It Happens in the Dark

( 17 )

Overview

The reviews called it “A Play to Die For” after a woman was found dead in the front row. It didn’t seem so funny the next night when another body was found—this time the playwright himself, his throat slashed. Detective Kathy Mallory of the NYPD Special Crimes Unit takes over, but isn’t getting a straight answer from anyone. Not the lead actor, a movie star fallen on hard luck; not the lead actress, a nervous sort with a dependence on pharmaceuticals; not even the wardrobe mistress, working under an alias; and ...

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It Happens in the Dark

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Overview

The reviews called it “A Play to Die For” after a woman was found dead in the front row. It didn’t seem so funny the next night when another body was found—this time the playwright himself, his throat slashed. Detective Kathy Mallory of the NYPD Special Crimes Unit takes over, but isn’t getting a straight answer from anyone. Not the lead actor, a movie star fallen on hard luck; not the lead actress, a nervous sort with a dependence on pharmaceuticals; not even the wardrobe mistress, working under an alias; and certainly not the twin actors so unnervingly convincing playing psychos.

Now, backstage, someone has left Mallory a message on the blackboard: Tonight’s the night. Nothing personal. It appears that she is being written into the play itself, a play about a long-ago massacre that may not be fictional after all.

If Mallory can find out who’s responsible, heads will roll. Unfortunately, one of them might be her own.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
M is for Mallory—Kathy Mallory, bestseller O’Connell’s powerful and powerfully flawed New York Special Crimes Unit detective. M is also for morbid, macabre, and mordant—adjectives that can be applied to the plot, the prose, and the humor of this dazzling 11th novel in the series (after 2012’s The Chalk Girl). An audience death on opening night stops Peter Beck’s play The Brass Bed, based on the slaughter of a Nebraska family, as does the discovery of Beck’s bloody corpse in a front-row seat the next night. Add to the strange mix of cast members a mysterious ghostwriter working on the script who leaves taunting messages for Mallory. Mallory makes startling deductions; manipulates witnesses, suspects, and colleagues unsparingly; humiliates a brash official who tries to grab her case; and draws the smalltown sheriff who investigated the actual slayings to Manhattan. Her bravura performance wreaks justice both inside and outside the legal system. Author tour. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Broadway's hottest ticket is a killer show—literally. When a woman dies of fright on opening night, the crowds flock in, but the next deaths are rather more deliberate. Enter Kathy Mallory, NYC's scariest detective, a borderline psychopath with little compassion but her own sense of justice, who was last seen in The Chalk Girl. She has no patience with the obfuscations and histrionics of the theater company. No one is telling the truth, but just how many crimes are they covering up? The play, which has uncanny ties to an actual murder, is being rewritten nightly by an unknown hand—and the ghostwriter is now targeting Mallory. Like all the Mallory novels, this one is a solid police procedural with a twisty plot, and Mallory is a fascinating, rich character. Adding to the fun is a turf war between cops and the portrayal of the Big Apple as gritty, dangerous, and corrupt instead of the sanitized Bloomberg version. VERDICT This may not be the easiest entry point for readers new to Mallory's dark world, but fans won't want to miss another solid mystery from O'Connell.—Devon Thomas, Chelsea, MI
Kirkus Reviews
The latest novel in the Detective Kathy Mallory series. On opening night of a Broadway play, a woman dies from a heart attack in a front-row seat. On the second night, a man's throat is cut--again, in the front row. "Oh, crap. Not again," moans a thespian. But the publicity is great--"a play to die for," crows the press. NYC detectives Mallory and Riker investigate, and they discover a full cast of strange people backstage--coke users, an actor with multiple personalities and a mysterious ghostwriter changing every line of the play. Because of the deaths, the play doesn't get past Act 1 for the first several performances. As for the novel itself, it's mainly a vehicle for showing off Mallory's odd personality. Sure, she'll get to the bottom of the violence, as all fictional detectives do. What makes her distinctive is the way she gets under the skin of friends and enemies alike--oh, wait, it's not so clear she has friends. She is consistently smarter than everyone else and routinely shows people up. OK, she went to a police academy, not charm school, and she's damned good at her job. This is a well-constructed mystery featuring an occasionally annoying heroine--at least one character would love to knock her head off with a baseball bat, while some readers may wish she would make some arrests and get it over with, already. The dialogue is clever, and the scenes are well-done, but somewhere in the middle, the story starts to drags. Pacing isn't paramount, and it's more important to showcase Mallory's talent for outsmarting people. Mallory fans won't be disappointed in her latest adventure, even though sections of the book could have been tighter.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425270875
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/5/2014
  • Series: A Mallory Novel Series , #13
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 106,618
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol O’Connell is the New York Times bestselling author of twelve previous books, ten featuring Kathy Mallory, most recently The Chalk Girl, and the stand-alones Bone by Bone and The Judas Child. She lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2013

