Colleen McCullough On, Off: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780743286428

On, Off: A Novel

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9780743286428: On, Off: A Novel
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About the Author:

Colleen McCullough was born in Australia. A neuropathologist, she established the department of neurophysiology at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney before working as a researcher and teacher at Yale Medical School for ten years. Her writing career began with the publication of Tim, followed by The Thorn Birds, a record-breaking international bestseller. She lives on Norfolk Island in the South Pacific with her husband, Ric Robinson.

From Booklist:

Here's something new from the author of The Thorn Birds and numerous high-concept historical fiction titles: a straight-up detective thriller. It's 1965, and a dismembered body is found in a storage refrigerator at a neurological research center in Connecticut. Lieutenant Carmine Delmonico soon realizes he has got something new on his hands: a psychopath who kills for sport. In modern terms, a serial killer. McCullough, who admits to being a longtime reader of crime novels, is clearly well versed in the traditions of the genre: the novel features a working-class detective in an unfamiliar environment (sort of like Columbo) and a large cast of potential suspects (think Agatha Christie). The characters are vividly drawn, and the story itself is quite intriguing. A demon for research, McCullough packs the novel with enough information about the operation of the research center that we almost feel like we could run one. There are flaws: the prose is a bit overwritten, with phrases so out of place that they pull the reader up short ("stygian coldness," for example, on the very first page). Also, the overabundance of exclamation marks is sure to grate on many readers. But, despite these stylistic shortcomings, the novel should prove entertaining enough both to McCullough's many fans and to thriller readers who have never met a serial killer they didn't want to read more about. David Pitt
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