Wednesday, 1 July 2015

On, Off (Carmine Delmonico #1) by Colleen McCullough

On, Off (Carmine Delmonico, #1)

From Goodreads

The captivating new novel from the international bestselling author of ‘The Thorn Birds’.

Innocence is no protection…

In Holloman, Connecticut, someone is preying on the innocent. At a prestigious research centre fondly known by its staff as the 'Hug', parts of a mutilated body are found. Lieutenant Carmine Delmonico of the Holloman Police learns that a string of horrifying murders – each with the same modus operandi as the one at the Hug – have been commited throughout the state. When another body is found, the medical staff become prime suspects.

With the powers that be in turmoil and every member of staff hiding something, Delmonico must delve into the lives of each and every Hug employee. This is the case of his career and he is determined to solve it. But how, when he is hunting a monster who leaves no clues and is always two steps ahead?

My thoughts 

I fell across this series by chance while at the Library one night. I picked up the third in the series Naked Cruelty, not realising that it was part of a series. Yes, you've guessed it I am a little OCD with series and had to reserve this one the first in the series before reading Naked Cruelty.  

I am of an age, that the book The Thorn Birds by her was very popular and I can remember reading the book quickly in order to stay in front of the TV series of it that aired in the 80's. I have read other books by her too, but wasn't aware that she wrote crime/thrillers until I saw Naked Cruelty.

On, Off is set in the 60's in America. It tells the story of Carmine Delmonico a detective on the case of a serial killer who mutilates his victims, apparently keeping body parts as souvenirs. A research centre know as the 'Hug' appears to be at the heart of the action at the beginning, but nothing is ever as it seems. All the victims are young and female and physically all have similar characteristics. As each victim disappears, the method of their disappearance is a cause for concern.

I found the first part of the book quite slow going, as there are lots of characters to get your head around and at times it was quite descriptive. I also found that I didn't have too long to devote to reading it, only managing 10 or so pages at a time rather than larger chunks. Once I got into the story though and found more time to read, I was able to read it in larger chunks and I found that it became an easier read. It's odd how some books need to be read in larger chunks like this one and others you can manage to read easily with reading less pages.

I enjoyed the relationship between the investigating team and look forward to reading the next in the series to follow them, Too Many Murders.

There are plenty of red herrings along the way and I have to say that I did guess some of the outcome, but I must admit that I was surprised by a few things and applaud Colleen McCullough for keeping a few things close to her chest until near the end. I found that as I was getting nearer the end of the book that I was rushing to get my hands on it to see where we the reader was taken.

Great first book to what I hope wll turn out to be a promising series. 8/10 from me. 

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