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Book Review: Chalk Girl by Carol O’Connell

Synopsis:  The little girl appeared in Central Park: red-haired, blue-eyed, smiling, perfectexcept for the blood on her shoulder. It fell from the sky, she said, while she was looking for her uncle, who turned into a tree. Poor child, people thought. And then they found the body in the tree.

For Mallory, newly returned to the Special Crimes Unit after three months’ lost time, there is something about the girl that she understands. Mallory is damaged, they say, but she can tell a kindred spirit. And this one will lead her to a story of extraordinary crimes: murders stretching back fifteen years, blackmail and complicity and a particular cruelty that only someone with Mallory’s history could fully recognize. In the next few weeks, she will deal with them all . . . in her own way.

First Line:  The first outcry of the morning was lost in a Manhattan mix of distant sirens, barking dogs and loud music from a car rolling by outside the park.

Random Quotes:  “He fumigated rats … In a park.”

“Yes ma’am,” said the ranger, his face deadpan, his voice without affect.  “And now they all so wonderfully uninhibited.”

Review:  It’s been five long years since the last Mallory novel.  I honestly wasn’t sure that there’d be another one – the last one could’ve been a series ender.  Yet Mallory is back in The Chalk Girl and that makes me very very happy.

This book involves a lost child, bodies in trees, and lots and lots and lots of rats.  The first part of the book is both hysterically funny and horribly macabre all at the same time – if you read none of the rest of it, at least read that part.  It’ll give you a healthy respect for rats.There’s no one else like Mallory in
crime fiction.  Smart, enigmatic, damaged, manipulative, possibly sociopathic, yet brilliant in her role as a cop – perhaps because for Mallory winning is the number one priority so she takes risks and makes connections in her head that others do not.  Surrounded by the wonderful support system that her foster father, a cop, left her, Mallory remains in constant trouble with the NYPD, but always manages to turn that trouble to her own advantage (and that’s very fun to watch).

Always smart, always fun, always different, and never boring this is a great entry in the Mallory series.  If you haven’t read these books, you are missing out and I wish I was you.  I’d love to go back to the first book and read it like a new discovery.  Highly recommended.

FTC Disclosure:  I bought it for myself because I wanted it.

Publishing Information:  Kindle Edition – June 9, 2011

Format:  Kindle


Reading Challenges:  Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge

Published inBooks

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