Today I am reviewing A Time of Torment by John Connolly. Thank you to NetGalley for supplying an eGalley of this book in return for my honest review.
About the book (from the publisher): Dangerous and driven private investigator Charlie Parker returns in the latest gripping thriller of internationally bestselling author John Connolly’s series, in which ungodly fears haunt a strange and isolated community,.
Jerome Burnel was once a hero. He intervened to prevent multiple killings, and in doing so, destroyed himself. His life was torn apart. He was imprisoned, brutalized.
But in his final days, with the hunters circling, he tells his story to private detective Charlie Parker. He speaks of the girl who was marked for death, but was saved; of the ones who tormented him, and an entity that hides in a ruined stockade.
Parker is not like other men. He died, and was reborn. He is ready to wage war.
Now he will descend upon a strange and isolated community called the Cut, and face down a force of men who rule by terror, intimidation, and murder.
All in the name of the being they serve. All in the name of the Dead King.
My review: From the moment I read one of John Connolly’s Charlie Parker mysteries, The Wolf in Winter, I became a big, big fan. I did what every book lover loves to do with a series; I went back and read them all in chronological order. (Two of those books are reviewed here: The Wolf in Winter, The Song of Shadows)
Connolly is a lyrical writer, blending the poetic with a streak of evil that permeates every story. For Connolly is that rare mystery writer who blends the everyday with the supernatural. He writes of other worlds, seen and unseen. When I discovered him, I realized that I had never read anything quite like that, as I tend to read ‘traditional’ mysteries and thrillers.
Charlie Parker is haunted by the murder of his first wife and daughter. He has been blessed, or cursed, what you will, by an ‘otherness.’ He sees things and senses things that others do not see. A former policeman, now private investigator, he has a calling; to fight the forces of evil that would harm those who are innocent.
The Cut, the cult-like, isolated community that Parker discovers when working on Brunel’s case, is one of those forces of evil. I won’t go into the plot details because I don’t want to deprive you of the delicious experience of reading a John Connolly book, but as always, the book is meticulously plotted, with the suspense building until everything comes together in the final reckoning. He tells the story not only from Parker’s point of view, but also from the POV of other characters, weaving their stories together until the denouement.
Connolly uses strong images, so if you have an aversion to that sort of thing, this might not be your cup of tea. But it surely is my cup of tea and, judging by the legions of readers who are hooked on his books, many, many people like this tea very much indeed.
I’m never disappointed when I read a new book by John Connolly. Charlie Parker has to be one of the most fascinating protagonists I’ve ever encountered and I learn more about him with every new book. Driven, compassionate, haunted: he is one for the ages.
About the author: John Connolly is the author of the Charlie Parker series of mystery novels, the supernatural collection, Nocturnes, the Samuel Johnson trilogy, and (with Jennifer Rudyard) the Chronicles of the Invaders series for young readers. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.
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