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Night Work

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Kate and her partner, Al Hawkin, are called to a scene of carefully executed murder: the victim is a muscular man, handcuffed and strangled, a stun gun's faint burn on his chest and candy in his pocket. The likeliest person to want him dead, his often-abused wife, is meek and frail—and has an airtight alibi. Kate and Al are stumped, until a second body turns up—also zapped Kate and her partner, Al Hawkin, are called to a scene of carefully executed murder: the victim is a muscular man, handcuffed and strangled, a stun gun's faint burn on his chest and candy in his pocket. The likeliest person to want him dead, his often-abused wife, is meek and frail—and has an airtight alibi. Kate and Al are stumped, until a second body turns up—also zapped, cuffed, and strangled...and carrying a candy bar. This victim: a convicted rapist. As newspaper headlines speculate about vendetta killings, a third death draws Kate and Al into a network of pitiless destruction that reaches far beyond San Francisco, a modern-style hit list with shudderingly primal roots.


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Kate and her partner, Al Hawkin, are called to a scene of carefully executed murder: the victim is a muscular man, handcuffed and strangled, a stun gun's faint burn on his chest and candy in his pocket. The likeliest person to want him dead, his often-abused wife, is meek and frail—and has an airtight alibi. Kate and Al are stumped, until a second body turns up—also zapped Kate and her partner, Al Hawkin, are called to a scene of carefully executed murder: the victim is a muscular man, handcuffed and strangled, a stun gun's faint burn on his chest and candy in his pocket. The likeliest person to want him dead, his often-abused wife, is meek and frail—and has an airtight alibi. Kate and Al are stumped, until a second body turns up—also zapped, cuffed, and strangled...and carrying a candy bar. This victim: a convicted rapist. As newspaper headlines speculate about vendetta killings, a third death draws Kate and Al into a network of pitiless destruction that reaches far beyond San Francisco, a modern-style hit list with shudderingly primal roots.

30 review for Night Work

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jhosy

    Wow, this was an AMAZING book! Finally I can sit down and say that I found a mystery/ police investigation in lesbian literature that has the perfect balance (character's personal life,the crime investigation, mystery and suspense that accompanies the case as well as other elements of professional life). Either I've been reading the wrong mystery books in the lesbian literature or a book as well balanced as this one is rare within the genre. But anyway ... The book is over and I said I would not re Wow, this was an AMAZING book! Finally I can sit down and say that I found a mystery/ police investigation in lesbian literature that has the perfect balance (character's personal life,the crime investigation, mystery and suspense that accompanies the case as well as other elements of professional life). Either I've been reading the wrong mystery books in the lesbian literature or a book as well balanced as this one is rare within the genre. But anyway ... The book is over and I said I would not read the next one because I'm not a Sherlock fan ... BUT I'll have to read it. I can't get enough of Kate Martinelli!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carl R.

