A Book of Bones

Mysterious Book Report No. 400

by John Dwaine McKenna

All readers of fiction, and especially crime fiction, are ultimately interested in the eternal battle between the forces of good versus the forces of evil.  It’s the tension between those two opposing sides that creates drama, and drama is what we all crave, because we’re curious . . . and because we’re rooting for one side or the other.  Whether it’s Mommy Dearest, or The Devil himself, it’s only a matter of personal taste as to how graphic one likes their villains, but generally speaking, the baddest of the bad must have the greatest of the good as an opponent before either one can prevail.

So, what if . . . just suppose . . . there was an older, dormant God who was evil, just awaiting a wake-up call?

That’s the premise behind A Book of Bones, ( Emily Bestler Books/Altria, $28.99, 673 pages, ISBN 978-1-9821-2751-0) by John Connolly, in his chilling, nineteenth Charlie Parker thriller.

The challenge and the conflict begins on the moors of Northumbria, England, when a young schoolteacher is ritually murdered, her body left at the site where the ancient, and evil, Familist Church was located before it was moved to Prosperous, Maine sometime in the seventeenth century.  Then, an Iron Age mound to the south, is where a second victim, this time a young girl, is found murdered in a similar fashion.  And not long after that a human skull turns up in the ruins of an abandoned monastery . . . all in an attempt to awaken an earlier, more brutal God known as the Green Man and re-impose chaos upon this world we know and love.  But this world is only one of many worlds, all described in an ever-changing but incomplete, ancient hand-written tome called the Fractured Atlas which, if reassembled, will allow our world to be destroyed; replaced by an evil, choas-laden and unstable one.

A diabolic English lawyer named Quayle is in possession of the atlas, which is missing a single page . . . a page that is in the hands of an otherworldly detective named Charlie Parker and his two unholy assistants; Angel and Louis who’s the last of the Reapers.  An all-out battle for the missing page ensues, with victim after victim falling at the hands of the evildoers until the final scene at a five hundred year-old church where Parker himself may not see the light of the next day.

Connolly shows once again, why he’s the undisputed master of the uncanny thriller in this electrifying tale that’ll make you double check all the locks, throw more wood on the fire and keep you nailed to the page far into the scary dark night!

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