The Chalk Girl: Book summary and reviews of The Chalk Girl by Carol O'Connell

The Chalk Girl

A Mallory Novel

By Carol O'Connell

The Chalk Girl
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2012,
    384 pages.

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Book Summary

The little girl appeared in Central Park: red-haired, blue-eyed, smiling, perfect - except 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. O'Connell's awesome ability to weave a taut, complex plot works with Mallory's equally awesome detective skills as she unearths each crystalline facet of crimes both past and present." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. O'Connell offers more than a suspenseful tale; she portrays a complex world of dark and light, corruption and love, in a New York City that retains its grittiness. Another must-read in a compelling and rich crime series." - Library Journal

"O'Connell delivers shock after shock, held together by exquisitely detailed police and forensic procedure and by the riveting, punishing figure of Mallory herself." - Booklist

"Readers who dislike tales of torture and murder of children will take a pass on this one, but those who relish justice will be glad they read to the end." - Kirkus Reviews

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Author Information

Carol O'Connell Author Biography

Born in 1947, Carol O'Connell studied at the California Institute or Arts/Chouinard and the Arizona State University. For many years she survived on occasional sales of her paintings as well as freelance proof-reading and copy-editing.

At the age of 46 she sent the manuscript of Mallory's Oracle to Hutchinson, because she felt that a British publisher would be sympathetic to a first time novelist and because Hutchinson also publish Ruth Rendell. Having miraculously found the book on the 'slush pile', Hutchinson immediately came back with an offer for world rights, not just for Mallory's Oracle but for the second book featuring the same captivating heroine.

At the Frankfurt Book Fair, Hutchinson sold the rights to Dutch, French and German publishers for ...

... Full Biography

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