The work of John Connolly is becoming more and more entrenched as a genre of one. His Charlie Parker novels are at once some of the darkest and most beautifully written books one is likely to encounter. At the same time, Connolly’s haunted private investigator is one of the most interesting and enigmatic figures in crime fiction. Remove the supernatural elements from the Parker books, and they stand quite well as mysteries or thug lit, or whatever you might wish to call them. Remove the crime elements, and there is enough supernatural suspense to scare the living daylights out of you. Some of his books lean this way or that, but for the most part he ladles out the genre staples --- seasoned with his own unique touch --- in equal measure.
"The ending is both satisfying and uncertain, with Parker in perhaps more trouble than he has ever been..."
THE BURNING SOUL, the 10th installment in the series (and don‘t miss “The Reflecting Eye” in the NOCTURNES collection), is not quite his best work --- I’m torn between THE BLACK ANGEL or the non-Parker BAD MEN for that honor --- but it’s close enough to run at the heels of those two novels. This tale of revenge, depravity and rough justice begins when Anna Kore, a girl on the cusp of adolescence, suddenly goes missing from the Maine crossroads town of Pastor’s Bay without a trace, a horrible occurrence that sets two events into motion.
The first directly involves Parker, who is retained by attorney Aimee Price to assist her in her representation of a client named Randall Haight. Parker dislikes Haight at first sight, and his instincts are spot-on. Haight, an accountant in the Pastor’s Bay area, has a hidden history, an entirely different life lived decades before when, at the age of 14, he was arrested and incarcerated for pa