donnell, therefore she notifies her dad of the dangerous theft. Shortly thereafter, a rash of mysterious deaths from this toxin spread through this college town. Who stole the toxin and why?

I’ll admit that I coul
The Prodigal Son is an interesting mystery, scheduled to come out in November from Simon & Schuster. I thought that it was going to be a thriller, but I wouldn't classify it as that. If it is a thriller, it's not very good. It wasn't that suspenseful, and I wasn't on the edge of my seat. But as a mystery, I enjoyed it. It's pretty smart, and set in 1969, so there's no DNA testing or anything like that. Carmine Delmonico, the police chief, has to rely on fingerprints and other "old-fashioned" ...more
Dec 09, 2013 Kandice rated it liked it
I keep reading McCullough because I love her ideas and I keep waiting for her to...I don't know, get better, I guess. She's been ill and had surgeries for crazy things that seem would make it impossible to write, but she keeps churning them out!

I really enjoy these (not quite old enough to be called historical) police procedurals. This is the 4th in a series centered around Captain Carmine Delmonico, set in the 1960's at Chubb University in Holloman.

The characters are great and the the plot twi
Feb 26, 2013 Dyana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book because of who the author is and was sadly disappointed. This was not up to the same standard as other books of hers that I have read. I had to force myself to keep reading to find who the murderer was, and there turned out to be several! In the small university town of Holloman, Connecticut in 1969 a lethal poison extracted from blowfish is stolen from the lab of Dr. Millie Hunter, a biochemist. She reports the theft to her father, a medical examiner, who then informs his ...more
Dec 10, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While this is Book 4 in the series, it stands on it’s own quite well. Indeed, I have not read the other books in this series and had no problems at all jumping right into this book. Colleen McCullough managed to intrigue me right away with several points: the class differences between the Hunters and the Tunbulls; Millie and Jim are a long-term white and black couple; there’s a very nasty neurotoxin on the loose! In 1969, there were not that many mixed-race couples, nor too many female scientist ...more
Dec 11, 2013 Peacejanz rated it really liked it
A modestly moving book. The reader knows about the missing poison from the beginning but has many clues directing away from the "logical" killers, i.e., those who had access to the poison. We are led in many directions with many people who have reason to hate those who are dead, except for the first one. There is always one more piece of information to keep us hanging. What about the visions that the deformed sister keeps having? What about the stepfather who has information but dies of a heart ...more
Nov 01, 2014 Estibaliz79 rated it it was amazing
Le doy cinco estrellas, porque esta mujer roza lo magistral en todo lo que hace. En novela negra también, como ya había demostrado con las anteriores entregas de esta serie, protagonizada por Carmine Delmonico, aunque el protagonismo es secundario en ocasiones, cobrando mayor importancia otros personajes como el de la excéntrica Delia... o los propios protagonistas del crimen.

El final resulta un poco brusco y excesivo, pero de una manera deliciosa, y el hecho de que el quién hizo qué no sea el m
Alia Moustafa
May 08, 2015 Alia Moustafa rated it it was amazing
Crimes that involve poison are truly the worst. I am sure we all suspected Jim, but holly crap that ending!

What was different about this book that I didn't find in the previous 3 was the humor. I had a bit of a laugh quiet frequently, actually. It was a change, but likeable.

It was understandable that someone would finally break in such a way, everyone has a final straw indeed. Especially a good person who lets themselves be a door mat to a loved one, gladly. Nevertheless, everyone has a breakin
Valerie Oakley
Jun 13, 2013 Valerie Oakley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was very disappointed in this. I hadn't read any McCullough since Thorn Birds, which I enjoyed, and was not aware that this was #4 of a series. There were, as someone mentioned, too many characters who didn't play large parts and too many "Aussie-isms". I fault the editor for not Americanizing the text: If McCullough wants to set the story in Australia, fine; if it's set in Connecticut, learn the "language", even if it was 1969. The plot was good, but the style distracted me. I'm not intereste ...more
Jan 24, 2013 Anne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After reading most of Colleen McCullough's books over the years, I expected this one to be better than it was. I did not realize it was the fourth book in the Carmine Delmonico series, but you don't have to read the previous books to enjoy this. Although I wanted to finish it to see who did it, it was not a real page-turner. The reason I gave it two instead of three stars was the vernacular of the Connecticut police. Although there was one native British detective, the Americans sounded more lik ...more
Nov 15, 2013 Debi rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
3 1/2 stars. For this book by Colleen McCullough. She is also the author of the Thorn Birds, one of my most favorite books ever. I won this book from Goodreads First reads. It is mystery set in the 60's where a deadly neurotoxin is missing and people begin to die. There are twists and turns leading you to believe one thing then another twist and your thoughts go someplace else. Good mystery. However it would be tough for her to write a book as good as The Thorn Birds. I did enjoy this book, and ...more
Jan 26, 2013 Barb rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
I was so excited when I saw a new book from Colleen McCullough. The Thorn Birds is one of my all-time favorite books. This book is nothing like the Thorn Birds.

