A fast-paced thriller featuring Charlie Parker from the bestselling author of The Killing Kind.
'A cracking read from an excellent and highly original writer.' - Sunday Independent
In South Carolina, a young black man faces the death penalty for the rape and murder of Marianne Larousse, daughter of one of the wealthiest men in the state. It's a case that nobody wants to touch, a case with its roots in old evil, and old evil is private detective Charlie Parker's speciality. But Parker is about to make a descent into the abyss, a confrontation with dark forces that threaten all that Parker holds dear: his lover, his unborn child, even his soul. . . For in a prison cell, a fanatical preacher is about to take his revenge on Charlie Parker, its instruments the very men that Parker is hunting, and a strange, hunched creature that keeps its own secrets buried by a riverbank: the undiscovered killer Cyrus Nairn. Soon, all of these figures will face a final reckoning in southern swamps and northern forests, in distant locations linked by a single thread, a place where the paths of the living and the dead converge.
A place known only as the White Road.
"I have learned to embrace the dead and they, in their turn, have found a way to reach out to me." It's becoming increasingly clear from pronouncements such as this that PI Charlie Parker is hardly your garden-variety mystery protagonist. In Connolly's latest spine-tingling opus (after The Killing Kind), readers gain further insights into the soul of this tormented man a hero of uncommon depth and compulsions. We also learn more about Angel and Louis, Parker's longtime cronies (and gay Odd Couple) who function as Greek chorus, avenging angels and their buddy's conscience. Angel resembles "the runway model for a decorators' convention, assuming that the decorators' tastes veered toward five-six, semiretired gay burglars," while Louis possesses "six feet six inches of attitude, razor-sharp dress sense, and gay Republican pride." (Note to Connolly: how about a spin-off novel for these two idiosyncratic supporting players?) Parker's description of his newest case "dead people, a mystery, more dead people" exemplifies his bluntness; true to form, he's never far from a cutting remark or casual wisecrack (hearing that an especially odious character has "found Jesus," Parker observes, "I figure Jesus should be more careful about who finds Him"). When a former colleague who's practicing law in Charleston, S.C., asks for Parker's help on a racially charged murder case, Parker reluctantly leaves his Maine habitat. The South that he encounters is found in no guidebook: it's a pernicious locale where the good old boys are far from good, where country music speaks "of war and vengeance" and where one soulless individual "smelled of slow burning... like the odor left after an oil fire had just been extinguished." Adding eerie overtones to Connolly's intricately plotted tale are more of Parker's musings on the concept of death and the nature of evil soliloquies often accompanied by spectral visions. The malevolence here is almost palpable (even more so than in Parker's earlier outings). 25-city author tour.