Atria/Emily Bestler Books, $26.99, 464 pages, ISBN 978-1-5011-7189-5
We’ve saved the best for last. Our final submission for this years MBR Freak Fest is by the undisputed heavyweight king of Gothic Noir Crime Fiction. His name is John Connolly. He’s an Irish writer who’s been atop worldwide best sellers charts for ages. His Charlie Parker private eye series is noirish crime fiction with a supernatural twist that will leave you gasping for breath and begging for more. Charlie Parker, you see, might be one of the thirteen fallen angels who were cast out of heaven . . . who is trying to redeem himself and get back into God’s good graces . . . or not. We’re never quite sure. He hangs around with two associates named Louis and Angel, who’re two of the most violent and vicious characters in all of crime fiction. They could be angels, or demons, in human form, but they’re always protecting Charlie. There’s never an answer given, it’s up to the reader to decide and it’s one of the most delicious and intriguing aspects of the series. The most current novel, which came out in late spring, is A Game of Ghosts, Charlie Parker is still recovering from near fatal wounds when he’s given an assignment by an FBI agent named Edgar Ross to locate a private detective named Jaycob Eklund who has disappeared. When he vanished, Eklund—no ordinary investigator—is tracking a series of horrendous homicides and disappearances, each of which are linked to reports of hauntings. The more he searches for answers to the disappearances, the deeper Parker is drawn into an otherworldly realm in which a monstrous figure known as Mother rules a crumbling criminal empire in which mortal men seek bargains with angels. It’s a world in which the innocent as well as the guilty are pawns in a game of ghosts.
In A Game of Ghosts, John Connolly has delivered his most electrifying, compelling and propulsive read since The Black Angel. If you are not already a fan, you will be after you read this novel. If you are a fan, don’t worry, we should see another installment about April or May of next year.
And incidentally, The Black Angel is one of the scariest paranormal reads the MBR has ever encountered. If you get a chance to read it, look up The Ossuary at Sedlac in the Czech Republic and you will be changed forever. It is something you will never forget. Late at night when I cannot sleep, I have found myself wondering what sort of mind could conceive of something that’s simultaneously so beautiful and so monstrous at the same time . . .