"The Chalk Girl," by Carol O'Connell

"The Chalk Girl," by Carol O'Connell

The eight-year-old girl appeared in New York’s Central Park one day: red-haired, blue-eyed, dirty-faced, smiling widely. She looked perfect, like a porcelain fairy—except for the blood on her shoulders. It fell from the sky, she told the police. It happened while she was looking for her Uncle Red, who had turned into a tree. Right, they thought, poor child. And then they found the body in the tree.

For Mallory, newly returned to the Special Crimes Unit after three months’ lost time, spent she will not say where, there is something about the girl that she understands. Mallory is damaged, they say, dangerously unstable, but she can tell a kindred spirit when she sees one. And this one will ultimately lead her to a story of extraordinary crimes, to murders stretching back fifteen years, to blackmail and complicity and a particular cruelty that perhaps only someone with Mallory’s history could fully recognize. In the next few weeks, she will deal with them all…in her own way.

This is the July pick for the new book club I have joined and what book.  It is one of those books you don't want to put down as you HAVE to know what is going to happen next.  I would describe this book like an onion as there are so many layers to it, and you have to peel one layer away to discover what is going to happen next.

Now as this is the first time I have read a book by this author I am not sure if I should have read her other books which include the Mallory character first to get a better understanding of her?  I am thinking not, but do feel I will read her other books as I like the way she writes.

It isn't a hard to figure out "who done it," type of book, but it is hard to narrow down the exact "why?"  I do hope I never come across this delightful cast of characters in real life though!!  I did learn something new, as prior to this book I had never heard of "Williams Syndrome."

Stars out of 5 : 4.5  You really need to concentrate when reading this book, especially at the start when the author starts introducing new "players" into the story.  Also at the beginning of each chapter there is a paragraph in italics by Ernest Nadler, pay attention to that, as that plays into the story.  It took me a while to click what that was all about and had went back to re-read those.  I would really recommend you all reading this book.


  1. I started reading the Mallory series after you mentioned this book. i read the first two but couldn't continue as the main character, Mallory, is just too "harsh" for me, she is very unfeeling, cold, hard to emphasize with. I compare her to the main character in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and both have similiar personalities. I like the way the author portrays the other characters and the plot is very good, just wish she would soften the main character so she is more likeable.

  2. I am have read all of the Mallory books. You don't need to read them all to read the latest - but if you want to read them all - try to go in order to see the characters evolve. I love these and gobble them up because I have to know what happens. Then I have to wait for a new one!

  3. I read one of the Mallory books and although it was gripping and I couldn't put it down, it was too intense and "dark" for me! Glad you are enjoying the new book club, though.


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