    Where, oh where, has the exciting Mallory gone? This book lacks

    Where, oh where, has the exciting Mallory gone? This book lacks the spark that usually compels me to stay up til dawn to finish off a Mallory book. The plot is complex, with lots of false leads and interesting characters. But there is limited interaction between Mallory and Charles and much too much civility all around. I don't want a human Mallory, I want Superwoman.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2014

    Mallory

    I've read every book. Most of them more than twice. Mallory is my most favorite Cop. I also like Bone by Bone hope for another about that quirky place.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014

    A good read, but....

    Not what I expected. I thought perhaps he would mention his greatest character Archie Bunker...........but he didn't. Very different from "All In The Family".

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2014

    I love it and going to read again

    I have read all Carol books and love every one of them.I hope she write some more of them. They keep you on the edge of your seat.Lim Ferguson

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    I Highly recommend this new book by Carol O'Connell.

    Detective Mallory is a very strong character and I have read all of Carol O'Connell's books with this protagonist in them. They are great reads and I hope they continue.

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  • Posted October 4, 2013

    Not very good

    I've read most of this authors books, and all were good but just could not get into this one.

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  • Posted October 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    meh

    not my favorite Mallory .. its becoming a bit formulamatic ... sorry to say

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  • Posted September 25, 2013

    This is the eleventh book in the Kathy Mallory series, but my fi

    This is the eleventh book in the Kathy Mallory series, but my first time reading about Detective Mallory.  It definitely wet my whistle to read more, finding out how Mallory, and all those who love this tough, intelligent, very scary, and beautiful woman, survived through the earlier books.  Mallory---never get caught trying to call her Kathy---has the skills and delving mind that seems to catch every minute detail, as nothing gets past her discovery of facts. She seems to "use" so many people in her competitive spirit to be right in all things, but those that have watched her grow-up are almost pathologically protective of her. Definitely a different and compelling new figure for me.




    In this mystery, a play has been stopped after the first act because of the death of a audience member.  The second night, the same thing happens when the playwright has apparently been murdered at the same spot in the play.  Rather than scare the public, there is now a great demand to see this rather mediocre play.  As more bodies show up, there is also a ghostwriter writing messages on the backstage blackboard, petrifying the female lead.  Drugs, an earlier far away massacre, mental illness, and complete narcissism play big parts in this drama on and off stage.




    Character seems to push this plot almost more than mystery.  Self involvement was center for both the bad guys and the good guys.  Now, I'm determined to return to the beginning of this series and learn all about Mallory and her cast of protectors and haters----both within the police department and within the cast of suspects who come into "Mallory's World".

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  • Posted September 20, 2013

    Mallory novels are special. O'Connell is a writer of unusual ski

    Mallory novels are special. O'Connell is a writer of unusual skill who uses postmodern technique in a very modern crime series. At times a new chapter begins and the reader is lost for a page or two but O'Connell always manages to steady the reader with explanation. I love this style because it gives the sense of looking in on the action rather than being inside the action. Yes it makes the reader work a bit, but isn't that a characteristic of good novels? This one is especially interesting to theatre people as it takes place during the run of a play. Lot's of backstage happenings are spot on. I will admit this is not the Mallory novel to start with as it is not quite up to the very high standard O'Connell has set for herself in this series or the stand alines. But for a Mallory fan, it is not to be missed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2013

    this is one of the worst books I have read recently. I loved th

    this is one of the worst books I have read recently. I loved the Mallory character and this books plot was so boring I had to force myself to finish it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2013

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    Posted September 7, 2014

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    Posted October 28, 2013

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    Posted September 20, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2013

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    Posted September 17, 2013

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