    I was steered to Night Work--or actually its author--by a remark I read in Jon Carroll’s column in the San Francisco Chronicle. He spoke as if Laurie R. King were a household word in the mystery world, yet I’d never heard of her. Judging by the number of awards she’s won, the fault is mine. I’m glad to make her acquaintance. I speculate that one of the elements of her and her work that first got Mr. Carroll interested is that the major players in the life of Kate Martinelli, Night Work’s chief I was steered to Night Work--or actually its author--by a remark I read in Jon Carroll’s column in the San Francisco Chronicle. He spoke as if Laurie R. King were a household word in the mystery world, yet I’d never heard of her. Judging by the number of awards she’s won, the fault is mine. I’m glad to make her acquaintance. I speculate that one of the elements of her and her work that first got Mr. Carroll interested is that the major players in the life of Kate Martinelli, Night Work’s chief detective, are gay and lesbian. There’s a certain amount of that kind of thing going on in my family, I’m proud to say, and I know of kindred circumstances in Mr. Carroll’s family. All of w hich may seem like an aside, except that I believe it is germane to the novel’s flaws and virtues. First the flaws. King engages in a great deal of polemic and is guilty of showing off her scholarship to the detriment of the book’s pace. There’s a lot of exploration of the relationship between Yaweh and earlier goddesses, principally the Indian Kali and the Mesopotamian Ishtar. There’s an exhaustive description of a dance drama drawn from the Song Of Solomon. All well and good, since the plot concerns (believably) women in vigilante action against abusive men. But the point gets made. And made. And made again. She would have been better off to let the research sit and stick more closely to the story’s through line. And the virtues. Kate Martinelli is a savvy San Francisco police detective totally absorbed in her work, totally in love with her partner, totally true to the law even when it endangers her friends and lovers. King gives her an admirable partner, a family man who both endures and supports her unorthodox methods. It’s worth noting that each of the central characters is or has been wounded in some way. Martinelli’s partner, Lee, by a bullet (in an earlier work, I gather); her close friend, Roz’s, partner by an abusive man; her partner’s stepdaughter by a kidnapping; Kate herself by a lead pipe, an injury that still gives her headaches. Even Roz, the powerful media manipulator priest, ends this book deeply burned. Each of these characters fights her injury in her own way, ways not always admirable or just. And this aspect of the book deepens the reader’s experience and carries it beyond the realm of pure crime fiction. The relevance to my family and Mr. Carroll’s? We don’t spend a lot of time talking about gayness. We talk about love and the difficulties of life, and sometimes we get involved in matters like prop. 8. But mostly we get talk about children and jobs and the economy and all the rest. We don’t run around sermonizing. It just doesn’t enhance relationships much. And Ms. King’s preaching doesn’t enhance her relationship with me much. Although I’d wish for less preaching about man’s inhumanity to women, I credit King with balancing things out where it matters--in the action. The most horrible crime in the series of killings in Night Work is committed by a man against a woman. A girl, really. However, the vigilante killings almost allow him to get away with it. And righteous and justified as the murders sometimes seem at the moment, they are in the end self-defeating and even lead to crimes against other women. As I write, the whole work seems more complex than it did when I began, and my admiration for Ms. King has grown over the last half hour. I admit to skipping big hunks of the narrative for reasons I’ve already outlined. However, the 90% of the book I read closely paid big dividends. And I have a new author to admire now.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I think I'm having another bad run of "Library Book Sale" books. I didn't even fully read this book - which is a rarity for me - began skimming after the first 100 or so pages. The book was very preachy, and, although it touched on some important feminist issues, it is misandrist, which takes away from the educational aspects. There are only two major male characters, and they are barely one-dimensional. One is written as a stereotypical, hysterical gay man (which I find offensive), and one (the m I think I'm having another bad run of "Library Book Sale" books. I didn't even fully read this book - which is a rarity for me - began skimming after the first 100 or so pages. The book was very preachy, and, although it touched on some important feminist issues, it is misandrist, which takes away from the educational aspects. There are only two major male characters, and they are barely one-dimensional. One is written as a stereotypical, hysterical gay man (which I find offensive), and one (the main character's police partner) isn't written about enough to matter. All the other male characters are violent murderers, rapists, wife-beaters or molesters. Or a combo. ALL OF THEM. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Not a sympathetic male character in the lot. And no explanation is given as to what caused the men to become monsters. Oh, except for the one man who was violent because he was retarded. [I had so many problems with this book - don't get me started on the negative, false stereotype that "retards" are violent. Wow, I hate this book.] Most of the female characters are the murdered, raped, beaten or molested women. The female characters who are not down-trodden are criminals themselves, but their criminal activity is excused (even made light of) because they were sticking up for the afore-mentioned victims. [Notice that we are given excuses for the WOMEN to be criminals (it's all because of penises!), but not given any background - sympathetic or otherwise - on the MEN who are criminals. A little bit one-sided, eh? I got the hint: men are evil, and there can be no justification for their behaviour. Note as well that I am certainly not excusing murderers, rapits, spouse-beaters or molesters - OF EITHER GENDER. I am just making a point about the book's biases.] The author is seeming to say that it's OK for women to be violent murderers bent on revenge, since it was the behavior of males that sparked the need for revenge. And it's not "direct" revenge - the avenging women have not been personally hurt by the men they murder, just second- or third- hand witnesses. Isn't this, in essence, saying that a woman's actions can never be her own, but are always shaped by a man? Please. How on earth is this a feminist view? It is OK for women to kill if a man "made" them do it? Isn't this giving men just a little bit too much control over women? The thing that really, really got me about this book is that many of the lead characters are lesbians, and touted as being feminist. First of all, I do not like the implication (and it is only implied, not stated) of the book that the women are lesbians because men are "bad". I am fairly sure the author is a lesbian, and this view is totally ANTI-LESBIAN! I also don't like the implication (again, it isn't stated) that lesbian = feminist. Um, what? What on earth does your sexual orientation have to do with whether you are a feminist or not? There aren't lesbians out there who want one partner to stay at home, wash dishes, cook, take care of the kids and provide sex on demand? You can only be a feminist if you reject men? Hetero women can't be feminists? Men can't be feminists? WTF? I will say one good thing about this book. It got me emotionally involved, in the sense that everything about it angered me. I could have cared less about the characters and the plot, I was so blinded by rage. Perhaps the point of the book was "watch out men - you will reap what you sow!", but this point was far over-shadowed by the message "all men are violent cretins who should be castrated".

