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It happens in the dark…

November 1, 2013

Carol [O’Connell] is one of my all-time favourite authors, so I feel we can be on a first-name basis. Some say the crime genre is quite formulaic, but Carol is not. “It happens in the dark” begins with the review of an off-Broadway Play calling 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’s, his throat slashed. Detective Mallory arrives on it happens in darkthe scene, and this modern take on a whodunit takes off.

The crimes in this book remain fascinating, as do the inner machinations of the main characters, providing interesting commentary into the many variances of human nature. But unfortunately overfamiliarity breeds contempt, as the old saying goes and, unfortunately for Mallory, the ice cold detective, it is true.

Carol’s previous books have developed Mallory’s character, inch by tantalising inch, revealing a scary, compelling, and complex character. But now the lead character’s quirks have simply become repetitive, which makes it a bit of a yawn for readers of all 11 books in the Kathleen Mallory series.

Still highly recommended, but I also suggest people read the author’s back catalogue. Just 4 out of 5 stars, where her other books are at least a 4.5.

Tamara Jones

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