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Life Without Parole: A Kate Conway Mystery

Life Without Parole: A Kate Conway Mystery

4.6 5
by Clare O'Donohue

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Missing Persons will have readers eagerly waiting for show time on Kate’s next case.” —Richmond Times-DispatchAfter the death of her ex-husband, things are finally returning to normal for Kate Conway—so normal that she’s gotten a little bored. Out of the blue, the television producer is offered a documentary gig about


Missing Persons will have readers eagerly waiting for show time on Kate’s next case.” —Richmond Times-DispatchAfter the death of her ex-husband, things are finally returning to normal for Kate Conway—so normal that she’s gotten a little bored. Out of the blue, the television producer is offered a documentary gig about lifers in a state prison. Kate jumps at the chance. The only problem is that she’s also just been asked to produce a reality show about the opening of a new restaurant—one backed by Vera, her dead husband’s mistress. Reluctantly, she agrees to both.

But when one of the restaurant’s investors is murdered and Vera is the chief suspect, Kate must ride a treacherous psychological edge, relying on the minds of death row killers to help her solve the case.

Praise for Clare O’Donohue’s Missing Persons:

“Fascinating characters, multi-faceted story lines, and plenty of action.” —Midwest Book Review

“A series worth collecting.” —Suspense magazine

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Two reality shows preoccupy Kate Conway in O’Donohue’s outstanding second mystery featuring the freelance Chicago TV producer (after 2011’s Missing Persons). When Kate signs on to Opening Night, a show about a new restaurant, she discovers that Vera Bingham, her late husband’s mistress, has brought her on board the show. Kate, despite her resentment and generally crusty nature, takes a liking to the charmingly friendly Vera. For a second show, Life Without Parole, a documentary about convicts who will die in prison, Kate interviews two very different men: Brick Tyler, an unapologetically tough murderer; and Tim Campbell, who seems sweet—maybe too sweet. Kate’s crew, cameraman Andres Pena and sound man Victor Pilot, work with Kate on both shows and provide a somewhat dysfunctional family dynamic. When one of the investors in the restaurant is murdered, suspicion falls at first on Vera. The convicted murderers supply Kate with some surprising clues. Agent: Sharon Bowers, the Miller Agency. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
A TV producer, bored with the shows she's been doing, has no idea that her two new entries will provide her with a walk on the wild side. Independent producer Kate Conway is still struggling with the death of the husband who'd left her for another woman. Her cameraman Andres and her sound man Victor, concerned with her lack of interest in any relationships, offer little help because they're too busy working on two new documentaries: one about lifers in a nearby prison, the other on a group of investors opening a new restaurant. One of the lifers is a stoic who's accepted his fate; another is a charmer who insists he's innocent and tries to enlist Kate to help. The investor who proposed Kate for the restaurant job is Vera, the mistress of Kate's husband, a guileless, wealthy woman who wants to befriend the producer. She's invested at the behest of her new boyfriend, a man Kate instantly suspects is only after Vera's money. The other investors include an entrepreneur with a dangerous past and an ambitious wife, a front-of-house man with outlandish ideas and a driven chief eager for a new opportunity. When one of them is murdered, Vera, who finds the body, tops the suspect list. Between them, she and Kate tell the police enough lies to get them into deep trouble unless Kate can solve the crime. Kate can only hope that her prison interviews give her some insight into the mind of a murderer. This sophomore outing for clever Kate (Missing Persons, 2011) works several intriguing twists into its two interconnected mysteries.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
A Kate Conway Mystery Series
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

CLARE O'DONOHUE is a freelance television writer and producer as well as the author of the Someday Quilts mystery series. She lives outside Chicago, Illinois.

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Life Without Parole 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
judiOH More than 1 year ago
this author writes cozy mysteries about quilters. this is not a cozy, but it is a mystery. it is a bit darker and edgier than the cozies, but not overdone in that area. kate conway is a free-lance producer. she takes on the job of interviewing inmates doing life without parole, thus the name of the story. at the same time she is doing a story on a new restaurant from the construction to the opening. one of the investors is murdered. this story follows two different venues and yet they intertwined and is an excellent read. had a hard time putting it down. no way will you figure the ending....guaranteed! do not miss it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great series. Start with Missing Persons, for sure, but this one is even better than the first. I hear there's a third in the works. Can't stand how long it will be before I get to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
We first met Kate Conway, free lance television producer in Missing Persons, her soon to be ex-husband was killed and she was the prime suspect. Of course, she didn't do it. In Life Without Parole Kate is actually a little bored as her life returns to "normal". Then she is offered two new jobs. One is a documentary about prison inmates sentenced to life without parole and the other is a reality show about a new restaurant. She accepts both jobs and works out a schedule. Things go awry when one of the investor's in the restaurants is murdered. Then become even poor intense as she digs deeper in to the minds of the prisoners. Can what she learns from these death row killers help her solve the murder mystery? Dollycas's Thoughts I adore the way Clare O'Donohue writes. These stories are of the edge of your seat variety, face paced, exciting and can't put down. Kate Conway knows her job and she does it well. She gets in the heads of both the investors and the prisoners. There are a lot of mind games happening here giving this story some unexpected psychological elements. Clare O'Donohue is writing what she knows as she has worked in television. Her experience helps draw some awesome characters and plausible plots. The dialogue rings true as do the relationships, even the most unlikely friendship between Kate and Vera. In my review of Missing Persons I said I felt like I was watching a television drama and almost forgot I was reading a book. The same is true in this installment. Kate Conway continues to develop at a perfect pace. With her chosen profession the material for future stories is endless. That makes this reader very happy.
BookSakeBlogspot More than 1 year ago
Life Without Parole was only okay for me. The book was well-written with interesting characters, but I didn’t quite understand the main character’s actions at times. I realized later that this book is part of a series and I haven’t read the first one, Missing Persons. I would suggest reading that first to get some background on Kate, the split from her husband and the circumstances surrounding it. I had a tough time understanding the relationship between Kate and Vera (her ex-husband’s mistress). I kept asking myself how anyone could protect a woman who ruined your marriage, even if it’s the right thing to do. I just felt like there needed to be more background on that. Otherwise, I really liked the bits about the prisoners and how Kate utilizes their knowledge to help solve her own case and prove Vera’s innocence. I thought it connected the two stories really well. Aside from needing to read the first book in the series, my only complaint is that I didn’t think there were enough twists and hardly any that surprised me. I obviously would recommend reading the first book in series before attempting to read this book. There are some very complex emotions going on in this book that I think reading the first book would sort out a little better. 3 stars for Life Without Parole. Reviewed by Brittany for Book Sake.