Night Work

Night WorkBuy the Book:
Bookshop Santa Cruz
Barnes & Noble

Series: Kate Martinelli #4
Published by: Bantam Books
Release Date: 2000
Pages: 416


Kate and her partner, Al Hawkin, are called to a scene of carefully executed murder: the victim is a muscular man, handcuffed and strangled, a stun gun's faint burn on his chest and candy in his pocket. The likeliest person to want him dead, his often-abused wife, is meek and frail--and has an airtight alibi. Kate and Al are stumped, until a second body turns up—also zapped, cuffed, and strangled... and carrying a candy bar. This victim: a convicted rapist. As newspaper headlines speculate about vendetta killings, a third death draws Kate and Al into a network of pitiless destruction that reaches far beyond San Francisco, a modern-style hit list with shudderingly primal roots.


“A group of feminist vigilantes called the Ladies of Perpetual Disgruntlement has been exacting wickedly funny acts of minor revenge against men who physically abuse women. Kate has a sneaking sympathy for the work of the Ladies, but when more bodies of abusive men start turning up, it looks as though someone—some woman—in San Francisco has taken the ultimate step in vengeance.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)


Read Laurie’s thoughts on writing Night Work on her blog, Mutterings.

For information on bride burning

For a sister organization to the SOPD, see the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.


For a brief but intense moment, Kate thought that she was being attacked by a wild woman with blood on her teeth. She could almost smell the blood, splashed around the woman in a pool, and then the hallucination faded, leaving her to gaze in mingled amazement and horror at the image before her.

The painting on the wall was enough to give a man nightmares. It showed a woman of sorts, but this was a woman who would have caused a playboy to shrivel, would have given pause to the most ardent feminist, would have a Freudian rapidly retracting that plaintive, worn, masculine query concerning what women wanted.

For what this lady wanted was blood.

And had it, as Kate could well see. The deep blue, larger-than-life female was wading through a lake of the stuff, splashing it around, looking drunk with it. Kate recognized her instantly as Kali with the necklace of skulls and the belt of human hands, laughing her terrible pleasure at the decapitated head she held up in one of her four arms.

Read the full excerpt