- Series: Kathleen Mallory Novels
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (October 21, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399152113
- ISBN-13: 978-0399152115
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 64 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,742,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Winter House (Kathleen Mallory Novels) Hardcover – October 21, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
An ice pick is the murder weapon of choice in O'Connell's new noir featuring glacier-cool detective Kathy Mallory. A former homeless child-thief adopted by a kind-hearted New York cop, Mallory has parlayed her familiarity with the shady side of society into a successful—if somewhat unorthodox—career as a sleuth (she picks complex locks with aplomb and her investigative methods flirt with the limits of the law). When Nedda Winter, missing for 58 years following the massacre of her family at their New York mansion, reappears at the scene of the crime—now the site of a brand-new homicide—Mallory ("[s]till feral in many ways") digs her red lacquered nails right into the case. Cleo and Lionel Winter are mystified by their sister Nedda's return, certain they were the only survivors of the long-ago stabbing rampage. Mallory, working alongside sartorially challenged homicide detective Riker and psychologist Charles Butler, suspects the reason lies with Cleo's ex-husband, Sheldon Smyth, a slick estate lawyer with exclusive access to the Winter family's multimillion-dollar trust. But Smyth's dubious deeds are just the tip of the ice pick in the hands of O'Connell, known for her idiosyncratic characters and labyrinthine plots in eight previous thrillers including Mallory's Oracle and Dead Famous. Vivid prose keeps the pages turning in this intricate tale of betrayal, buried secrets and lives chopped short in the name of greed.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The eighth entry in O'Connell's popular Kathy Mallory series feels strangely like an English country house shocker dropped into manic Manhattan. An intruder in a grand old mansion on Central Park West is fatally stabbed by Nedda Winter with a pair of scissors--or was it an ice pick, the very weapon used to massacre most of Nedda's family 60 years ago? The burglar turns out to be a serial killer caught by Mallory and inexplicably released on bail, impelling our poker-faced heroine to slam through the proceedings like very bad news, stirring up a gaggle of oddballs such as Bitty Smyth, Nedda's elfin niece whose dead-bolted room houses two shrines: one to God and one to genius, and series regular Charles Butler. Detective Riker, another regular, also takes a turn as an ice-pick murder buff. The individual stories are not very compelling, giving this walk-in closet full of enervated skeletons an air of unreality. Mallory fans and puzzle enthusiasts should appreciate the convoluted plot, but the title doesn't stand well on its own. David Wright
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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There are lots of twists and turns to this story. The characters are well defined. I think to really appreciate the character of Mallory one should read the books in order so that you get her backstory and understand more why she is so broken and yet so brilliant. If you are not so concerned with character development, this book works well as a stand alone.
Intriguing and depressing Carol O'Connell's Mallory series is one of my favorites. There is violence but no drag-you-down drama.
Compelling storyline with plenty of twists. Believable characters with distinct personalities. Thought-provoking dialogue.
I will re-read this story and always look forward to works by this author.
Looking back over the eight Mallory novels, typically the real murderer, and the real crime, usually turn out to be much less interesting than any number of other elements. So here. The center of *Winter House* is Kathy's confrontation with a doppelganger, Nedda Winter, a woman she could become. Is Nedda insane? Did she kill her entire family in a childhood rampage? Is she killing now? As these questions are answered, questions about Kathy Mallory are answered.
Kathy's had a free ride for seven novels, with Riker, Charles, and the poker club making excuses for her while the reader looks on, titillated and aghast. Things changed in *Dead Famous* when Johanna Apollo said to Charles, "You know what she is?" and he nodded. Here, at last, he closes a door in her face, refuses to allow her to bully a victim, and says "No" when any sane person would. Riker and Charles have begun to demand that Kathy grow up. Whether she will, we'll see in another novel, I think.
The first four novels were a set that appeared to complete Kathy's story. The next three took us from where she came from to who she is. *Winter House* begins to explore who she can become. Of the eight books, one of the best.
Well written, crisp, it is a must read. O'Connell has evolved into a snappy writer, and in her last 2 novels, has set the bar very high...keep it going, please!!