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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 NYPD detective, Kathy Mallory, 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 recognise. In the next few weeks, Kathy Mallory will deal with them all ... in her own way.
Near the start of bestseller O'Connell outstanding 10th novel featuring New York City cop Kathy Mallory (after 2006's Find Me), the enigmatic Mallory, despite having been declared mentally unfit to return to duty following an unexplained three month long absence, nonchalantly reclaims her desk in the Special Crimes Unit. Nobody questions "Mallory the Machine," especially after she connects with a savantlike child found wandering alone in Central Park. Eight-year-old Coco has witnessed a kidnapping and murder, but the girl is incapable of describing the killer. The murder of Coco's uncle is one of three similar crimes that Mallory begins to suspect are linked to a couple of cold cases as well as to pervasive corruption among the city's elite. 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. Author tour.