Friday, November 19, 2004

Winter House

It was an amazing thing--I stopped by the department this afternoon and in my mailbox found Carol O'Connell's Winter House, the latest Mallory novel (a loan from my friend MM). This was about the only thing that would stop me from going home and unwisely going to sleep mid-afternoon, thereby disrupting another night of sleep. It was very good--better, I think, than the last couple--and there is something lovely and retro about having an ice-pick killer. I'm always on the fence about O'Connell--by far her best book was the stand-alone Judas Child--but the Mallory books never quite live up to my expectations. There's something too surreal and stylized about them, and also O'Connell's too taken with her characters and their little non-family closeness. (They're really so much better than Martha Grimes's books that it's unfair to O'Connell to compare them, but I have a similar sense of writers over-invested in their relationship with a set of characters that don't necessarily manage to evoke the same warmth and interest from the reader.) However, this one's well worth reading.

I must read a few more novels this weekend to regain my novel-reading equilibrium, I've been rather starved this last few weeks through working too hard.

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