To those who have been forsaken, hell has no geography.
The Black Angel begins with the disappearance of a young prostitute from one of New York City's seamiest neighborhoods. Like so many tormented souls before her, the girl's mother is inevitably drawn to Charlie Parker's doorstep desperate for redemption and revenge. Despite the danger that his chosen profession imposes on his wife and newborn daughter, Parker knows that the woman and her troubles cannot be ignored. As always, he is driven as much by the evil that simmers in the hidden honeycomb world as he is by the ties of friendship and blood.
As Parker gets closer to the girl's captors, he discovers that her disappearance is linked to a church of bones in Eastern Europe, to the slaughter at a French monastery in 1944, and to the myth of an object known as the Black Angel -- an object considered by evil men to be beyond priceless. But the Black Angel is not a legend. It is real. It lives. It dreams. And the mystery of its existence may contain the secret of Parker's own origins.
The first 60,000 copies of Irish thriller master Connolly's fifth Charlie Parker novel arrive signed, and with a CD. (The latter features tracks that either play a role in his darkly atmospheric novels, or are favored by their characters: everything from Kate Bush to Neko Case.) But fans won't need that much enticement to pick up his latest set of intricately plotted forays into the violent world of the undead. Parker has settled in Maine, still mourning his murdered wife and child while attempting devotion to his new partner, Rachel, and their infant daughter, Sam. At Sam's christening, Parker's sometime collaborator Louis receives an uninvited guest from New York: his aunt, distraught at the disappearance of her daughter, Alice, an NYC prostitute. It doesn't take much to draw an ambivalent Parker back into the game, and soon he's in New York and stumbling onto clues regarding the Black Angel, a statue associated with a Czech ossuary and sought by various evildoers for centuries or perhaps a living, bloodthirsty spirit. Trips to the Czech Republic and elsewhere ensue as Parker seeks to know this latest face of evil. Connolly delivers a very intense blend of Parker's authentic soul searching and of his own distinctive, moody grue. 22-city author tour.