From Publishers Weekly
Set in a Connecticut college town, bestseller McCullough's disappointing sequel to On, Off
(2006) starts off with an over-the-top premise and doesn't improve from there. In April 1967, a dozen murders occur in the normally quiet town of Holloman, Conn., in just 18 hours, culminating in the death by bear trap of Evan Pugh, a student at Chubb University with a penchant for blackmail. The disparate victims include a hooker, a college dean and the head of a major corporation; among the killing methods are four poisonings, three shootings and two pillow suffocations. In an unrealistic move, Capt. Carmine Delmonico of the Holloman police, who's in charge of the unwieldy investigation, sends his sergeants home for a good night's sleep while the crimes are still fresh. The solution may elicit unintended giggles as it papers over holes in logic rather than filling them. (Dec.)
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Carmine Delmonico, the homicide cop introduced in On, Off (2007), returns in this sequel. It’s April 1967, and the college town of Holloman, Connecticut, is rocked by the murders of 12 of its citizens, all within the space of a single day. There appears to be no connection between the victims (who include an eight-month-old baby, a prostitute, and the head of a large corporation), but Carmine soon begins to wonder whether, somehow, the murders have something to do with an unknown individual, whom the FBI has code-named Ulysses, who is selling top-secret information to the Russians. Like On, Off, the novel is a contemporary-style procedural set in a pre-forensics era. The historical setting gives the novel a fresh feel, and it keeps readers off guard: if the story were set in the here and now, we’d easily be able to anticipate the flow of the plot, but since it takes place in a time before DNA evidence, national computer databases, profiling, and so on, we have no idea how Carmine can possibly find a solution. A thoroughly entertaining crime novel. --David Pitt