Emily Bestler Books/ATRIA- Simon & Schuster, $26.99, 436 pages, ISBN 978-1-5011-1828-9
As a long-time fan of crime fiction and the other-worldlyness of the supernatural genres, I’ve been fascinated by the work of Irish writer John Connolly and his Charlie Parker series (which is a blending of the two into something wholly new) ever since I became acquainted with his work several years ago. He’s never disappointed me and his newest, A Song of Shadows, by John Connolly—the fifteenth in his Charlie Parker series—is no exception. It would, in my opinion, be included in the top three books of the series because the author has steadily and carefully added an entirely new dimension to his concept, one that the reader won’t grasp until she or he reads the entire novel! It is no wonder that Connolly is a number one international best seller.
A Song of Shadows, opens with a severely wounded Charlie Parker looking for a peaceful and remote place to rest and recuperate as he recovers from the gunshots which nearly killed him. With the help of his two sinister pals—Louis and Angel—he takes a summer lease on a beach front house in northern Maine . . . in a town named Boreas. There, Parker meets Ruth Winter and her daughter Amanda. She’s about the same age as Samantha, his six year old who lives with her mother, and visits him on weekends. At first it appears Boreas will be the ideal place to rehab, and Parker takes daily walks along the beach, trying to make it a little bit farther each day as his health improves. But the town harbors secrets it will kill to protect, and Ruth Winter conceals a past she’s afraid of . . . almost as much as she’s afraid of Parker. When a mans body washes up on the beach however, it sets in motion a chain of events that threaten many lives—including Charlie Parker’s—as old atrocities are unearthed, an entire family is murdered in a nearby town, and the ghosts of six million Holocaust victims linger in the background. In spite of objections by some of the local police, Parker feels compelled to get involved . . . even though he’s debilitated and still seriously wounded. Although mysterious enemies are trying to move against him, Parker remains formidable . . . no matter the circumstances.
As he always manages to do, Connolly blends noir and horror together into an awesome, well-researched and totally entertaining read that concludes with a chilling revelation and prediction, which promises that more Charlie Parker adventures are coming. I can’t wait! And FYI, the other two of my personal three best John Connolly novels: 2005s The Black Angel and 2012s The Wrath of Angels. Both are unforgettable.