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kati

    A co-worker gave me this book because she thought I might like it. It is a brain candy kind of book... not a ton of literary value. And the cover is garish. In addition, it "tackles" issues of violence against women but nowhere in the book is a good analysis of violence against women represented. For instance, the main character mentions that she thinks women just keep going back to their abusive husbands because they had bad childhoods that took away all their self-esteem. This is an opinion th A co-worker gave me this book because she thought I might like it. It is a brain candy kind of book... not a ton of literary value. And the cover is garish. In addition, it "tackles" issues of violence against women but nowhere in the book is a good analysis of violence against women represented. For instance, the main character mentions that she thinks women just keep going back to their abusive husbands because they had bad childhoods that took away all their self-esteem. This is an opinion that many people have, so it is a believable opinion for a character in a book, but it is represents an overly-simplistic analysis of wife abuse and is often not the case. And no one really provides a counter-viewpoint in the book. Which basically annoys me because the book is sort of acting like it wants to make us think about many different forms of violence against women and not just read a good story, but then fails to actually represent a feminist analysis of violence against women but instead perpetrates some worn-out myths. Okay, setting all that aside, it was a fun read. It was plenty engaging and there was minister in the book who was doing research and writing about attributes of ancient goddesses that became part of the description of God in the Hebrew Bible, which was all very interesting. It was a great weekend read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    I listened to this on audiobook. I was hoping for a mystery that would make the miles fly by as I drove. However, the additional detail about Kate Martinelli's life and the lives of her friends was ponderous, and made the book less of a mystery and more of an attempt at a novel. Adding quotes from a goddess, "Kali," also did not add any weight to the subject, and just made it seem, to me, pretentious. Few mysteries can become novels; this is not one of them. Also, I'm a stickler for credibility - I listened to this on audiobook. I was hoping for a mystery that would make the miles fly by as I drove. However, the additional detail about Kate Martinelli's life and the lives of her friends was ponderous, and made the book less of a mystery and more of an attempt at a novel. Adding quotes from a goddess, "Kali," also did not add any weight to the subject, and just made it seem, to me, pretentious. Few mysteries can become novels; this is not one of them. Also, I'm a stickler for credibility - if something doesn't seem credible, that really throws me off. I found many of the details in-credible (un-credible?), such as the rage of one character being portrayed as so intense that her staff members were literally cowering and afraid to move. Please. It's probably easier to read this vs. listen to it, because then you could skim over the parts you don't care about. But then, why bother reading something if you have to skim a significant part of it? I'm learning that audiobooks need to be faster paced to avoid frustration. I never finished this one, and I don't really care who did it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Roz

