Mallory's Oracle (Kathleen Mallory Series #1)

Mallory's Oracle (Kathleen Mallory Series #1)

by Carol O'Connell

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Jonathan Kellerman says Mallory's Oracle is "a joy." Nelson DeMille and other advance readers have called it "truly amazing, " "a classic" with "immense appeal." It is all of that, and more: a stunning debut novel about a web of unsolved murders in New York's Gramercy Park and the singular woman who makes them her obsession.

At its center is Kathleen Mallory, an extraordinary wild child turned New York City policewoman. Adopted off the streets as a little girl by a police inspector and his wife, she is still not altogether civilized now that she is a sergeant in the Special Crimes section. With her ferocious intelligence and green gunslinger eyes, Mallory (never Kathleen, never Kathy) operates by her own inner compass of right and wrong, a sense of justice that drives her in unpredictable ways. She is a thing apart.

And today, she is a thing possessed. Although more at home in the company of computers than in the company of men, Mallory is propelled onto the street when the body of her adoptive father, Louis Markowitz, is found stabbed in a tenement next to the body of a wealthy Gramercy Park woman. The murders are clearly linked to two other Gramercy Park homicides Markowitz had been investigating, and now his cases become Mallory's, his death her cause. Prowling the streets, sifting through his clues, drawing on his circle of friends and colleagues, she plunges into a netherworld of light and shadow, where people are not what they seem and truth shifts without warning. And a murderer waits who is every bit as wild and unpredictable as she....

Filled with deep, seductive atmosphere and razor-sharp prose, Mallory's Oracle is gripping, resonant suspense of tantalizing complexity—a genuinely unforgettable novel.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780515116472
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/28/1995
Series: A Mallory Novel Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 230,585
Product dimensions: 6.76(w) x 4.08(h) x 0.92(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Carol O'Connell is the author of eight previous Mallory novels, including the national bestseller Winter House, and of Judas Child.

