The Chalk Girl by Carol O’Connell
Like sociopathic good guys like Lisbeth Salander and Dexter Morgan? Then meet Kathy Mallory. Mallory came from less than ideal circumstances but being adopted by wonderful parents took her aptitude for crime (she is an amazing thief, and has a bit of a temper) and molded her into a fighter of crime, now a detective for NYPD.
This is a creepy, slightly gory, complex crime novel. There is a serial killer at work and the actions of the present have a definite beginning in the past. The start of each chapter is an excerpt of the diary of a young boy who died years before but we don’t know why or how his story fits, but we know that something horrible happened to him and it is the reason (somehow!) of what is happening in the Ramble of Central Park now. Thoroughly engaging page turner!
While this is the 10th in the series I don’t feel like I missed out on any back story. The author does a great job clueing her readers in to the circumstances which made Mallory the way she is without overdoing it.