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It Happens in the Dark (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

It Happens in the Dark, the latest Mallory from Carol O’Connell is, like all of her books, more of the same (which is wonderful) and something different (which is terrific). All of the usual suspects are present – Riker, Dr. Slope, Rabbi Kaplin and the hapless, lovelorn Charles Butler, as well as the other Special Crimes detectives who are playing a larger role in each novel.      

What sets this one apart from other others is the structure of a ‘locked-room’ case. The crimes take place within a small Broadway theatre – who slashed the throat of the playwright the second night the play was staged? Was his death somehow connected to the woman who died of a heart attack on opening night? Is the play ever going to be staged all the way through?

The book is filled with the odd characters of the theatre – the stagehands – twins - who are simply weird, the once-famous Hollywood actor with a massive ego making a comeback, the ingenue hoping to make it in NYC, the squirrely gofer who seems to know and understand far more than he should, the overly-theatrical critic in love with his own theatricality. Then there’s the theatre itself, the rickety stairs, catwalks, wonky lighting – and the blackboard that seems to be used by a ghostwriter. Literally.

As with any Mallory, there’s laughs and cringes. We may be seeing a bit further into Mallory as the series goes on, too. While she’s still “Mallory the machine” with the scary green eyes, her past appears to be humanizing her (please don’t tell her I said that!):

“Mallory washed off the blood of a reporter’s split lip, and then she washed her hands again. And again. She would never get clean.

What a hell of a backfire day.

While splashing water on her face, she caught the movement in the glass above the row of sinks. There was no instant recognition of her reflection when she came upon it unawares, an effect of distortion from her early years on the city streets, the residue of every bad thing she had seen or smelled or touched before the age of ten – and what had reached out to touch her. All the mirrors in the world had been cracked in childhood.”

Unhappy note: once upon a time, the publisher promised us signed copies but we’ve finally learned that those were cancelled and there won’t be any. Apologies for promising what we cannot now provide.

Don’t hold that against Carol O’Connell and Mallory! It’s a magnificent series and they’re two of my favorite women.

— JB


The astonishing new Mallory novel from the New York Times-bestselling author and one of the most acclaimed crime writers in America.
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 playwrigh himself, his throat slashed.
Detective Kathy Mallory from the NYPD Special Crimes Unit 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 with her 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.

About the Author

CAROL O CONNELL is the author of eleven Mallory novels, most recently "The Chalk Girl," and two stand-alones. She lives in New York City."

Praise For…

Praise for It Happens in the Dark
“Mallory continues to be an enigmatic and fascinating character . . . [her] closest counterpoint in mystery fiction is Lisbeth Salander.”—Mystery Scene Magazine
“Dazzling.”—Publishers Weekly
“Fans won’t want to miss another solid mystery from O’Connell”—Library Journal
“NYPD Special Crimes Detective Kathy Mallory is one of the most intriguing characters in crime fiction today.”—New York Daily News
Praise for the Kathy Mallory series by Carol O'Connell

The Chalk Girl is an event – any Mallory book is. She is as fine a fictional creation as the crime genre offers.” – Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“Like every mother’s child, every author’s detective is exceptional. But Carol O’Connell takes it way over the top with the mythic scale of her mad-genius New York City cop, Kathy Mallory.” – Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

“O’Connell’s awesome ability to weave a taut, complex plot works with Mallory’s equally awesome detective skills as she unearths each crystalline facet of crimes both past and present.” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A remarkable series. O’Connell delivers shock after shock, held together by exquisitely detailed police and forensic procedure and by the riveting, punishing figure of Mallory herself.” – Booklist (starred review)

“O’Connell offers more than a suspenseful tale; she portrays a complex world of dark and light, corruption and love. Another must-read in a compelling and rich crime series.” – Library Journal (starred review)

“My new favorite in a long line of mysteries by Carol O’Connell that I have greatly admired and enjoyed. Mallory is one of the great characters ever in detective fiction. She’s tall, beautiful, scary smart and…just plain scary. A great read, filled with O’Connell’s command of humor, pathos and drama.” – San Jose Mercury News

“O’Connell’s writing is electric, her plots multilayered, and her cast of characters fascinating.” – Sacramento Bee

“Wow, my vote for the most terrifying and gripping January read. It will chill you to the bone with a plot rising right out of the Brothers Grimm.” – Barbara Peters, Poisoned Pen

“Mallory is one of the most fascinating characters in crime fiction. Before Lisbeth Salander, there was Mallory.” – Joanne Sinchuk, Murder on the Beach

Product Details
ISBN: 9780399165399
ISBN-10: 0399165398
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Publication Date: August 20th, 2013
Pages: 358
Language: English
Series: Mallory Novel