Table of Contents

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Mallory's Oracle (Kathleen Mallory Series #1) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this when it first came out and have been hooked on the Mallory series ever since. The characters and their relationships are complex, flawed and fascinating. Carol O'Connell never lets Kathy Mallory become a stereotype. It's great to have an intelligent female represented in writing.
debadoll More than 1 year ago
If you need another book to read, and you enjoy puzzles and mysteries, then this book is a good read. I enjoyed it even though at times it was a bit confusing to me. It seemed to be a different style of writing than I have been reading.
amf0001 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written mystery. The plot was not that interesting but the characters and style were. Lovely depiction of NY and grammercy park and aging. Not a keeper but worth spending time with. Part of series though I haven't read earlier ones and it still worked for me.
Darrol on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am probably a little dull, but I found the narrative a little confusing. The main character is interesting.
bjappleg8 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a read inspired by several conversations on LibraryThing, so I was disappointed and surprised not to like it better.I found the jumping around from different characters' points of view very distracting. There were too many mysteries, too -- and the resolution not all that clear or satisfying. I also agree with another reviewer who said it was hard to figure out what the characters in the book found so compelling about Mallory -- yes she was beautiful but so cold, so calculating, and amoral. So what.I know negative reviews are unpopular. This isn't a judgement on those who enjoyed the book; I would rather enjoy a book myself than be disappointed. I do appreciate negative reviews that help me decide if it's worth investing my own time. I would rather have avoided this one.
Talbin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mallory's Oracle, by Carol O'Connell, is the first book in a series following NYC cop Kathleen Mallory. Here, Mallory's stepfather, Louis Markowitz, is found dead alongside the third victim of an apparent serial killer. Mallory takes compassionate leave from the department but continues to conduct her own investigation into the serial killings (of older women with connections to New York's Gramercy Park) and Markowitz's murder. Along the way, she involves Charles Butler, a long-time friend of the family with an incredible intelligence and a clairvoyant aunt, and Riker, a colleague of Markowitz who passes her inside information about the official investigation.Mallory's Oracle was a bit different from most mystery's I read, mostly because it seemed that O'Connell was trying to establish Kathy Mallory's character and background more than focusing on the plot of the murder mystery. At time, it made for awkward reading - the mystery itself was somewhat confusing and seemed to have a lot of stray ends and red herrings along the way. I felt that it could have been tighter and more compelling. As I read the end of the book, I actually didn't really care who did it - I was mostly worried about Charles Butler's fate. However, Mallory seems as if she's going to be an interesting character as the books move forward. She was found on the streets by Louis and Helen Markowitz at the age of 10, and they took her into their home and tried to "civilize" her. As this book starts, Mallory is 25, is a computer genius, has a somewhat convoluted moral code, and is described as cold-hearted but takes pity on abused children, and is, of course, beautiful without knowing how beautiful she is (oh, please). Although I found this to be a somewhat uneven novel, I applaud O'Connell for taking a chance on her protagonist, creating a character who should be interesting to follow through the series.
miyurose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I didn't fall in love with this series. There's no doubt that Mallory is an interesting lead character, but you don't get any chance to really get inside her head and get to know her. I felt more of a connection to Charles than I did with her. The mystery itself is interesting, but I have to admit my eyes glazed over a bit with all the financial talk. I have one other book in this series I'll probably read, but I won't go out of my way to seek out more.
Df6B_ArielB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was a very good read. I really like novels about police work and murder. The characters in this book are her strongest to me. I never thought the professor would kill everyone. Mallory let him out of her sight for ten minutes and he already killed someone. This book was very intensed.
cmwilson101 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is one of a series of books by Carol O'Connell about a beautiful, damaged, maverick, and almost sociopathic detective named Kathleen Mallory (who insists on being called simply "Mallory"), and the people that love her despite her flaws: Charles, an intelligent, rich, but ugly family friend; Lou, the cop that takes her in; and Riker, her adopted father's partner. The relationships that develop between these characters as they solve crimes together are the focus of the series. This story (the first in the series), has Mallory trying to find out who killed Lou.
jastbrown on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite series. This is where O'Connell really shone, with a protagonist and characters who were both sympathetic and adversarial. I'm looking forward to going back and re-reading all of her Kathleen Mallory stories. They are exceptional.
nancyewhite on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kathleen Mallory's beloved foster-father is killed while pursuing a serial killer preying on elderly women in Gramercy Park. Mallory comes out from behind her computer to find the murderer. There are a lot of plot points related to magic and spiritualism until finally the killer is identified. I liked this book. It is very well written with wonderful secondary characters. I did not yet warm to Mallory herself. I think that there are too many references to her beauty of which she is, of course, unaware, her green eyes (a beautiful fictional heroine cliche) and her scariness. I like tough female protaganists, but she is so cold it is difficult for me to actually like her, and I find it mysterious why all of the people in her world--including her beloved parents--do like her so much. POTENTIAL SPOILERSI loved the subplot featuring Margot Siddon and found it so haunting and compelling. For me, it echoed one of the saddest stories of my childhood The Little Match Girl. Margot just broke my heart -- so damaged, unloved and literally starving while just steps away from the banquet. When she finally completely loses her mind and begins stabbing strangers who she is convinced are her rapist, it was so inevitable and so preventable. I hope this unresolved thread means this will be re-visited in a future book in the series. END SPOILERSome of the ways the book was dated were amusing. Of course, Mallory's mad technical skills are very of the time and it is interesting to see how quickly computer capabiliities changed. Frankly, the mystery itself was not very interesting to me for some reason. I didn't particularly feel interested in knowing who dunnit so much as in finding out more about the people populating the book. Generally, this is a promising start to a series. I often find that whether I feel compelled to continue reading any given series has as a lot to do with whether or not the supporting cast interests me. In this case, Carol O'Connell creates fascinating people particularly Charles Butler. I will definitely read the second in the series and hopefully gain a way "in" to Mallory herself.
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