Charlie Parker returns in a gruesome new thriller, not to be missed for fans of Stephen King and Michael Connelly.
Still raw from the brutal slayings of his wife and daughter, and the events surrounding the capture of their killer, The Travelling Man, Charlie Parker retreats to the wintry Maine landscape of his childhood. By following in the steps of his beloved grandfather, Parker hopes to heal his spirit and get through the bitter anniversary of Jennifer and Susan's murder. But the echoes of the past that await him are not all benign. In a gruesome re-enactment of Parker's own nightmares, another young woman is killed with her child and his brief involvement in their lives impels Parker to hunt their vicious murderer. As the death toll mounts, Parker comes to realise that the true answer to the puzzle lies thirty years in the past, in a tree with strange fruit, in his own grandfather's history, and in the perverted desires of a monster incarnate - Caleb Kyle.
Irish writer Connolly's follow-up to Every Dead Thing, which won the 2000 Shamus Award for Best PI First Novel, is just as grim, hard-edged and compulsively readable as his debut. Recently relocated to his home town of Scarborough, Maine, newly licensed PI Charlie Parker tries to get some overdue child support from wastrel Billy Purdue as a favor to Purdue's ex-wife Rita, an act of charity that ends up pitting Parker and his friends Angel and Luis against mobster Tony Celli. Celli is looking for $2 million that Purdue might have heisted during a botched ransom exchange, and a pair of killers named Abel and Stritch are on the loose. There's also a trail of dead bodies, all of them linked to Purdue's search for his birth parents, a line that stretches from his family to an old woman who kills herself after running away from a nursing home. She claims to have seen Caleb Kyle, a vicious serial killer who hasn't been heard from since Parker's youth. It's this element of the plot that lends a supernatural air to the already creepy proceedings (Parker has visions of his dead wife and daughter); the book opens like a Stephen King novel, with a violent prologue, visions of nameless evil darkening the stars, and the dead past coming alive. Since the novel is set in Maine, it feels like an homage to the master of Pine Tree State horror. Luckily, this very violent hunt for a revived serial killer can survive comparison with the best, especially when you consider that Connolly is creating pitch-perfect American dialogue and believable American characters from a desk in Dublin.
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Once you start you can't put it down !