The Burning Soul by John Connolly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Private detective Charlie Parker is retained by a local attorney in Pastor's Bay, Maine to look into the affairs of a man named Randall Haight, who many years ago was complicit in the rape and murder of a young woman. Another young Maine woman has disappeared and Haight is worried this his past will be exposed and he will fall under suspicion despite an alibi. But as Parker digs deeper and deeper into the small town's facade, he finds that things aren't as cut and dried as they seem. The missing girl is the niece of a Boston Mafia don, and the internecine warfare between mob factions brings the FBI into the picture. Parker has to weave through a thicket of secret messages, lost and changed identities and violence to find out the truth about the man who calls himself Haight and hopefully find a missing girl in the process. Charlie Parker remains a compelling character, a man who is (literally) haunted by his past, and that makes his interaction with Randal Haight and his supernatural experiences all the more interesting. The narrative does seem a little bit scattered at times, with the point of view switching between Parker, Haight and the mobsters. But just as things seem to be spinning out of control, Connolly pulls everything to together in a powerful ending. Like the rest of this series, this novel is crime fiction with just a touch of the supernatural or paranormal. This shouldn't deter hard core mystery or crime fiction readers from checking out this excellent series, as Connolly writes exceedingly well and Charlie Parker is as great a lone-wolf character as James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux or Ken Bruen's Jack Taylor. The Burning Soul - amazon.com
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