Killing Critics by Carol O’Connell

 

Killing Critics (Kathleen Mallory Novels) Killing CMysteryriticsCarol O’Connell; Jove 1997WorldCatDean Starr was an art critic turned artist. But at his New York showing, he became the art. Someone stabbed him with an ice pick. None of the guests realized that the body lying on the floor was dead instead of realistic sculpture.

Now Lieutenant Riker and Detective Mallory have the case. Riker approaches one of the preeminent art critics in the city. Riker wants to find out if this new killing is similar to one twelve years earlier involving Quinn’s family.Quinn doesn’t think it is. But Mallory compares the details of the new case to the old one. She believes the two are related. Her father had investigated the old case until a man confessed to the murders. Her father didn’t believe the “easy” solution, and the case was never closed in his mind.

Despite the directives from the bigger brass, Mallory begins to investigate the old murders and puts them together with the new one. As usual, she takes advantage of her friendship with Charles Butler to get entrance to the people she needs. Quinn is still trying to protect his family, so he follows her around as she investigates the suspects.There are many important people from the art community in New York that may be involved. She doesn’t discount Quinn, nor the gallery owner, the architect, or the woman who is the chairman of the city’s public art committee.

Mallory doesn’t stop with the art community, though. She is also bucking the system within NYPD. She has been directed to let the past stay buried, yet she continues to dig. She finds connections that can involve people highly involved in the department and the city government. Before she is done with the case, her own childhood comes back to haunt her.

Mallory is an unusual character. She is basically a functioning sociopath. She doesn’t appear to have any emotions or morals other than the ones she creates. She knows how to act properly and interact with people because of her (foster) mother. But she doesn’t understand human emotions or how most people think. This book, the third in the series, gives the reader glimpses of Mallory’s childhood both before and after she went to live with the Markowitz’s.

The murder mystery in Killing Critics has an interesting motive and twists around. The fascinating part of the novel is Mallory’s own search into the past – the past murders and her own past. The book is disquieting, leaving the reader hanging at the end of the book. The mystery may be solved, but the story certainly isn’t.

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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