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As a former foster child, my passion is advocating for and with foster care youth, publicizing the challenges that they face and addressing their developmental and emotional needs through workshops.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Kathleen Mallory and Eve Duncan

"Call Me Mallory"
Carol O'Connell's series begins with the murder of NYPD detective Louis Markowitz, Kathleen Mallory's adoptive father. He caught Mallory stealing one afternoon when she was about 10 years old and took her home with him instead of to Juvenile Hall.

Kathleen Mallory has grown from a feral child into a formidable adult, both beautiful and cold. As a police officer, Mallory responds to her adoptive father's murder by pursuing his killer.

While some of the other characters view Mallory as a sociopath, it is obvious that she has deep loyalty and feelings for her adoptive family and her closest friends.

Mallory's childhood experiences have deeply damaged her, but the time that she spent with Markowitz and his late wife has had an equally powerful effect. It is their investment into Mallory that has made her a cop rather than a criminal.

My favorite book in the series is "Stone Angel," in which many of the mysteries surrounding Mallory's first appearance as a homeless orphan are revealed. It also reveals some of the vulnerability that Mallory usually keeps well-hidden.

List of Carol O'Connell's "Kathleen Mallory" series
1.) Mallory's Oracle (1994)
2.) Man Who Cast Two Shadows (1995)
3.) Killing Critics (1996)
4.) Stone Angel (1997)
5.) Shell Game (1999)
6.) Crime School (2002)
7.) Dead Famous (2003)
8.) Winter House (2004)
9.) Find Me (2006)

One of the best reviews that I have read about the development of Kathleen Mallory's character, called "Mallory Grows A Soul" can be found at this site:

Eve Dallas
Lietenant Eve Dallas of the NYPD suffered isolation, neglect and severe abuse in her childhood. As an adult, Eve tries to suppress these memories. She is slow to trust and awkward in giving or receiving affection. Often, in her homocide investigations, she finds her past resurfacing to haunt her.

The series is set in 21st century New York. It's marketed as a romantic thriller, which might be why it sometimes includes lengthy bedroom scenes between Eve and her similarly wounded romantic partner Roarke. (Personally, I find the sex scenes tedious and boring, and also raise my eyebrows at some of the goofy words that characters use for slang).

The strength in this series is in the development of Eve's character. Eve Dallas has emerged from her dark past with a strong sense of integrity, loyalty and protectiveness. Growing up in an atmosphere of lawlessness has made Eve into a responsible (sometimes over-responsible to the point of being controlling) adult.

The book that won me over to this series was "Survivor in Death." Eve can't help but see herself in Nixie, a young girl whose family has recently been murdered. Eve Dallas goes into overdrive to protect the child and find the killers as soon as possible. It's difficult for her to spend time with the child, with whom she empathizes too deeply.

Yet, the people around Eve, like the people around Mallory, continue to make emotional demands on her... They challenge her to grow into a person who can emote, rather than hide in her comfort zone as a workaholic. Like Mallory, Eve Dallas is forced by her cases to reexamine the skeletons in her closet, and is gradually pushed toward wholeness and healing.

List of J.D. Robb's "In Death" series*
1.) Naked in Death (1995)
2.) Glory in Death (1995)
3.) Immortal in Death (1996)
4.) Rapture in Death (1996)
5.) Vengeance in Death (1997)
6.) Ceremony in Death (1997)
7.) Holiday in Death (1998)
8.) Conspiracy in Death (1999)
9.) Loyalty in Death (1999)
10.) Judgment in Death (2000)
11.) Witness in Death (2000)
12.) Betrayal in Death (2001)
13.) Seduction in Death (2001)
14.) Reunion in Death (2002)
15.) Purity in Death (2002)
16.) Portrait in Death (2003)
17.) Imitation in Death (2003)
18.) Divided in Death (2004)
19.) Visions in Death (2004)
20.) Survivor in Death
21.) Origins in Death
22.) Memory in Death (2006)
23.) Born in Death (2006)

*Note: J.D. Robb is a pseudonym for best-selling author Nora Roberts.


Blogger Praying for your Prodigal said...

Lisa--Have you read Dave Pelzer's series? "A child called It" "A Man called Dave"...and I can't remember the 2nd one. He also has another book...something about "Priveleged Youth."


10:19 AM  
Blogger La Yen said...

Have you read Nobody Don't Love Nobody: Lessons on Love from the School with No Name by Stacey Bess--it is an amazing story of a woman who taught at a school for homeless children.
I love that you do all of this work for children--it inspires me (enough to stop lurking and comment.)

10:58 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Thanks so much for the recommendations!

Please keep'em coming...


7:38 PM  

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