    Of the Laurie R. King books I have looked at on Goodreads, this one appears to have the lowest rating. I went into this book knowing that, although having nothing to compare the least favoured book to, I did not know what that would mean. It turns out that I quite enjoyed this. There were some obvious setups and red herrings - which means that they have failed as being red herrings, but the story kept me going. I liked the moral conflict that was presented in this, and found myself sympathising Of the Laurie R. King books I have looked at on Goodreads, this one appears to have the lowest rating. I went into this book knowing that, although having nothing to compare the least favoured book to, I did not know what that would mean. It turns out that I quite enjoyed this. There were some obvious setups and red herrings - which means that they have failed as being red herrings, but the story kept me going. I liked the moral conflict that was presented in this, and found myself sympathising with the 'bad guys'. As a book to begin reading this series, there were some things that had me confused. Kate's living arrangements and partner had me a bit confused in the beginning. I would also be curious to know whether the supporting characters in this book feature in the earlier one's as well - but time will tell if I ever manage to find more of them around here or not. I am definitely interested in reading the other books in this series. If this is what is considered the poorest, then the rest have to be rather amazing.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Melisa

    Well done! One of the best Martinelli so far.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    This is the fourth book in the Martinelli series and I have read them in order. I have enjoyed the other books but this one, I feel, got hung up in the Hindi Gods particularly Kali the female avenger god. The books main theme was about battered women. I feel that King missed a great opportunity to go more in depth on the subject and use the book to educate men and women on the complicated problem. Instead, she went into discussions about the Hindi God Kali and some other female Gods. The charact This is the fourth book in the Martinelli series and I have read them in order. I have enjoyed the other books but this one, I feel, got hung up in the Hindi Gods particularly Kali the female avenger god. The books main theme was about battered women. I feel that King missed a great opportunity to go more in depth on the subject and use the book to educate men and women on the complicated problem. Instead, she went into discussions about the Hindi God Kali and some other female Gods. The characters have almost become people to me and each book feels like I have stopped by for a visit to find out what is going on in their lives. I did relate to Roz and her problems sitting down to work on her doctorial dissertation. As with the other books in the series the book had some action, suspense and humor. King is an excellent descriptive writer and I enjoy her books overall. This is an audio-book and Alyssa Bresnahan did a good job narrating the book. Look forward to the next in the series

  9. 4 out of 5

    Annabelle

    Number One: Does this woman know anything about Lesbian culture? Her Lesbian main characters are sweet, sweet to each other all the time, have abstract, body-less sexual desire and want to kill and maim men who physically and sexually abuse women. Number Two: Does this woman know anything about Indian and Hindu culture? The Indian family whose daughter in law burns in a kitchen family, have no humanity. The husband of the victim is mentally handicapped. They have terrible taste in clothes and kn Number One: Does this woman know anything about Lesbian culture? Her Lesbian main characters are sweet, sweet to each other all the time, have abstract, body-less sexual desire and want to kill and maim men who physically and sexually abuse women. Number Two: Does this woman know anything about Indian and Hindu culture? The Indian family whose daughter in law burns in a kitchen family, have no humanity. The husband of the victim is mentally handicapped. They have terrible taste in clothes and knick knacks. Plus King totally misinterprets Kali. Certainly Kali is about destruction, but this is metaphoric. Hindus are non violent as in ahimsa. When she writes about crime and detective worker, she is very solid, and Kate Martinelli is an intriguing character. King needs to stick to what she knows.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dimitri

    One for established Martinelli fans only ; not as good as A Grave Talent and certainly shouldn't be your first. After a neo-medieval commune and the homeless excentrics of the park, King shows us another San Francisco subculture. Not sure whether it's that of the women's shelter or the mysoginic aspects of Indian culture. It's all very flavourful, but there is less Personal Stuff between Lee and Kate and no Jules. The Kali quotes make it a VERY transparent whodunit; in To Play the Fool, the acade One for established Martinelli fans only ; not as good as A Grave Talent and certainly shouldn't be your first. After a neo-medieval commune and the homeless excentrics of the park, King shows us another San Francisco subculture. Not sure whether it's that of the women's shelter or the mysoginic aspects of Indian culture. It's all very flavourful, but there is less Personal Stuff between Lee and Kate and no Jules. The Kali quotes make it a VERY transparent whodunit; in To Play the Fool, the academic detours to the police procedures did much more to advance the plot without revealing the twists.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    So disappointing. I love the Kate Martinelli mysteries, far more than I like the Mary Russell series, but this one was just awful. I don't know who these people are who live in San Francisco but have never met an Indian person, and the stereotypes across the board (gay men, lesbians, working class people, Indians) really ruined this one for me ... not just because they were offensive, which they were, but because the characters lacked nuance and credibility. I also felt that the whodunnit was ob So disappointing. I love the Kate Martinelli mysteries, far more than I like the Mary Russell series, but this one was just awful. I don't know who these people are who live in San Francisco but have never met an Indian person, and the stereotypes across the board (gay men, lesbians, working class people, Indians) really ruined this one for me ... not just because they were offensive, which they were, but because the characters lacked nuance and credibility. I also felt that the whodunnit was obvious - I guessed the perpetrator before most of the crimes had even been committed, and then it seemed like I was being bashed over the head with the clues (when I wasn't being bashed over the head with theology).

