When Kathleen Mallory was ten she was a street kid and a thief. Then a cop called Markowitz took her home to his wife to civilize her…
Now Mallory is in charge of a complex database and a police officer herself, and someone has just murdered the man she considers her father – the only man she has ever loved.
More used to the company of computers than people, Mallory descends into the urban nightmare of New York, to hunt down a cold-blooded killer.
Mallory's Oracle is a dangerous chase through the city's underworld, down the fibre-optic cables of hi-tech computer networks and behind the blinds of genteel Gramercy Park – and an investigation into the chilly heart of its damaged and elusive heroine.
"Something close to a masterwork" – THE TIMES
"Sgt Kathleen Mallory is one of the most original and intriguing detectives you'll ever meet" – CARL HIASSEN
A stunning stand-alone novel from the national-bestselling author who 'has raised the standard for psychological thrillers' (Chicago Tribune).
Carol O'Connell's most recent Mallory novel, Find Me, was one of the most highly praised suspense novels of the year. 'A terrific find: a tightly wrapped, expert combination of suspense, mystery and show-stopping character' (Janet Maslin of The New York Times); 'yet another example of the spot-on talents of one of America 's finest writers of mysteries' (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). In Bone by Bone, however, she may have written her most unforgettable novel yet.
In the northern California town of Coventry, two teenage brothers go into the woods one day, but only one comes back. No one knows what happened to the younger brother, Josh, until twenty years later, when the older brother, Oren, now an ex-investigator for the Army CID, returns to Coventry for the first time in many years. His first morning back, he hears a thump on the front porch. Lying in front of the door is a human jawbone, the teeth still intact. And it is not the first such object, his father tells him. Other remains have been left there as well. Josh is coming home… bone by bone.
Using all his investigative skills, Oren sets out to solve the mystery of his brother's murder, but Coventry is a town full of secrets and secret-keepers: the housekeeper with the fugitive past, the deputy with the old grudge, the reclusive ex-cop from L.A., the woman with the title of town monster, and, not least of all, Oren himself. But the greatest secret of all belonged to his brother, and it is only by unraveling it that Oren can begin to discover the truth that has haunted them all for twenty years.
Written with the rich prose, resonant characters, and knife-edge suspense that have won the author so many fans, Bone by Bone is further proof that 'O'Connell is one of the most poetic yet tough-minded writers of the genre' (San Francisco Chronicle).
Carol O'Connell succeeds triumphantly, once again, in creating an intriguing crime scenario and also an engaging group of characters, all damaged in their own different ways, who pursue their destinies in a city that is both darkly dangerous and resilient to disaster. After bringing in a unanimous and very dubious acquittal in a murder case, only three of the original jurors remain alive. And someone, known only as the 'Reaper' because of the signature of a bloody scythe left at the crime scenes, is clearly determined to make a clean sweep of the terrified survivors. Detective Sgt. Riker, although on paid sick leave after a teenage psychopath pumped four bullets into his chest, has a keen but unofficial interest in the case. And his NYPD Special Crimes partner, Kathy Mallory, orphan, sociopath and computer genius, is resolute that there will be no more personal defections in her life, and determined to discover the identity of the killer before he, or she makes a complete mockery of justice.