Dead Famous by Carol O’Connell

 

Mystery

Dead Famous by Carol O'Connell Dead FamousCarol O’ConnelF; Berkley Books 2004WorldCatJohanna Apollo currently works for a cleaning company in New York City that specializes in cleaning homes and businesses where someone has died. It’s a new job for her, and challenging due to her physical disability. Yet she continues with the job. She prefers to clean places where someone was murdered – one of her quirks.

Her boss is Riker, a New York detective sergeant who is on leave of absence from the NYPD after being shot point blank and surviving. He is still emotionally wounded and cannot return to his former work. He barely wants to be alive. Johanna is one of the bright spots in his life. One of his annoyances is his former partner, Mallory. He has known her since she was a child. Now she is pushing him to return to his job.

A murder trial had been held in Chicago. The defendant was acquitted even though everyone knew he did it. Now the jury members are being killed off one by one. The defendant, a radio shock jock, is using the serial killings by someone known as the Reaper, to keep up his ratings. He is based in New York City now. Each night people call into his show with living jury member spottings. Only three of the jury members are still alive. An FBI agent investigating the murders was killed in Chicago by the same person.

Mallory has been listening to the shock jock for some time now. She knows that some of the hiding jurors now live in New York. She believes there are some connections that will bring Riker out of his deep depression and back to the man he can be. She also believes Johanna can be key to his return to emotional health. The trick is keeping both Riker and Johanna alive while she convinces Riker to help locate the Reaper.

This novel was the first Mallory novel written after 9/11. The events of that day play no part in the book. It deals with survivor shock, guilt, depression, and slow healing. Dead Famous is a tight, intriguing detective mystery. Since I’ve read so many murder mysteries I could guess the identity of the murderer. But O’Connell has her surprises in this novel, the type that keep the reader drawn right in until it’s done. Read right through the last paragraph for the last emotional tug.

I was impressed by Mugs the cat. Mugs had lived with painful spine injuries. Johanna rescued him and had the injuries corrected. But Mugs had lived with the pain for so long that he still has phantom pain whenever anyone tries to touch him. He wants to be loved and cuddled up. But as soon as anyone touches one of the phantom spots, he turns into an attack cat. There are few places he can be touched without his pain. He still returns for more love. How many people suffer the same way?

More books by Carol O’Connell
Mallory series at Stop! You’re Killing Me!

Link to Amazon.com BooksLink to BetterWorld Books

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