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tory Wagner

    I thought this one was a little slow in spots. The previous books seem to speed along with action and narratives, but in this one, King spent much more time delving into the relationships between the characters and their thoughts. I am not a fan of Lee, Kate's partner, and have a difficult time relating to Kate's need for her approval. It has nothing to do with their homosexual relationship, but more to do with the way in which they relate to each other. I thought this one was a little slow in spots. The previous books seem to speed along with action and narratives, but in this one, King spent much more time delving into the relationships between the characters and their thoughts. I am not a fan of Lee, Kate's partner, and have a difficult time relating to Kate's need for her approval. It has nothing to do with their homosexual relationship, but more to do with the way in which they relate to each other.

  13. 4 out of 5

    sage

    again with the rushed, dissatisfying ending. I don't remember the Mary Russell books having this problem. metaphysics tag for various theological discussions, inc Hindu and Hebrew. gender politics tag bc of sex/gender-based crimes. again with the rushed, dissatisfying ending. I don't remember the Mary Russell books having this problem. metaphysics tag for various theological discussions, inc Hindu and Hebrew. gender politics tag bc of sex/gender-based crimes.

  14. 5 out of 5

    L

    This is a fine story w great characters, emotional tangles, social commentary, and an interesting plot. I'd have rated it higher, except that King can get rather pedantic in her Kate Martinelli novels. For me, this got in the way of the story. This is a fine story w great characters, emotional tangles, social commentary, and an interesting plot. I'd have rated it higher, except that King can get rather pedantic in her Kate Martinelli novels. For me, this got in the way of the story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Somjen Frazer

