Plenty of creepy goings-on along Route 66, including missing children and serial killing.
Call her “Mallory.” Just one name. It fits, for blonde, beautiful, brilliant as she is, she’s tight-lipped and tough. All action and results. Sending her ace detective back onto the mean streets, O’Connell (Winter House, 2004, etc.) makes her even more intriguing than in any of the eight previous Mallory novels. From the get-go, she’s on the run. In her own Upper West Side apartment, the police discover a corpse—Savannah Sirus, shot in the heart—and by her side, a cryptic note: “Love is the death of me.” No way Mallory could be the perp—she’s a legendary sleuth, envy of the department. But still, gun freak, control addict, computer whiz and orphan raised up wild in the urban jungle, she’s no Joe Friday, but a truly strange bird. Another corpse turns up, mutilated in the Windy City “with one arm extended, pointing down the road to say: Follow Me.” Mallory hits Route 66 and gets her kicks showing up FBI agents and other bumblers, all the while questing to connect the homicide dots. On the highway, she’s drawn into the wake of a caravan of cars that soon figures into the labyrinthine plot. For they’re a funeral procession of sorts, kinfolk of packs of missing kids. Stopping at roadside eateries, they flash photos of the disappeared and search for clues, and then it’s on the road again, relentlessly seeking. “Relentless” has become synonymous with O’Connell’s series. She gets all the genre stuff right: the cops’ jaded inside jokes, the forensics jargon, the violence. Mainly, though, she’s masterful at revealing the detective mind.
Very smart murder fare complete with a rain-swept mood and psychological heat.