Samantha's Reviews > The Chalk Girl

The Chalk Girl by Carol O'Connell
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Apr 30, 2012

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Detective Kathleen Mallory is not your average cop. Other officers in the cop shop call her "Mallory the Machine" and almost everyone is sure she is psychotic. As a child, she was found on the streets by New York Detective Lou Markowitz. He and his wife Helen took in the thieving, lying, manipulative but highly skilled and highly intelligent Mallory and loved her despite her "faults" and a past she would not or could not reveal. Because of Lou's love and dedication and the deep and abiding faith he had in Mallory, she grew to become a detective too. Those who loved Lou still love Mallory despite her faults, which include skirting on the edge of justice, bullying, computer tampering, assault, etc., etc., etc. In this new addition to the Mallory series, she and her alcoholic partner Riker end up in the woody part of Central Park known as the Ramble, cutting down not one but three victims of assualt and attempted murder. The victims were all kidnapped from their homes, tied up, gagged, put in a canvas bag, and strung up in a tree where they were left to die of starvation and dehydration. The murdered accomplishes this goal in two cases, but one lives to tell the tale. As the story evolves, it seems these three were school chums a decade earlier and may have been involved in the death of one of their classmates in just this same fashion. Someone knows and is seeking revenge now that they are all adults. As Mallory and Riker investigate, their only witness is a beautiful child who has Williams syndrome and was orphaned when her grandmother suddenly died. Mallory can focus only on getting her man and often uses Williams syndrome's deep need for affection and connection against the child to manipulate her into giving her the information she needs, which deeply offends many of those who love Mallory but don't know how to change her. Mallory and Riker uncover corruption that goes as high as the D.A.'s office and revolves around the grand dame of the Driscol School and her brood of monsters. A great contribution to the Mallory lexicon. I was glad to rediscover this broken and tragic but somehow heroic character!
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