    So . . . I liked this book 4 stars amount, but it has some poliical problems. I hated the clunky way that King talked about South Asia and Hindu religion as well as the strange villian she picked.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    This was my least favorite of this series and the author in general. It's similar in theme to the Mary Russell novel "A Monstrous Regiment of Women" as it takes on the issue of violence against women. And while King's digressions into theology & mythology are generally enjoyable and something I enjoy in the Russell series, it didn't really work as well in this novel as the earlier Kate novels. I'm still trying to figure out why, and maybe it's because there was just so much character development This was my least favorite of this series and the author in general. It's similar in theme to the Mary Russell novel "A Monstrous Regiment of Women" as it takes on the issue of violence against women. And while King's digressions into theology & mythology are generally enjoyable and something I enjoy in the Russell series, it didn't really work as well in this novel as the earlier Kate novels. I'm still trying to figure out why, and maybe it's because there was just so much character development in this book & wandering off onto side trails that it kept making me forget about the main mystery. There was less solid police procedural than earlier Kate books, and there was a lot more discussion of gay lifestyle in this one. Not that it was bad, just distracting from the storyline. The long passages about John's new friend turned out to really be a plot device to introduce a weird play that really had nothing to do with the story except give Roz Hall a forum to tell Kate about Indian goddesses. I felt like there were many contrivances like this to allow Kate to learn the mythology. King is usually more graceful in her explanations. Also, it seemed rather more dreary than suspenseful & I found myself just trying to finish it up and move on to something else before my library loan ran out.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Re-reading all the Martinelli books in order. This series really needs to be read in published order since the stories are in sequence, and many characters reappear in all the stories. They could also be read standalone, since there is some background given, but reading them in order is much more satisfactory. This book was interesting if a little heavy at times - the various religion themes were definitely related to the story, but seemed to take up an inordinate amount of the book. I was alread Re-reading all the Martinelli books in order. This series really needs to be read in published order since the stories are in sequence, and many characters reappear in all the stories. They could also be read standalone, since there is some background given, but reading them in order is much more satisfactory. This book was interesting if a little heavy at times - the various religion themes were definitely related to the story, but seemed to take up an inordinate amount of the book. I was already tired of Roz as she appeared in previous books, and really didn't like her in this one - I was almost glad she got a bit of a comeuppance at the end. Maybe it will cool her down a bit. The story is primarily about battered women and female vigilantes going after the men who hurt (or in one case, killed) them. In the process of trying to solve one murder, Kate and her partner Al get involved in the whole vigilante thing as well. So it was a rather fascinating story, but not particularly entertaining although I still had no problem powering through it for the second (or was it the third?) time. I wish there were a true sequel to this book; the only later one that I know of is The Art of Detection, in which Kate and Lee's daughter is already into or past the toddler stage, whereas in this book she is still just a vague idea. I would like to read something about what happened in between.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    The fourth entry in the Kate Martinelli series is a gripping police procedural mystery novel. This series is much more consistent then the Mary Russell series, which crosses back and forth among the genres of historical fiction, mystery, thriller, travelogue and religious treatise. If a reader appreciates a variety of genres, then most of those books are enjoyable, but the quality is uneven. The Martinelli series is primarily police procedural mystery. The first three novels also wove in the love The fourth entry in the Kate Martinelli series is a gripping police procedural mystery novel. This series is much more consistent then the Mary Russell series, which crosses back and forth among the genres of historical fiction, mystery, thriller, travelogue and religious treatise. If a reader appreciates a variety of genres, then most of those books are enjoyable, but the quality is uneven. The Martinelli series is primarily police procedural mystery. The first three novels also wove in the love stories for the main characters. King is an expert in religious studies and this is the second Martinelli book that weaves religion into the plot. In "To play the Fool", she explored the "Fool Movement" and a homeless preacher. In this novel, she explores the Indian warrior godess, Kahli. I, personnally, find the author's theological discussions very interesting, but they do tend to get much more detailed than necessary for the plot. Many readers will feel that it bogs down the story. It is for that reason alone, that I rated this 4 stars instead of 5.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    I like the characters in this series so I keep reading it, starring Kate Martinelli. My complaint as always is the story goes on too long or maybe I'm just impatient. :) There is a group of women working at night in San Francisco that seem to be targeting abusive husband and handing them street justice. Kate and her partner are tasked with finding out who they are and where they are getting the names of the men they are killing. Then another case is added to their work load of a very young girl I like the characters in this series so I keep reading it, starring Kate Martinelli. My complaint as always is the story goes on too long or maybe I'm just impatient. :) There is a group of women working at night in San Francisco that seem to be targeting abusive husband and handing them street justice. Kate and her partner are tasked with finding out who they are and where they are getting the names of the men they are killing. Then another case is added to their work load of a very young girl from India who is killed in a fire - was it an accident or did her husband or father-in-law or even of mother- in-law kill her. Then her husband is found dead! Did the ladies get him for being abusive to his young wife? The wife's death sure fits their abuse logic. There is some language!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jo

    An challenging mystery brings more character analysis and thought provoking reflections for Kate Martinelli! I remain impressed by how the author uses the current crime to challenge Kate and the wonderful, colourful people around her whilst moving their lives forward. The crime also gives the reader a refreshing twist from the usual fare. The primary victims are male. As the suspect(s) were female, we have exposition on the psyche of potential female killer(s). The analysis also leans a bit into An challenging mystery brings more character analysis and thought provoking reflections for Kate Martinelli! I remain impressed by how the author uses the current crime to challenge Kate and the wonderful, colourful people around her whilst moving their lives forward. The crime also gives the reader a refreshing twist from the usual fare. The primary victims are male. As the suspect(s) were female, we have exposition on the psyche of potential female killer(s). The analysis also leans a bit into possible religious/historical examples/justification for female rage, which, though unnecessary in today's social climate, still makes for interesting reading.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Eliz

