The Prodigal Son (Carmine Delmonico Series #4)

The Prodigal Son (Carmine Delmonico Series #4)

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by Colleen McCullough
     
 

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Carmine Delmonico returns in this heart-pounding thriller from internationally acclaimed bestselling author Colleen McCullough.

HOLLOMAN, CONNECTICUT, 1969. A lethal toxin, extracted from the blowfish, is stolen from a laboratory at Chubb University. It kills within minutes and leaves no trace behind, and worried biochemist Dr. Millie Hunter reports the

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Overview

Carmine Delmonico returns in this heart-pounding thriller from internationally acclaimed bestselling author Colleen McCullough.

HOLLOMAN, CONNECTICUT, 1969. A lethal toxin, extracted from the blowfish, is stolen from a laboratory at Chubb University. It kills within minutes and leaves no trace behind, and worried biochemist Dr. Millie Hunter reports the theft at once to her father, Medical Examiner Dr. Patrick O’Donnell.

Patrick’s cousin Captain Carmine Delmonico is therefore quick off the mark when the bodies start to mount up. A sudden death at a dinner party followed by another at a gala black-tie event seem at first to be linked only by the poison and the presence of Dr. Jim Hunter, a scientist on the brink of greatness and husband to Millie. A black man married to a white woman, Dr. Jim has faced scandal and prejudice for most of his life, so what would cause him to risk it all now? Is he being framed for murder—and if so, by whom? Carmine and his detectives must follow the trail through the university town’s crowd of eccentrics, no matter how close to home it may lead.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the prologue of McCullough’s disappointing fourth novel featuring Capt. Carmine Delmonico of the Holloman, Conn., police department (after 2010’s Naked Cruelty), John Hall, a long-lost heir recently arrived from Oregon, dies from a lethal injection of a stolen toxin at a black-tie family party held on the evening of January 3, 1969. Delmonico, who investigates Hall’s murder and two other grisly poisoning deaths, has a personal interest in the crime—his medical examiner cousin’s daughter was the keeper of the pilfered poison. Suspects include relatives who were slated to lose large amounts of money from Hall’s reappearance as well as ambitious faculty members from the town’s Chubb University. A far-fetched premise, lengthy passages of exposition, unconvincing characters and dialogue, and a lack of attention to accurate period detail will cause the reader to lose interest well before the end. Agent: Michael Carlisle, Inkwell Management. (Nov.)
Booklist
"In her enthusiastic style . . .McCullough delves into small town intrigue with well-defined characters and vivid descriptions. . . . Entertaining."
Mysteryandme.com
“The novel is a rich, tightly-woven tapestry of colorful characters and intriguing plot . . .Stunning, surprising, culturally shocking, The Prodigal Son is traditional McCullough at her best.”
Bookreporter.com
"Just when it seems obvious who the murderer is, the evidence falls apart and it's back to square one. For those who enjoy drawing room stories, with many and varied characters, this will be an enjoyable read."
Samstillreading.com
"Colleen McCullough proves once again that she’s a master of fiction with a wide ranging imagination in this book."
Library Journal
A toxin stolen from the university's lab spells murder for fellow scientists. Capt. Delmonico's team knows that brilliant professors can take diabolical actions. The fourth case for the Connecticut-set police procedural series (after Naked Cruelty).
Kirkus Reviews
Connecticut detective Carmine Delmonico (Naked Cruelty, 2010, etc.) is flummoxed by a string of murders that just might involve his biochemist cousin. While her prospective Nobel laureate husband Jim's been penning A Helical God, the book that could do for DNA what A Brief History of Time did for the cosmos, Chubb University professor Millie Hunter's a little worried. Since tetrodotoxin is really expensive to buy commercially, she's been extracting it herself from blowfish just in case she wants some for her lab. Now, someone seems to have pinched the deadly stuff from the unlocked refrigerator where she kept it. Millie tells her dad, medical examiner Patrick O'Donnell, to be on the lookout for anyone who might have been killed by the rare toxin, which paralyzes its victims within minutes of exposure. And sure enough, at a dinner party hosted by publishing mogul Max Tunbull and his Russian second wife, Davina, Jim and Millie's old friend John Hall, one of the few close friends of the interracial couple, keels over with all the classic tetrodotoxin symptoms. Since John is Max's long-lost son, suspicion initially centers on the Tunbulls. After all, Max's brother Ivan and nephew Val, not to mention the hysterically possessive Davina, mother of Max's infant son, would all stand to lose if John had wanted a share of Max's fortune. But the next to die is Chubb University Press' Head Scholar Thomas Tinkerman, a sanctimonious theologian looking to obstruct the publication of Jim's masterpiece. Now the Hunters are suspects, too. So when he's not dining on the delectables his wife, Desdemona, dishes up as she recovers from postpartum depression, Delmonico has the thankless task of investigating who may have pushed his cousin's research a step too far. The fourth entry in McCullough's cockamamie series takes the do-it-yourself spirit to new and distasteful extremes.
From the Publisher
"In her enthusiastic style . . . McCullough delves into small town intrigue with well-defined characters and vivid descriptions. . . . Entertaining."

“The novel is a rich, tightly-woven tapestry of colorful characters and intriguing plot . . . Stunning, surprising, culturally shocking, The Prodigal Son is traditional McCullough at her best.”

"Just when it seems obvious who the murderer is, the evidence falls apart and it's back to square one. For those who enjoy drawing room stories, with many and varied characters, this will be an enjoyable read."

"Colleen McCullough proves once again that she’s a master of fiction with a wide ranging imagination in this book."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451668759
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
11/06/2012
Series:
Carmine Delmonico Series, #4
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
951,333
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.03(d)

Meet the Author

Colleen McCullough, a native of Australia, established the department of neurophysiology at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney before working as a researcher at Yale Medical School for ten years. She is the bestselling author of numerous novels, including The Thorn Birds, and lives with her husband on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Norfolk Island, 1,000 miles off the Australian coast
Date of Birth:
June 1, 1937
Place of Birth:
Wellington, New South Wales, Australia
Education:
Attended University of Sydney

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