When John Connolly burst upon the literary suspense scene in 1999, he was an immediate international sensation. His Every Dead Thing became an instantaneous bestseller in England, and here in America, his writing was greeted with extraordinary accolades. He won the prestigious Shamus Award for Best First Private Eye Novel, and, as the San Francisco Examiner wrote, "John Connolly's tale is as riveting and chilling as Thomas Harris's The Silence of the Lambs and James Patterson's Kiss the Girls."
Now, Connolly returns with Dark Hollow, a terrifying and ingenious novel of a murderous spree that reaches back decades into the victims' pasts. Back again is ex-New York Police Detective Charlie "Bird" Parker, who has returned to his hometown of Scarborough, Maine, after the vicious killings of his wife and daughter; it is time to leave the bloodstained streets of Manhattan and rebuild his family's house -- as well as his own life. But for Bird, returning to his roots means digging through a mountain of terror, as memories of his father's and grandfather's untimely deaths resurface and drive him to join the manhunt for the killer of yet another mother and child. Though the obvious suspect is Billy Purdue, the violent former husband of the murdered young woman, another player lurks in this disturbing drama, someone entangled in the dark hollow of Bird's past.
Darkly atmospheric, tense and imbued with the page-turning ferocity that only the finest crime fiction offers, Dark Hollow is a stunning successor to Every Dead Thing, a testament to the burgeoning power of John Connolly to tell stories that thrill, frighten and haunt the soul.
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.