Carol O’Connell books in order
Carol O’Connell is an American author of mystery and thriller books.
She is the New York Times bestselling author of the Kathleen Mallory Series, revolving around protagonist Kathleen Mallory.
O’Connell has also penned two stand-alone novels, namely Judas Child (1998) and Bone By Bone (2008).
Born in New York in 1947, O’Connell tried becoming an artist after graduating from the University of Arizona State with a degree in Fine Arts.
Although she didn't have much luck, choosing to turn to fiction writing proved hugely successful.
O’Connell currently lives in New York City.
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
- The Judas Child (1998)
- Bone by Bone (2008)
- Mallory: A Mysterious Profile (2022)
- Mallory's Oracle (1994)
- The Man Who Cast Two Shadows (1995)
- Killing Critics (1995)
- Stone Angel (1997)
- Shell Game (1999)
- Crime School (2002)
- Dead Famous (2003)
- Winter House (2004)
- Find Me (2006)
- The Chalk Girl (2011)
- It Happens in the Dark (2013)
- Blind Sight (2016)
Detailed book overview
It is three days before Christmas, and two young girls have disappeared from the local academy. This hasn’t happened for fifteen years, since Rouge Kendall’s twin sister was murdered. The killer was found, but now Rouge, twenty-five and a policeman, is forced to wonder: Was he really the one?
Also wondering is a former classmate named Ali Cray, a forensic psychologist with scars of her own. The pattern is the same, she says: a child called out to meet a friend. The friend is the bait, the Judas child, and is quickly killed. But the primary victim lives longer...until Christmas Day.
Rouge doesn’t want to hear this. He’s spent the last fifteen years trying to avoid the memories: drinking alone, lying low, washing out of school and a promising first career. Now he might abandon law enforcement too—but something won’t let him, not yet. A little girl has haunted his dreams all these years—and he has three days finally to put her to rest.
In the northern California town of Coventry, two teenage brothers go into the woods one day, but only one comes back. No one knows what happened to the younger brother, Josh, until twenty years later, when the older brother, Oren, now an ex-investigator for the Army CID, returns to Coventry for the first time in many years. His first morning back, he hears a thump on the front porch. Lying in front of the door is a human jawbone, the teeth still intact. And it is not the first such object, his father tells him. Other remains have been left there as well. Josh is coming home...bone by bone.
Using all his investigative skills, Oren sets out to solve the mystery of his brother's murder, but Coventry is a town full of secrets and secret-keepers: the housekeeper with the fugitive past, the deputy with the old grudge, the reclusive ex-cop from L.A., the woman with the title of town monster, and, not least of all, Oren himself. But the greatest secret of all belonged to his brother, and it is only by unraveling it that Oren can begin to discover the truth that has haunted them all for twenty years.
When the NYPD detective and sociopath known simply as Mallory made her series debut, John Sandford called her “one of the most interesting new characters to come along in years.”
A homeless wild child who was taken in by a New York City cop and grew up to follow in his footsteps, she possesses a skill set—including a talent for computer hacking—that allows her to track down her prey like no one else.
In this insightful essay, author Carol O’Connell shares fascinating insights about her origins, her psychology, and her strikingly different sense of right and wrong.
A web of unsolved murders in New York's Gramercy Park and the singular woman who makes them her obsession.
At its center is Kathleen Mallory, an extraordinary wild child turned New York City policewoman. Adopted off the streets as a little girl by a police inspector and his wife, she is still not altogether civilized now that she is a sergeant in the Special Crimes section. With her ferocious intelligence and green gunslinger eyes, Mallory (never Kathleen, never Kathy) operates by her own inner compass of right and wrong, a sense of justice that drives her in unpredictable ways. She is a thing apart.
And today, she is a thing possessed. Although more at home in the company of computers than in the company of men, Mallory is propelled onto the street when the body of her adoptive father, Louis Markowitz, is found stabbed in a tenement next to the body of a wealthy Gramercy Park woman. The murders are clearly linked to two other Gramercy Park homicides Markowitz had been investigating, and now his cases become Mallory's, his death her cause.
Prowling the streets, sifting through his clues, drawing on his circle of friends and colleagues, she plunges into a netherworld of light and shadow, where people are not what they seem and truth shifts without warning. And a murderer waits who is every bit as wild and unpredictable as she....
Formerly a child of the streets, now a brilliant computer hacker and NYPD sergeant, Kathleen Mallory's powerful intelligence is matched only by the ferocity with which she pursues her own unpredictable vision of right and wrong. And she will need every bit of that intensity now, in a murder case that strikes close to home in more ways than one.
NB: This book is also known as The Man Who Lied to Women.
NYPD sergeant Kathleen Mallory, a wild child turned policewoman, possessed of a ferocious intelligence and a unique inner compass of right and wrong, is about to be sorely tested.
Killing Critics begins with a discreet murder - the almost unnoticed death of a hack artist at a gallery opening - but quickly connects with a much more brutal crime - a twelve-year-old double homicide and dismemberment originally investigated by Mallory's now deceased adoptive father, Louis Markowitz.
