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Crime School - Carol O'Connell

Title: Crime School
Author: Carol O'Connell
ISBN: 0099441403
 © Carol O'Connell 2002


On a hot August afternoon, in an East Side apartment, a woman is found hanged. Carefully placed red candles and an enormous quantity of dead flies suggest some kind of bizarre ritual.

By some cruel miracle, the victim lives, but remains in a coma ...

Kathy Mallory does not recognise her immediately. Fifteen years have pased since Kathy lived on the streets of New York, succoured by hookers and thieving to survive. Now she has traded in her plastic pellet gun for a .357 revolver and a police badge. No one is allowed to call her Kathy anymore. Just Mallory.

Once upon a time, a junkie whore and police informer, known simply as Sparrow, had cared for a young street urchin when she was lost and alone. Now Mallory finds that she is staring her bitter past in the face, as she pursues a case which also has its origin in an unsolved murder committed years ago ...


This was a book I found difficult to read. It took me a long while to get into the story, but I was enticed enough to keep hanging on until it did. I can not quite put my finger on it to why I had such trouble to fall into the story. All that is given is good. The characters are agreeable, even interesting. I especially liked Charles Butler, a very nice man, highly intelligent, thoughtful, caring, not the looks of a moviestar... What's not to like about him. Riker was more difficult to categorise. I felt like he was just a typical detective, haunted by his work and his  private life..nothing really bad, but no happy life either. Deluthe is a character I suspect we will hear more of in the next novels. Kathy Mallory was the hardest to place. This was the first book I read with Kathy as a prime character. She has such a history that I now understand why I felt at a loss beginning this book. Truly, this can be a great crime-novel, but I strongly suggest that you read the previous books in the series as well.

About this book, it is well written. As I said, I found it difficult to plunge myself into the story, which can be attributed to not reading the previous novels in the series. Therefore this is highly recommended. The plot itself  is constructed well enough. It did not leave me with any unanswered questions, only wandering what will happen to the characters that were involved. But for that, I guess, I would have to read the upcoming novels in the series.


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