Synopses & Reviews
Myfanwy Thomas awakes in a London park surrounded by dead bodies. With her memory gone, her only hope of survival is to trust the instructions left in her pocket by her former self. She quickly learns that she is a Rook, a high-level operative in a secret agency that protects the world from supernatural threats. But there is a mole inside the organization and this person wants her dead.
As Myfanwy battles to save herself, she encounters a person with four bodies, a woman who can enter her dreams, children transformed into deadly fighters, and an unimaginably vast conspiracy. Suspenseful and hilarious, The Rook is an outrageously inventive debut for readers who like their espionage with a dollop of purple slime.
"At the start of Australian author O'Malley's impressive debut, a supernatural detective thriller distinguished by its adept use of humor, an unknown woman reads a letter that opens 'Dear You' and closes 'Sincerely, Me.' The letter informs the woman that she now inhabits the body of Myfanwy Alice Thomas. A second letter from Thomas gives her body's new mental occupant a choice — either flee London to take up a new, carefree life of affluence, or pretend that she is in fact Thomas in order to identify the person responsible for her memory loss. If the situation isn't confusing enough, the 'new' Thomas finds herself in the middle of a park in a heavy rain; scattered on the ground are motionless bodies wearing latex gloves. After making the more interesting choice, she learns that Thomas is a 'Rook,' one of the leaders of a super-secret government organization that protects an unknowing public from a wide variety of paranormal threats. While the 'old' Thomas has left detailed explanations about people and things for her successor, the 'new' Thomas still must struggle to mask her complete ignorance about some of her major responsibilities. Dry wit, surprising reversals of fortune, and a clever if offbeat plot make this a winner. Dr. Who fans will find a lot to like. (Jan.)"
"Utterly convincing and engrossing — totally thought-through and frequently hilarious....Even this aging, jaded, attention-deficit-disordered critic was blown away." Time
"Myfanwy (rhymes with 'Tiffany') Thomas wakes up in a London park surrounded by dead men, all wearing latex gloves. She has no idea who she is or how she got there. She finds two letters in the pocket of her jacket from her body's former owner. The first tells her the body is now hers and warns of danger. Myfanwy is a Rook, a high-level operative in a clandestine security force charged with protecting Britain from supernatural forces, and there's a mole in the organization who's trying to kill her. Possessed of her own supernatural powers, underestimated until now, Myfanwy proves unexpectedly resourceful and is soon kicking butt with the best of them. The pace never lets up in this entertaining high-action read. The ending is a letdown, but that's a small flaw in a great thriller. VERDICT First-time novelist O'Malley has fashioned a near-perfect supernatural thriller. The heroine is appealing, the villains all monsters or freaks, and something unexpected happens on almost every page. Don't start this book unless you've got lots of time, because you won't want to put it down. It's that good." Library Journal
"O'Malley's narrative is peppered with sly humor, referential social commentary and the ironic, double-layered self-awareness that will have genre fans believing Buffy the Vampire Slayer has joined Ghostbusters." Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Dan O'Malley graduated from Michigan State University and earned a Master's Degree in medieval history from Ohio State University. He then returned to his childhood home, Australia. He now works for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, writing press releases for government investigations of plane crashes and runaway boats.