Troubled ex-cop turned private investigator Charlie Parker returns in the latest “compulsively readable” (Publishers Weekly) thriller from #1 internationally bestselling author John Connolly.
John Connolly takes battered ex-cop Charlie Parker on his third outing after Every Dead Thing and Dark Hollow. Still struggling with the horrific ghosts of his past, Parker is now a disillusioned private eye hired to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Grace Peltier—which neither her father nor a former US Senator believe was suicide. The trail leads to a mass grave in northern Maine where a Baptist community disappeared forty years earlier. The deaths of the Baptists and Grace are connected and point in the direction of a shadowy organization known as the Fellowship. With the assistance of some idiosyncratic and murderous acolytes, Parker soon confronts the Fellowship's demonic leader and finds himself caught in a situation more gruesome than even he could ever have imagined.
Move over, Spider-Man. Arachnophobes, proceed at your own peril. Elias Pudd, the archfiend in Connolly's masterful third suspense novel (following Every Dead Thing and Dark Hollow) finds such grizzly uses for spiders of all, er, stripes that he makes that dastardly villain Hannibal Lecter seem like Little Lord Fauntleroy. Pudd, however, is just one in a splendidly drawn cast that propels this gripping, intricately plotted tale. When a road crew in northern Maine accidentally unearths a grave site, the bodies turn out to be members of the Aroostook Baptists, a cultlike religious group whose members disappeared in the 1960s. Meanwhile, private investigator Charlie Parker (from the earlier novels) is hired to investigate the suspicious suicide of Grace Peltier, who was working on a graduate thesis concerning guess what? the Aroostook Baptists. Further muddying the waters is the Fellowship, a group led by the supremely unctuous Carter Paragon (n Chester Quincy Deedes, "the name on his birth certificate and his criminal record"), which turns out to be far more sinister than anyone realized. From Connolly's opening words "This is a honeycomb world. It hides a hollow heart" it's clear that this is no ordinary thriller; indeed, his random musings on the manifestations of evil, coupled with Parker's visions and flashbacks, lend the book a dark, intriguing overlay. Lest things become too intense, however, the author's wry sense of humor easily lightens the situation, often harking back to earlier noir writers: "she had the kind of body that caused highway pileups after Sunday services." In his novel's acknowledgments, Connolly modestly writes, "As each novel progresses, the depths of my ignorance become more and more apparent." Also becoming more apparent are the depths of this author's psychological acumen, literary skills and prodigious creativity.