    I had previously enjoyed reading this author but this book tended more to disappointing than not. She gives away the story very early on, before it really even develops, and then throughout she really flubs procedural things, like she really didn't care about getting things right. I found that distracting. Especially in the first half the book there were sections where you just wanted to tell her get on with it, cut the Hemingway imitation. I had previously enjoyed reading this author but this book tended more to disappointing than not. She gives away the story very early on, before it really even develops, and then throughout she really flubs procedural things, like she really didn't care about getting things right. I found that distracting. Especially in the first half the book there were sections where you just wanted to tell her get on with it, cut the Hemingway imitation.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robert Scott

    -Martinelli and her detective partner Al Hawkin are primaries on multiple murders that look as though they may be the work of a serial killer. When they research they find similar cases in nearby counties. The FBI gets involved. Kate fears that Lee and her friend Roz Hall may be involved. There are abused wives, raped ladies, abusers, male detectives, ex cons, ethnic groups, lawyers, secretaries, grocery cashiers, counselors, pregnant women and children in this gritty mystery.-

  23. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    I'd go 3.5 on this one if I had the option, but it wasn't good enough to bump up. Like the previous one in the series, this story relies on a whole lot of really esoteric religious history, and I was just not all that interested. I've got the next one in the series, which is supposed to be based in Sherlock Holmes, and, since I lover King's Holmes stories, I'll give this a try. If it's not better than the last two Kate Martinelli stories, though, I might be done with this series. I'd go 3.5 on this one if I had the option, but it wasn't good enough to bump up. Like the previous one in the series, this story relies on a whole lot of really esoteric religious history, and I was just not all that interested. I've got the next one in the series, which is supposed to be based in Sherlock Holmes, and, since I lover King's Holmes stories, I'll give this a try. If it's not better than the last two Kate Martinelli stories, though, I might be done with this series.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Kate and Al are called to a murder scene. The victim was subdued with a stun gun, handcuffed and then strangled. Candy was found in his pocket. He was a strong guy and a wife abuser. His wife had an alibi and was not the type of person to take on her husband. Another body is found with the same MO down to the candy in the pocket. The victim was a rapist. Kate and Al see a pattern and work to find the killer or killers.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Virginia

    I see the educational/informative intention behind this book, but after reading Barbara Wilson's works, everything else that tries to touch issues which have been debated in the feminist movement, anything else comes short. This too. This book is about women murdering abusive men and it would have been a wonderful point of reflection if this issue were more nuanced. Next time I suggest Less talk about domestic details and more talk about the central conondrum of the book. Cheers. I see the educational/informative intention behind this book, but after reading Barbara Wilson's works, everything else that tries to touch issues which have been debated in the feminist movement, anything else comes short. This too. This book is about women murdering abusive men and it would have been a wonderful point of reflection if this issue were more nuanced. Next time I suggest Less talk about domestic details and more talk about the central conondrum of the book. Cheers.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn Saul

    I'm hoping I just picked the wrong book for my introduction to Laurie King. I GET domestic abuse - I don't need to have it rammed down my throat. I suspect most women have experienced some kind of spousal/boyfriend abuse, mental and/or physical, so why would any of us want to start a "mystery" and be bludgeoned with our experiences?? I'm hoping I just picked the wrong book for my introduction to Laurie King. I GET domestic abuse - I don't need to have it rammed down my throat. I suspect most women have experienced some kind of spousal/boyfriend abuse, mental and/or physical, so why would any of us want to start a "mystery" and be bludgeoned with our experiences??

  27. 4 out of 5

    Agatha Glowacki

    Started slow and wasn’t that much of a fan of the characters, just couldn’t identify with them. But the story got good as it went on and I loved the theme of Kali and female rage and justice. Ended up quite attached to the characters by the end.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lady Bren

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Actually 3.5 stars The ending bothered me. Where was the cop assigned to protect the family a few hours earlier? What about Phoebe? Did the Ladies really stop? What about the national registry/website

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nancy J Spaeder

    I like the Kate Martinelli series--but it is too brief...I wish Laurie would write more adventures featuring this unusual protagonist. Her grit and goodness are appealing; her combination of duty and alternative lifestyle often clash and that is compelling to read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Angel

    This was maybe my favorite story so far. Pedophiles, rapists and wife beaters beware! Two groups of avengers are on the trail--one with duck tape and a sense of humor; the other, much more deadly with a taser and handcuffs.

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