Summary and book reviews of Dead Famous by Carol O'Connell

Dead Famous

A Kathleen Mallory Thriller

by Carol O'Connell

Dead Famous
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2003, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2004, 336 pages

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Book Summary

An FBI agent is killed and the jurors from a controversial trial are murdered one by one. The only connections between the two are a flamboyant shock-jock and a woman whose job is to clean up crime scenes.

Night had fallen, and the woman looked down at the crumpled letter, as if, in absolute darkness, she could read the postscript: Only a monster can play this game.

In Chicago, an FBI agent is killed in a psychiatrist's waiting room. In New York, the jurors from a controversial trial are murdered one by one. The only connections between the two: a flamboyant shock-jock, whose on-air comments seem to be taking him dangerously close to the edge, and a woman, her body misshapen since childhood, whose job it is to clean up crime scenes--and maybe to create them as well. This is a federal case, and Mallory's been told that the FBI wants no part of her. But she knows something nobody else does--and, besides, when has she ever cared what anybody else wanted?

PROLOGUE

JOHANNA COULD HEAR CAT'S PAWS MADLY THUDDING on the bathroom door, and the animal was crying in a human way--so frightened. Or was he merely hungry? She had fed the poor beast, but how long ago? No matter. The cat's cries receded, as though her front room had decamped from the hotel suite, floating up and away with utter disregard for gravity.

And time? What was that to her?

The whole day long, Johanna had not moved from her perch at the edge of a wooden chair. She sat there, wrapped in a bathrobe, as the sun moved behind the window glass, as shadows crawled about the room with a slow progress that only a paranoid eye could follow. One of the shadows belonged to herself, and the dark silhouette of her body was dragged across the wallpaper, inch by inch, extending her deformity to a cruel extreme.

Inside her brain was the refrain of a rock 'n' roll song from another era. "Gimme shelter," the Rolling Stones sang to her, and she resisted this ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Booklist - Connie Fletcher

This disappointing, far-fetched addition to an innovative series is for devoted Mallory fans only.

Publishers Weekly

O'Connell's post-feminist detective Kathleen Mallory returns full-throttle for an eighth grisly urban crime saga...O'Connell sets the standard in crime fiction.

Library Journal - Leslie Madden

Fast-paced and complex, this novel offers a twist ending that readers won't see coming.

Kirkus Reviews

Memorable characters and blazingly original prose. Once again, O'Connell transcends the genre.

Reader Reviews

Leslie Nation


I am 14, and I enjoyed this book because it was such a thriller, suspenceful, and made you wonder what would happen next to Detective Kathleen Mallory. A good book I enjoyed.

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