Sabtu, 13 Maret 2010

Exciting From Beginning to End

The Chalk Girl Mallory Novel

The Chalk Girl Mallory Novel

Carol O'Connell has created a unique and spellbinding character in Kathy Mallory. There is no one like her in crime fiction. Carol O'Connell also writes a crime novel like nobody else. It's inhabited by strange or disconcerting characters in a milieu like no where else. Reading any of the Mallory books is like looking at the world pictured in Diane Arbus photographs. I think one needs to read the series from the beginning to appreciate O'Connell's genius, and also to see how Mallory becomes more "human" in each book. The Chalk Girl is the best crime novel I have read this year, and that is quite a comment, because I have read about 80 or so books by some very good writers. The plot has already been explained by others, so I won't go into it. All I can say that you will miss a wonderful book if you don't read this one. One comment, though, the readings from the journal of the young boy, Ernest Nadler, are so heart-wrenching that you'll need to be prepared to be sad for much of the book.

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7 komentar:

  1. Carol O'Connell has created a unique and spellbinding character in Kathy Mallory. There is no one like her in crime fiction. Carol O'Connell also writes a crime novel like nobody else. It's inhabited by strange or disconcerting characters in a milieu like no where else. Reading any of the Mallory books is like looking at the world pictured in Diane Arbus photographs. I think one needs to read the series from the beginning to appreciate O'Connell's genius, and also to see how Mallory becomes more "human" in each book. The Chalk Girl is the best crime novel I have read this year, and that is quite a comment, because I have read about 80 or so books by some very good writers. The plot has already been explained by others, so I won't go into it. All I can say that you will miss a wonderful book if you don't read this one. One comment, though, the readings from the journal of the young boy, Ernest Nadler, are so heart-wrenching that you'll need to be prepared to be sad for much of the book.

    BalasHapus
  2. Monica Harrington11 November 2011 07.32

    I finished Carol O'Connell's new book CHALK GIRL at 4 this morning. Oh can she write. If you aren't already a fan, don't buy this book. YET. Go back, buy MALLORY'S CIRCLE, THE MAN WHO CAST TWO SHADOWS, KILLING CRITICS, THE SHELL GAME, FIND ME. Buy them, new or used, in hard cover. You are going to want to keep them. Mallory (Don't call her Kathy) is a young police detective, diagnosed as a pure Sociopath, at least by the circle of odd old men who were friends of her policeman foster father. They are the self-appointed guardians of the beautiful, blonde, green-eyed child they tried, with little success to mold and keep safe. Mallory is a thief. Mallory is a hacker. And some believe she's a stone cold killer. Charles Butler is her Old Money Prince Charming, extremely tall, awkward, old fashioned and comically ugly. He is the love interest, but the love is all on his side.
    In the last Mallory novel, FIND ME, Mallory had a breakdown of sorts and took off to find her long lost family. In CHALK GIRL it's 3 months later. She's back in NYC, at the police station, with no explanation. Killer rats lead to the discovery of a series of bodies suspended in bags, high in Central Park trees. Then on to murder, betrayal, corruption in high places. O'Connell writes two stories here, one of Ernest Nadler, a remarkable little boy who died too young, the other of revenge. She had me from her opening paragraph:
    "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. The midsummer sky was the deep blue of tourist postcards,
    No clouds. No portents of fear."
    If you love well crafted mystery, wonderfully developed characters and a touch of shivers, you are going to love Carol O'Connell and this book, any book she's written.

    BalasHapus
  3. I could not stop reading this book and because I couldn't I finished about 400 pages in two days.

    The book was intense and captivating and riveting.

    Characters were fascinating...especially Kathy Mallory. Actually I loved her weirdness, strength and over the top behavior.

    Totally charmed by Charles and Coco...psychologist and little lost girl.

    The story involves murders, cover ups, private school bullies, wealthy divas, blind lawyers, drug addicts, agoraphobic wives, nosy neighbors and so much more.

    This writer kept my mind whirling and I had no clue at all about who the murderer was until the last few pages.

    Relationships were,intense and multilayered...Mallory and Coco, Mallory and Riker...her partner, Mallory and Charles...even Mallory and the Rabbi.

    I loved this book. I have read another book by this author...Bone By Bone... but it did not involve this Mallory character.

    But after this one I want to read every one of the " Mallory " books...I think they will be just as intense and amazing as this one!!!

    BalasHapus
  4. I've been waiting for the continuation of this series for a long time! and this was a great return. I couldn't stop reading.

    BalasHapus
  5. Well, I was going to take lots of notes and quotes while I was reading Carol O'Connell's newest book, The Chalk Girl, so I could write a fabulous post telling you how much I love this character and author.

    The notes and quotes didn't happen.....because I couldn't put the book down long enough!! But I can tell you that I do love O'Connell's 'Mallory' books.

    As a child, Kathleen (Kathy) Mallory was found living alone on the streets of New York City by NYPD Lieutenant Lou Markowitz. She was taken in and raised by Markowitz and his wife (with some help from Lou's fellow cops and friends). She is streetwise, cunning, an expert thief and described as 'a baby sociopath.'

    Following in Lou's footsteps, Mallory (she refuses to answer to Kathy) has joined the NYPD and is paired up with Markowitz's old partner. She is a brilliant detective, but her methods and her relationships with people are strictly on her terms. No one breaks through the walls she has erected. The term sociopath is still bandied about.

    In The Chalk Girl, the 10th in the series, there may be a little chink in Mallory's armour. A small girl is found wandering alone in Central Park...with blood on her tee shirt. She says the blood fell from the sky while she was looking for her uncle who turned into a tree. There is something special about Coco. She has Williams Syndrome and can't really tell them exactly where she's from or who she is. But with help from psychologist Charles Butler, they are able to decode what she's trying to tell them. Coco seems to stir something in Mallory - one wounded child recognizing another.

    When Mallory locates the uncle, the case leads to places no one could have ever predicted.

    And that's the beauty of O'Connell's books. You just never have an idea where the plots will lead. They're inventive, intriguing, intelligent and will keep you guessing until the end. They might keep you up late too - the crimes are bizarre and gruesome - perfect fodder for crime thriller aficionados. Each chapter opens with an excerpt from what seems to be a journal of someone called Ernest Nadler. I'm glad I read everything on the page - these entries told a story on their own that eventually met Mallory's path.

    The character of Mallory continues to intrigue me. Small details about her past and small glimpses past the barriers she has erected have been slowly inserted into each new entry in this series. We still really have no idea who Kathy Mallory really is. But I am inextricably hooked by this flawed protagonist.

    BalasHapus
  6. I have all of Carol O'Connell's books, and the "Kathy Mallory" ones are my
    absolute favorites. I ordered "The Chalk Girl" for my Kindle and read it the day it was downloaded. This is one of those books that is hard to put
    down. As I was reading it I was so afraid that I wouldn't like the ending
    because the "bad guy" seemed almost untouchable. However, Ms. O'Connell
    took care of it...as usual. And, reading the little boy's diary throughout
    the book was...well, scary, sad and enraging. She did such a gread job
    with the storyline and characters in this book. Even though I wish she
    had her books come out more frequently, I guess this way I can't compare the
    new book with her latest one. And, so each new book becomes my favorite.

    If you like a really well written mystery with a very unusual young female
    police detective, read "The Chalk Girl". You won't be disappointed.

    BalasHapus