Shell Game

Shell Game

Book - 1999
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From the very first, Carol O'Connell's novels have won extraordinary praise. "O'Connell has raised the standard for psychological thrillers over the last four years," said the Chicago Tribune, and Booklist stated bluntly of Judas Child, "Few readers will be able to resist the charms of her lyrical prose, and anyone unmoved by the soul-shattering climax should give up reading fiction altogether."In Shell Game, she raises the standard once again. It is fall in New York City. The recreation of a legendary magic trick goes horribly awry on live television--a terrible accident, everyone agrees. But two people know it is not. One is an aged magician in a private hospital in the northern corner of New York state. What a worthy performance, he thinks, murdering a man while a million people watch.The other is Kathleen Mallory. Once a feral child, loose on the city streets, she is now a New York City policewoman, and not much changed--a tall young woman with green gunslinger eyes and a ferocious inner compass of right and wrong. For her, the death is too dramatic, too showy, and she is convinced that it will happen again--this perp loves spectacle. But even she cannot predict the spectacular chain of events that has already been set in motion, or the profoundly disturbing consequences it will have for those she holds most dear. For misdirection is the heart of magic. The lady never really gets sawed in half, does she?So why is there so much blood?Filled with the rich prose, resonant characters and knife-edge suspense that have won her so many admirers, Shell Game is Carol O'Connell's most remarkable novel yet.
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, c1999
ISBN: 9780399144950
0399144951
Characteristics: 374 p

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SFanGirl
Oct 16, 2017

Catching up on the Mallory series. This one was missing something - I felt that Mallory wasn't behaving true to her character, and that threw me off. In the end, an interesting and twisted plot, but so much detail on magic that I felt it threatened to overwhelm the suspense.

e
emerge
Apr 12, 2012

I usually enjoy the Mallory books but I think you have to be a bigger fan of magic than I am to truly enjoy this one. The details of the equipment & sets used are exhaustive & lengthy, so much so I think I could now build one myself now. As usual, there are many psychological aspects to the plot but just as you start to get wrapped up in the police procedural, there are another 4 pages describing how a trick was done. An interesting idea for a murder mystery but could benefit from a little editing.

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