The gripping first Charlie Parker novel from bestselling author John Connolly - perfect for fans of Stephen King and Jeffery Deaver.
Tormented and racked with guilt over the brutal slaying of his wife and daughter, Charlie Parker, ex-cop with the NYPD, agrees to track down a missing girl. It is a search that will lead him into an abyss of evil. At the same time, he is warned by an old black woman in Louisiana that 'The Travelling Man' is about to strike again. Multiple strands converge with a horrific confrontation in which hunter and hunted are intimately connected by guilt.
One serial killer who tortures children and another who steals victims' faces after mutilating their bodies give readers two grisly plots in one darkly ingenious debut novel. New York Homicide cop Charlie "Bird" Parker left the force when his wife and baby daughter were gruesomely murdered (while he was boozing down the block), but he agrees to trace a missing woman as a favor to his old partner. The trail leads from Brooklyn wise guys to a dying rural Virginia town where the shameful secret (children were tortured and killed by wealthy local eccentrics) is linked to the missing woman. Stepping on toes and muscling past stonewallers, Charlie eludes hired killers to flush several villains into the open with the help of two friendly hitmen--a competently lethal gay couple who provide a refreshing change from both stereotypes. Charlie receives a phone call from Tante Marie, a Creole woman near New Orleans whose detailed psychic visions of "The Traveling Man" match the profile of the killer. Scoping out the bayous, Charlie teams up with his old FBI buddy, Woolrich, for more convoluted probing involving a plethora of psychic tips, bodies in the bayou and Creole gangs. A romance with a beautiful Brooklyn profiler who joins the case helps make the New Orleans sequence of the novel sing. The tortuous plot seldom falters and each character is memorable. There are sometimes too many details--like extensive lists of zydeco and Cajun singers on the radio--that force the Louisiana ambiance, and Brooklyn never does feel right, but the rural Virginia town is petty, bitter perfection: no mean feat for a native Dubliner. The prose rings of '40s L.A. noir, la Chandler and Hammett, but the grisly deaths, poetic cops and psychic episodes set this tale apart. Published by Hodder in Great Britain in January, Connolly's gory tale should find an avid U.S. audience. Foreign rights sold in Germany, Japan and Italy.