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Chalk Line: A Ben Gallagher Mystery

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  31 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Chief of Detectives Ben Gallagher thinks life will once again be rosy when his younger brother Andrew is released from prison. But, on the very day Andrew is set free, the brothers discover the body of a lifelong friend, and the murder launches Ben on a fast slide from his revered rule of law. He is soon ordered to stay away from the case, but the closer he gets, the surer ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 19th 2011 by Marion Street Press, LLC (first published September 2011)
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Linda Strong
May 12, 2015 Linda Strong rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
How far would you go to protect your family? A loved one? Even a memory? We all have a line we will not cross .. what is yours?

Chief of Detectives Ben Gallagher is faced with just such a decision to be made. His younger brother is just released from a 10-year sentence at Huntsville Prison. Taking him home with him, they discover the body of Dayton Slaughter, a lawyer, the man who has been like a father of them.
Trying to be allowed to stay on the case, he gathers his team and hope they can find
Aug 10, 2011 Trish rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
It’s an interesting exercise to read a debut novel by someone who has written so much about writing itself. I had high expectations, and Ms. LaRocque did not disappoint. This book pulled me in from the opening lines:

"The best way to get there from Dallas is to go straight down I-45. Takes three hours or so. The terrain’s more rolling and wooded than you might expect, especially around Corsicana. It levels off as you head south, going to heavy underbrush and open fields and farmlands."

My first t
Terry Murray
Oct 11, 2011 Terry Murray rated it it was amazing
I have never read mystery novels. I’ve been afraid, not that I wouldn’t guess whodunit, but that it wouldn’t make sense to me when the central detective figured it out. I didn’t want the mystery to be mystifying. Such is not the case with Paula LaRocque’s Chalk Line, the first in what I hope will be a long line of Ben Gallagher mysteries. You’ll never guess the murderer of an old family friend of Ben’s — a man his widowed mother was about to marry — but, for those of you who are as insecure abou ...more
Jul 21, 2011 Jenny rated it it was amazing
My own career and business and livelihood, like Paula LaRocque's, have to do with the language and using it with expertise. So I was curious when I heard she had written a novel. I've known her for decades, as a friend, a writing coach, and author of books about writing. She’s one the funniest people I know … but could she write a good murder mystery, one that would keep me interested, even put me on the edge of my seat?
Boy, could she ever! Chalk Line’s cast members are not your typical murder m
Marla Roth-fisch
Jul 11, 2011 Marla Roth-fisch rated it it was amazing
By: Paula LaRocque
Publisher: Marion Street Press
Publishing Date: September 2011
ISBN: 978-1-933338-95-8
Reviewed by: Mary Lignor
Review Date: June 30, 2011

Ben Gallagher is the Chief of Detectives in the Dallas Police Department. Ben is not your usual police detective. He is very young, handsome and an artist to boot. Ben is also an heir to a family fortune that will keep him in food and shelter for many years to come. He lost his father in the Vietnam War and his younger brother has been incarcerat
Linda Swift
Sep 02, 2011 Linda Swift rated it it was amazing
The colorful characters in Paula LaRocque’s “Chalk Line” are so well drawn that I felt as if I knew them personally. This murder mystery is a real page turner, with a deliciously twisty plot that kept me guessing right up to the end. And even my final guess was wrong.

The book has everything that makes a great summer read: romance, intrigue, dark family secrets, and a liberal sprinkling of laugh-out-loud humor. Events moved along so seamlessly that it took me a while to notice that the story also
Jan 14, 2012 John rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, paula-larocque
A terrific read and a most impressive first novel! A first-class murder mystery veiled in secrets, past and present, laid bare by the protagonist, a first-class, albeit apparently unappreciated, lawman. Set in Texas and Michigan, the differences between North and South, educated and not-so-educated, play heavily in the exposition of the character development which flows from beginning to end. I look forward with much anticipation to what is next in store from the author.
Nov 05, 2011 Linda rated it really liked it
It was a fast, clear read. I loved the way Paula LaRocque, a former colleague of mine and writing coach extraordinaire, took me back to the big D and its environs in this book. If you've ever wanted a sense of Texas, read this book. The author did a great job developing the characters as well and keeping the reader engaged. I don't normally flock to mysteries, but this one kept me reading. Not to mention, I do know the author so wanted to read it anyway.
Nov 12, 2011 Melissa rated it liked it
Honestly, I found it a little slow to start, but once the crime occurred, the investigation had me hooked. Unlike many mysteries, the crime itself was believable and well-crafted. I read the rest of it straight through the morning. I can't decide if I liked the DFW setting or if I found it distracting, trying to picture it.

Now that I think of it, it reminded me a lot of James Lee Burke.
Sep 03, 2012 Edna rated it liked it
This is LaRocque's first book. She was a long time staff member of the Dallas News. The story takes place in the DFW metroplex. The story is good and engaging. I would have liked more description of the locations in the story. Her characters are interesting and it is quick read.
Jul 31, 2011 Julie rated it it was amazing
Beautifully crafted mystery. I am not usually a mystery reader but I was engaged by this book and its well-introduced characters. I look forward to the next Ben Gallagher Mystery to learn what is happening with Ben and Andy.
Dec 29, 2011 Liz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
This is a book that will keep you guessing. The past plays an important part in the resolution of the murders.
May 08, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it
Loved the fact that it was a mystery, author lives in Arlington and story takes place mostly in Texas!
Aug 02, 2012 Donna rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this first book by a teacher of writing.
Jackson marked it as to-read
Feb 04, 2016
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Dec 17, 2015
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Jul 03, 2015
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May 12, 2015
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Aug 24, 2013
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Madelynhealey rated it it was amazing
Apr 07, 2013
Betty Spates
Betty Spates marked it as to-read
Nov 28, 2012
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Paula is an editor, communications consultant, and author of nonfiction who has recently turned her attention to writing fiction. Her first novel, a mystery titled “Chalk Line,” will be published by Marion Street Press, Inc., in 2011.

Often hailed as one of America’s foremost writing coaches, Paula has conducted writing workshops for hundreds of media, government, academic, and business groups acro
More about Paula LaRocque...

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