The Reapers by John Connolly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a book in John Connolly's Charlie Parker series, but ostensibly it is really the story of Louis, Parker's enigmatic friend and colleague. When he was a young man, Louis witnessed a horrible race related hate crime, and then committed a crime of his own by avenging the death of his mother. Louis' mixture of intelligence and ruthlessness brings him to the attention to a man named named Gabriel who ran an elite group of contract killers called The Reapers. During his years as a contract killer, Louis ran amok from a fellow Reaper called Bliss, and the heart of the story is the attempt by Bliss to avenge himself against Louis. Louis had long since left the world of contract killing, settling into marginally more legal activities with his lover Angel. But when Gabriel re-enters his life prompting one last mission, Louis and Angel are caught in a deadly web of deceit and lies. This was a very well written novel, filling in the back story in one of the most interesting side characters of the series. Following Louis from a young man to a killer and then retirement takes a whole new slant on the series. Also you get into some of the other character's minds and learn what they think of Parker and his adventures. Parker does appear in person at the end of the novel, but Connolly keeps him in the third person, like a well known person reflected in a distant mirror. This isn't the place to start with this excellent series, because the narrative depends on quite a bit of back story from the previous novels. But this marks an excellent diversion in the series, changing the point of view and perspective and momentarily dropping the supernatural tinge that permeates the Parker centered novels to excellent effect. The Reapers: A Thriller - amazon.com
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