Shell Game (A Mallory Novel)
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She hit the New York Times list with Bone by Bone. Now her repackaged backlist will fly off the shelves.
When a legendary magic trick goes horribly awry on national TV, detective Kathleen Mallory knows the gruesome death won't be the last. For misdirection is the heart of all magic-and perfect crimes.
traps. That was the last project he had foiled, contending that breaking the backs of vermin was inhumane. She aimed the barrel of the revolver in the direction of the fleeing rodent, only meaning to point out the rat was a— “Mallory, don’t!” “I know.” She holstered the gun. “You think rats are charming.” And faulty electrical wiring and housebreakers and— “Not at all,” he said. “But if you shoot a rodent in the back, how will you ever explain that to Lieutenant Coffey?” He sat down on the top
end of the stage. She motioned Prado to walk ahead of her and beyond the backdrop curtain. “Prado, I know you’re running this show. You want Futura to die while all those people are watching. That’s part of the kick, isn’t it? Did you rig his act? Or did Malakhai do that?” “I’m not here to—” “We’re going up there.” She waved the crossbow to the ladder for the narrow catwalk. “No witnesses. Most people never look up.” Prado stared at the ladder. His reflexes might be dulled by drugs, but the
faster, catching her balled hand and engulfing it in his own. “Of course, you did try to kill me. No one can ever take that away from you. And I do think you’re ruthless—if that’s a consolation.”He stood up slowly, releasing the uncurling fingers of her fist, which had lost its power. “But, Mallory, we can’t all be monsters. As I said—you don’t have the makings.” Head bowed, she drew up her legs very close to her body and listened to his footsteps leaving her, then the closing of a door. Over
weapons technicians were all actual men—even the women. Beside the newswoman’s desk, a large easel displayed the cartoon of a cartoon, a diagram of the Goldy balloon floating above the drawings of tiny spectators. The weapons expert stood by the easel and pointed to bold blue lines drawn through the big puppy’s body. “This is the trajectory of the bullet. These lines mark the entry of the bullet through the tip of the dog’s tail, nicking the rear paw, passing through the hindquarters, exiting
had been created in the next war. And now she knew why he had signed up for the North Korean conflict of the fifties. It was yet another opportunity for an interesting death. But instead, he had been taken prisoner. His war records for that period had been more complete, detailing the year of solitary confinement in a cell—no, a box—five feet wide by five tall. After his release, he had passed the following six months in a veterans hospital, recovering from the trauma of torture—and playing