The Burning Soul by John Connolly

September 29, 2011
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The Burning Soul
Charlie Parker Series 10
John Connolly

Atria
9-29-11
Hardcover/416 pages
ISBN: 978-1439165270
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". . . twisted thrill ride . . ."

To simply say that Connolly is an Irish author who writes thrillers is like saying Mozart was simply some ‘dude’ who composed music. Private detective Charlie Parker has become a beloved character in the world of crime – not to mention the paranormal, and supernatural – clique of readers. A former police officer, Charlie is a private detective who is always on the hunt to find the killer of his wife and daughter, and these ‘hunts,’ in each and every novel, wrap around another completely different crime that he must investigate.

In this new Charlie Parker novel, John Connolly begins in the woods. He literally shows readers the ‘circle of life’ as they walk through nature. From the crow to the hedgehog – all the creatures of the earth are trying their best to stay alive – and stay away from their natural hunters who are simply waiting to take them out.

Then, the story begins. But instead of Charlie Parker actually hunting or being against a convicted murderer, he is now helping one in a way, helping a man to prove that his past is behind him. The man’s name is Randall Haight and he has spent time rebuilding his life in a new location. Yes, in his background he has the notoriety of having been convicted of murdering a young girl way back when, but he served his time and now lives in the small town of Pastor’s Bay, Maine trying to be a brand new man – and not allow his secret to get out.

Soon he starts to receive letters that are sent from an anonymous source, letters and reminders of the horrific crime he committed in his past. Randall doesn’t know what to do, especially when another girl goes missing in his town.

What he does go for is Charlie Parker. He begs the private detective to find out who is tormenting him and find a way to get them to disappear. He also tries desperately to tell Charlie that he is NOT responsible for this new crime. But, of course, Charlie always has that feeling that not only could he be responsible, but he or the mysterious letter-writer could end up to be the man he’s hunted all his life.

The missing girl does not only have a hunter beside her, but she also comes from a family that owns so many secrets it’s not even funny. Frankly, they could give Randall a run for his money where secrets and lies are concerned. Charlie Parker gets completely involved with a town that offers him everything from ghosts to goblins to age-old secrets and crimes that include everyone from the FBI to the police to actual mobsters.

With each step through this “forest of lies” in Maine, Charlie Parker unveils some new red herring that he must find out whether or not is true. And the truth is something that this town is not going to willingly give up. As with the beginning of the book, Connolly goes on to explain the ‘circle of life’ when it comes to humans – who the hunter is and who the prey will become. This twisted thrill ride with those supernatural overtones we all love so much is among one of Charlie Parker’s best investigations.

Reviewer: Amy E. Lignor

 

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