About the book (from the publisher): The next pulse-pounding thriller in John Connolly’s internationally best-selling Charlie Parker series.
The community of Prosperous, Maine has always thrived when others have suffered. Its inhabitants are wealthy, it’s children’s future secure. It shuns outsiders. It guards its own. And at the heart of Prosperous lie the ruins of an ancient church, transported stone by stone from England centuries earlier by the founders of the town.
But the death of a homeless man and the disappearance of his daughter draw the haunted, lethal private investigator Charlie Parker to Prosperous. Parker is a dangerous man, driven by compassion, by rage, and by the desire for vengeance. In him, the town and its protectors sense a threat graver than any they have faced in their long history, and in the comfortable, sheltered inhabitants of small Maine town, Parker will encounter his most vicious opponents yet.
Charlie Parker has been marked to die so that Prosperous may survive.
Prosperous, and the secret that it hides beneath its ruins…
My review: Though I was familiar with his name, this is my first experience with a John Connolly novel. I had no assumptions, didn’t know what to expect, and let me tell you, I was blown away by his writing. This particular novel, The Wolf in Winter, is the twelfth novel in a series involving former cop turned private investigator Charlie Parker. Parker lives in Maine, so the bulk of the action, but not all, takes place in that state. Parker clearly has a history that is referenced during the course of the novel, and it makes me want to grab the books, in order, and jump right in at the beginning. But The Wolf in Winter functions very well indeed as a stand-alone novel.
Connolly writes beautifully. His words are poetic and the world he creates is so incredibly vivid and compelling and, yes, evil, that I had to make myself come up for air at times. What makes this series different from many other series in the genre is the element of the supernatural that figures strongly in the plots. I was surprised by this, since traditional mysteries usually follow a clearly defined set of ‘givens’ and the supernatural is not one of them. But Connolly laces this element throughout the plot and, I have to say, it makes for a brilliant combination of mystery and horror – of the unexplainable from centuries past meeting the high-tech 21st century. He blends these genres beautifully.
Parker stumbles upon this mystery when a homeless man who was a friend of his is murdered. As his investigation leads him to the town of Prosperous, he encounters a malevolence that comes not only from the town’s inhabitants, but from something deeply hidden, something dark and evil, that has roots in time immemorial.
Connolly writes a tight plot. I literally – and you know I don’t use that word casually – couldn’t put the book down. There are characters and ongoing investigations that clearly run through more than one of the books. Every character is richly drawn. There is also a strong element of humor that nicely balances out the darker forces that permeate the story.
I’ve already ordered another book in the series. In fact, I’ve just started it. I can’t recommend this author highly enough.
About the author: John Connolly was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1968 and has, at various points in his life, worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a dogsbody at Harrod’s department store in London. He studied English at Trinity College, Dublin, and journalism at Dublin City University, subsequently spending five years working as a freelance journalist for the Irish Times newspaper, to which he continues to contribute. He is based in Dublin, but divides his time between his native city and the United States.
Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for providing me with an eGalley of The Wolf in Winter.
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