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On, Off

McCullough, Colleen (Book - 2006 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
On, Off
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Baker & Taylor
Realizing that a brutalized young woman is a latest victim of a serial murderer, 1960s lieutenant Carmine Delmonico traces clues that identify the killer to be one of several secretive employees at a leading world center for neurological research. By the author of The Touch. 100,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
At the heart of this blend of suspense, forensic science, eerie and sadistic sexuality, and good old-fashioned storytelling is a dedicated but lonely detective, Lieutenant Carmine Delmonico. The year is 1965, the setting a university town in Connecticut, and serial killers are still referred to as "multiple murderers." Profiling hasn't even begun, so Delmonico has to go it alone on a frantic learning curve that has the killer always two steps ahead of him.
The story begins when parts of the body of a young woman are found in a research center for neurology privately funded by one of the university's greatest benefactors.
It swiftly develops that the killer is very possibly a member of the research facility and that this is not his first murder. With great cunning and daring, he targets a "type" of young woman, following which the women are subjected to unspeakable torture and rape, and finally a horrible death.
The suspects are many and varied, and include a wealthy and ambitious young Indian eager to win a Nobel Prize; the professional head of the institute, who does something peculiar in his basement; an internationally renowned epilepsy clinician; a neurochemist with a taste for fine food, wine, and music; a Japanese with rarefied and strange tastes; and a business manager named Desdemona Dupre, a tough, well-educated woman, full of common sense, for whom Delmonico feels a growing, risky attraction.
As the serial murders begin to mount - the killer is getting more and more bloodthirsty and bold - and the media and anguished parents begin to put pressure on the governor, Delmonico and the forceful, enigmatic Miss Dupre are drawn deeper and deeper into the secrets of the suspects and toward an old family scandal as shocking as it is bizarre. But is the scandal something quite separate, or does it lie at the roots of the present killings?

Baker
& Taylor

Realizing that a brutalized young woman is the latest victim of a serial murderer, 1960s Lieutenant Carmine Delmonico traces clues that identify the killer as one of several secretive employees at a world center for neurological research.

Simon and Schuster

Proving once again that she can triumph in any genre of fiction, Colleen McCullough, the bestselling author of The Thorn Birds, now presents her readers with a gem of a murder mystery about a serial killer.

At the heart of this brilliant blend of suspense, forensic science, eerie and sadistic sexuality, and good old-fashioned storytelling is a dedicated but lonely detective, Lieutenant Carmine Delmonico. The year is 1965, the setting a university town in Connecticut, and serial killers are still referred to as "multiple murderers." Profiling hasn't even begun, so Delmonico has to go it alone on a frantic learning curve that has the killer always two steps ahead of him.

The story begins when parts of the body of a young woman are found in a research center for neurology privately funded by one of the university's greatest benefactors.

It swiftly develops that the killer is very possibly a member of the research facility and that this is not his first murder. With great cunning and daring, he targets a "type" of young woman, following which the women are subjected to unspeakable torture and rape, and finally a horrible death.

The suspects are many and varied, and include a wealthy and ambitious young Indian eager to win a Nobel Prize; the professorial head of the institute, who does something peculiar in his basement; an internationally renowned epilepsy clinician; a neurochemist with a taste for fine food, wine, and music; a Japanese with rarefied and strange tastes; and a business manager named Desdemona Dupre, a tough, well-educated woman, full of common sense, for whom Delmonico feels a growing, risky attraction.

As the serial murders begin to mount -- the killer is getting more and more bloodthirsty and bold -- and the media and anguished parents begin to put pressure on the governor, Delmonico and the forceful, enigmatic Miss Dupre are drawn deeper and deeper into the secrets of the suspects and toward an old family scandal as shocking as it is bizarre. But is the scandal something quite separate, or does it lie at the roots of the present killings?

Colleen McCullough artfully maintains the suspense and holds back the truth until -- literally -- on the last page, with the impact of a thunderbolt, she presents the reader with one final terrifying and unexpected twist.

Her book is a classic murder mystery, written with all the flair and skill that have made Colleen McCullough one of the most popular novelists of her time.

Proving once again that she can triumph in any genre of fiction, Colleen McCullough, the bestselling author of The Thorn Birds, now presents her readers with a gem of a murder mystery about a serial killer.

At the heart of this brilliant blend of suspense, forensic science, eerie and sadistic sexuality, and good old-fashioned storytelling is a dedicated but lonely detective, Lieutenant Carmine Delmonico. The year is 1965, the setting a university town in Connecticut, and serial killers are still referred to as "multiple murderers." Profiling hasn't even begun, so Delmonico has to go it alone on a frantic learning curve that has the killer always two steps ahead of him.

The story begins when parts of the body of a young woman are found in a research center for neurology privately funded by one of the university's greatest benefactors.

It swiftly develops that the killer is very possibly a member of the research facility and that this is not his first murder. With great cunning and daring, he targets a "type" of young woman, following which the women are subjected to unspeakable torture and rape, and finally a horrible death.

The suspects are many and varied, and include a wealthy and ambitious young Indian eager to win a Nobel Prize; the professorial head of the institute, who does something peculiar in his basement; an internationally renowned epilepsy clinician; a neurochemist with a taste for fine food, wine, and music; a Japanese with rarefied and strange tastes; and a business manager named Desdemona Dupre, a tough, well-educated woman, full of common sense, for whom Delmonico feels a growing, risky attraction.

As the serial murders begin to mount -- the killer is getting more and more bloodthirsty and bold -- and the media and anguished parents begin to put pressure on the governor, Delmonico and the forceful, enigmatic Miss Dupre are drawn deeper and deeper into the secrets of the suspects and toward an old family scandal as shocking as it is bizarre. But is the scandal something quite separate, or does it lie at the roots of the present killings?

Colleen McCullough artfully maintains the suspense and holds back the truth until -- literally -- on the last page, with the impact of a thunderbolt, she presents the reader with one final terrifying and unexpected twist.

Her book is a classic murder mystery, written with all the flair and skill that have made Colleen McCullough one of the most popular novelists of her time.



Authors: McCullough, Colleen, 1937-
Title: On, off
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, c2006
Characteristics: 372 p. ; 25 cm
ISBN: 0743286421
Statement of Responsibility: Colleen McCullough
Subject Headings: Connecticut Fiction Serial murderers Fiction
Genre/Form: Mystery fiction
Topical Term: Serial murderers
LCCN: 2006042213
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Jun 30, 2012
  • GLNovak rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A very interesting story but I found the narrative a little uneven. The dialogue was stilted in spots and the substory of the detective's love interest did not ring true for me. This did not stop me from reading the book to the very end to find out what happened. McCullough kept me wondering who did it until close to the end, so she did a good job. The twist at the end was interesting.

Apr 16, 2012
  • LaimaA rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This is a surprising departure from the type of novel Colleen McCullough usually writes. It was a thoroughly engaging detective mystery. I liked that the novel was set in the 1960s - it's sort of boring to read mysteries with contemporary settings where most of the detective work is done on the internet. I loved all the distinct and fully fleshed-out characters. And I particularly love Carmine and Desdemona. I could read about these two characters all the time.

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