This is a mystery of Jim and Millie Hunt. People around them start dying after some chemical is stolen from Millie's lab.

The book is a little hard to follow with so many characters with such similar names. In addition, while it takes place in the United States the dialect and phrasing is maybe from Australia? It was sometimes hard to foll
Jun 02, 2014 Success rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Colleen McCullough is a truly amazing story writer.Her way of laying out "The Prodigal son" plot immediately caught my attention in less than 5 pages into the book.
I really thought the killer of those victims was Davina and her twin sister( the midget).
But in the end Millie points out that it was Jim Hunter all along.
I enjoyed the book and it took me 4 days to complete the 392 page hard copy.
Well what are you waiting for, go get a copy and read it for yourself.
Sonia Cristina
Mar 10, 2015 Sonia Cristina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: português, 2015
Foi bom rever Carmine e Desdemona e ver como interagem no seu dia-a-dia, em casa e com os filhos. Delia foi outra personagem que me cativou, não me lembro dela dos outros livros da série e achei-a fantástica, com aquele jeito despachado dela e a forma de se vestir, juntando padrões e cores vivas tornam-na peculiar. O caso policial também foi intrigante. Desde o início desconfiei de uma pessoa, mas enganei-me :)
Harry Lane
May 04, 2013 Harry Lane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An absorbing police procedural, richly detailed and textured. Its great strength is the setting in a small community in which everyone is known to one another, often related, and McCullough nails the quotidian interactions that go on even as the crimes occur. This is, in a sense, also a great weakness, as it requires the reader to track a larger cast of characters than is customary in this genre. Worth the effort.
A continuation of a mystery series set in Connecticut in the 1960s. It's an interesting series as I find myself comparing my memories of the '60s with the author's. Carmine Delmonico of the Holloman (CT)has an extra tough mystery on his plate. This one involves his niece and her black husband. The couple has returned to Holloman and end up involved in a nasty series of murders. It's a good story but sad and makes you wish you could go back in time to straighten out history.
Aug 21, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-series
I've enjoyed following Carmine Delmonico and the other characters in this series. Some of the books are a bit gruesome, but this one was less so. At least not blood-and-gore type gruesome... The mystery of a serial murderer who uses a very lethal and rare poison to dispatch his enemies is well plotted and hard to put down. It was a quick read, and quite enjoyable.
Nov 20, 2013 Rachel rated it really liked it
Shelves: firstreads
I recieved this book from the goodreads first reads program. I found the first 70 pages of thw book to be tedious as evry detail was over described. The rest of the book proved to be a good mystery with twists and turns. It definitely didn't resolve how I thought it would. And the ending left my wanting. Overall it wasn't a bad read.
This book had many twists and turns, this was the first time for me to read (or listen thanks to Playaway) to this author. I enjoy a good murder mystery and even though the book pointed to the killer most of the time I still didn't believe it. Although this book started with a mystery, it lost my interest right after that and only got it back in the last 3/4 of the book.
Carol Carlson
Would not read another based on this work. Too many characters. The plot started out interesting, but then bogged down with too many characters. Do we really need to know what Carmine's wife cooked for him for dinner? How does that help delineate characters or advance the plot? I skimmed much of the book, concentrating on the solving of the case, instead of boring details.
Neha Oberoi
Jan 09, 2014 Neha Oberoi rated it liked it
As a whodunit , it definitely kept the wheels churning. I kept shifting the characters in my hd as the potential person with the most motive. Colleen tells her tale well and I enjoyed the constant unravelling of the threads to the mystery.

I would have liked a lil action to the drama. Hence the three stars.
Jack Alexander
May 12, 2014 Jack Alexander rated it liked it
This was good descriptive writing and good characters with lot of plot twists, but though most of it, the result was pretty visible. I didn't find many surprises in the "thriller", but I did like reading it.
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Colleen Margaretta McCullough was an Australian author known for her novels, her most well-known being The Thorn Birds and Tim.

Raised by her mother in Wellington and then Sydney, McCullough began writing stories at age 5. She flourished at Catholic schools and earned a physiology degree from the University of New South Wales in 1963. Planning become a doctor, she found that she had a violent aller
More about Colleen McCullough...

Other Books in the Series

Carmine Delmonico (5 books)
  • On, Off (Carmine Delmonico, #1)
  • Too Many Murders (Carmine Delmonico, #2)
  • Naked Cruelty (Carmine Delmonico, #3)
  • Sins of the Flesh (Carmine Delmonico, #5)

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