Wednesday, November 30, 2011

An Intersection of Nightmare and Reality

Rats - vermin with a crazed blood lust race through Central Park. An elderly woman, leading a group of campers, suffers a stroke and is eaten. A little girl full of rat trivia witnesses the rat assault, and another more deadly attack. Rats fall from the trees sated with the blood of three people strung up in bags in the Ramble in Central Park. The opening has all the aspects of a nightmare. Reality intervenes in the police investigation of the murder and near murder of the three people.

Mallory and her partner Riker are charged with the identification of the victims and in the process discover the intersection of fifteen year old crimes in the Ramble with the new victims. It's payback time.

The intricate plot keeps the reader moving through the investigation. The bonus is the imagery; rats turn up throughout the narrative keeping alive the idea of monsters. The psychology of the investigators and the criminals also intersects; who is crazy?

This book is not for squeamish readers, but it has many rewards. The proliferation of characters are well drawn, and the subplot of their place in Mallory's background is used perceptively. I enjoyed the book although the images often verged on nightmarish fantasy. Carol O'Connor is a master of her craft. This is a book well-worth reading.

I reviewed this book as part of the Amazon Vine Program.