A quick confession ended that case, but as Mallory probes into the new murder, the ghosts of the old will not be still. She finds herself traveling in an intricately connected world of envy, greed, and lethal passions: a place where no relationship is what it seems, and the secrets, very deep and very dark indeed, strike closer and closer to home. By the end, she will come to know the truth - but the truth may be the most dangerous illusion of all.
The latest in an evocatively written series featuring free-spirited NYPD sergeant Kathleen Mallory has this odd, intriguing cop taking her act on the road to the rural Louisiana town where she was born. She's trying, at long last, to reach closure in the mysterious death of her mother -- stoned to death by villagers 17 years previous -- and must sift through the creepy, dangerous layers of the past to get answers
NB: This book is also known as Flight of the Stone Angel.
At a sell-out festival of magicians in Manhattan, in front of a live audience and eight million television viewers, a death-defying trick goes tragically wrong. Detective Sergeant Kathy Mallory was convinced that this was murder, and a murder which, mysteriously, might be connected with the death of a woman half a century ago.
'O'Connell gradually performs the magic of a master storyteller, exposing the lonely heart of Mallory and the vengeance of a killer. Strange and mysterious, Mallory's fifth outing takes the reader to places no other crime writer visits. It's a trip worth making' - Val McDermid.
Police Detective Kathleen Mallory recognized the dead call girl. It was someone from her past, a woman who protected her on the streets of New York—and who betrayed her. Mallory also recognized the crime scene: victim hanging, hair in mouth, fire burning. It happened twenty-one years ago, when Mallory was a child. Now—whether it’s the work of a copy-cat killer or a serial murderer—it has happened again.
Kathleen Mallory’s past has finally caught up with her.
At first, NYPD detective Kathleen Mallory thinks the case is simple: a burglar caught in the act and stabbed with an ice pick by a vulnerable homeowner. Except that the dead man was not a burglar, but a hired killer. And the homeowner is the most famous missing child in NYPD history, believed kidnapped more than sixty years ago after the massacre of her entire family...by an ice pick.
As Mallory investigates, an astonishing story emerges, one of murderous greed and family horror, abandonment and loss, revenge and twisted love—and a terrifying secret that has yet to claim its final victim.
A mutilated body is found lying on the ground in Chicago, a dead hand pointing down Adams Street, also known as Route 66, a road of many names. And now of many deaths. A silent caravan of cars, dozens of them, drives down that road, each passenger bearing a photograph, but none of them the same. They are the parents of missing children, some recently disappeared, some gone a decade or more-all brought together by word that childrens' grave sites are being discovered along the Mother Road.
Kathy Mallory drives with them. The child she seeks, though, is not like the others'. It is herself-the feral child adopted off the streets, her father a blank, her mother dead and full of mysteries. During the next few extraordinary days, Mallory will find herself hunting a killer like none she has ever known, and will undergo a series of revelations not only of stunning intensity- but stunning effect.
NB: This book is also known as Shark Music.
The eight-year-old girl appeared in New York’s Central Park one day: red-haired, blue-eyed, dirty-faced, smiling widely. She looked perfect, like a porcelain fairy—except for the blood on her shoulders. It fell from the sky, she told the police. It happened while she was looking for her Uncle Red, who had turned into a tree. Right, they thought, poor child. And then they found the body in the tree.
For Mallory, newly returned to the Special Crimes Unit after three months’ lost time, spent she will not say where, there is something about the girl that she understands. Mallory is damaged, they say, dangerously unstable, but she can tell a kindred spirit when she sees one. And this one will ultimately lead her to a story of extraordinary crimes, to murders stretching back fifteen years, to blackmail and complicity and a particular cruelty that perhaps only someone with Mallory’s history could fully recognize. In the next few weeks, she will deal with them all…in her own way.
The reviews called it "A Play to Die For" after the 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 Kathy Mallory takes over, but no matter what she asks, no one seems to be giving her a straight answer. The only person—if "person" is the right word—who seems to be clear is the ghostwriter. Every night, an unseen backstage hand chalks up line changes and messages on a blackboard. And the ghostwriter is now writing Mallory into the play itself, a play about a long-ago massacre that may not be at all fictional. "MALLORY," the blackboard reads. "TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT. NOTHING PERSONAL."
If Mallory can’t find out who’s responsible, heads will roll. Unfortunately, one of them may be her own.
A blind child and a Catholic nun disappear from a city sidewalk in plain sight of onlookers. There, then gone—vanished in seconds. Those who witnessed the event still cannot believe it happened.
It was all too real. Mallory and the NYPD's Special Crimes Unit enter the investigation when the nun's body is found with three other corpses in varying stages of decomposition left on the lawn of Gracie Mansion, home to the mayor of New York City. Sister Michael was the last to die. The child, Jonah Quill, is still missing.
Like Jonah, the police are blind. Unknown to them, he is with a stone killer, and though he has unexpected resources of his own, his would-be saviors have no suspect, no useful evidence, and no clue—except for Detective Mallory's suspicions of things not said and her penchant for getting to the truth beneath lies. Behind her back, the squad's name for her is Mallory the Machine, yet she has a dark understanding of what it is to be human.
A child is waiting, time is running out, and atop her list of liars is the mayor himself...and a theory of the crimes in which no sane cop could believe.