Charlie Parker is a private detective who has been tasked with helping an ex-convict who believes he will be killed now that he’s been released. As Parker investigates it quickly becomes clear that this involves a very old and secluded community with dark secrets.
Full disclosure: while this book is #14 in a series surrounding Charlie Parker, this is the first one I’ve read. That being said, I don’t think my lack of history impeded my enjoyment of this book. While there are a few story threads that are clearly related to previous books, they were fleshed out enough that I could grasp what was going on.
Ok, disclosure out of the way, I liked this book. The slight paranormal aspect made me think of the TV show Grimm, but it’s not quite that. The paranormal wasn’t front and center to the story, even though it seems to be an important part of Parker’s character. I liked this about the book since too much strangeness can turn me off.
Parker and his companions were really fleshed out as characters. Even without reading the preceding 13 books I got a sense of history from them and could easily picture them sitting in a diner chatting about their cases. Similarly the community of people inside the Cut also felt very real, even when they were participating in awful things. Connolly did a great job of putting us inside the heads of his characters and giving us an understanding of why they’re doing what they’re doing. Along those same lines, each character, even the “good guys” were flawed in very human ways. Honestly, for a long running detective series, I was impressed by the character development.
The story is also very engaging. While I think it probably could have been cut down to be a bit shorter, I was still left biting my nails most of the time, hoping certain characters made it alive to the next chapter. This book honestly has me considering picking up the previous 13 books.
Deep sense of history in the world of the story
Some very creepy moments
“He regarded the falling of leaves as they drove, like all the dead days descending.”
“Then [redacted] ignited too, burning a path into the next life.”
“And although Ormsby had listened to him drawing nearer, and seen with his own eyes how he stepped into the open doorway, still it was as though this man had descended upon him, alighting in his home like a bird of prey landing by wounded quarry.”
“It was a woman, as close to the glass on the outside of the house that Ormsby was to the pane inside. She wore the tattered red dress, soiled with blood and dirt. Her skull was entirely hairless, and the sockets of her eyes were empty. Her skin was gray, and wrinkled around the mouth like the surface of an apple long past its best.”
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review