A Thousand Steps

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A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Song of Shadows by John Connolly - A Book Review

Still recovering from his life-threatening wounds, private detective Charlie Parker investigates a case that has its origins in a Nazi concentration camp during the Second World War.

Parker has retreated to the small Maine town of Boreas to regain his strength. There he befriends a widow named Ruth Winter and her young daughter, Amanda. But Ruth has her secrets. Old atrocities are about to be unearthed, and old sinners will kill to hide their sins. Now Parker is about to risk his life to defend a woman he barely knows, one who fears him almost as much as she fears those who are coming for her.

His enemies believe him to be vulnerable. Fearful. Solitary.

But they are wrong. Parker is far from afraid, and far from alone.

For something is emerging from the shadows . . .


A Song of Shadows (Charlie Parker, #13)A Song of Shadows by John Connolly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Song of Shadows by John Connelly is a 2015 Atria publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I kept putting this one off until I was more in the mood for a little supernatural tone with my detective stories, and there's no better time than in the month of October for a good ghost story. So, I settled in on a dark and stormy night, hoping Charlie was still the guy I have come to know and love.

I have to say, this story was absolutely incredible. A small community in Maine with a large German community is where Charlie has moved temporarily in order to continue his long physical, mental and emotional healing. It's just his luck that a couple of Nazi war criminals have recently made headlines, and a body has washed up on the shore, a case that is all but screaming at Charlie to get involved. It seems, for Charlie at least, there is no rest for the weary.

Charlie's daughter, Sam, is staying with him for a while, and reveals her own talent for seeing dead people, and maybe a little more than that, which has Charlie worried sick. But, thankfully, he has Rachel, and his old friends Angel and Louis are there to watch his back.

This story is sort of like a 'time out' for Charlie, who is outside of his usual elements here, and is hampered by his injuries. The plot is intricate and there were some rather long winded passages here and there concerning the history of the town, the war, and the reminder that some people who committed atrocities during world war two managed to escape justice, and have been living quite comfortably to boot. There were several heart stopping twist along the way with some shocking developments I never saw coming. I was completely immersed in the story involving war crimes and the puzzling mystery behind why certain people were now being targeted.

But, the storyline with Sam and her 'dead sister' was one that literally had the hair standing up on the back of my neck and chills running down my spine! The dark and sinister undertones here are going to have you on the very edge of your seat.

One thing about long running series is that the stories go through peaks and valleys, with some installments either falling flat or just barely managing to break even, while others are simply mind blowing. With thirteen books in a this series, I would say Charlie was due to take stumble, especially after the climatic conclusion of book twelve. But, this was one of the best of the lot, in my opinion. The plot was crisp and fresh, very clever, intense and sharp, offset by some humor and poignancy.

I highly recommend this book for fans of this series for sure, but even if you haven't followed the series, you can still enjoy the detective story is this one and I know once you get a taste of Charlie's otherworldly life you will want to know more. Just be sure not read it alone on a dark and stormy night!



A Song of Shadows (Charlie Parker, #13)

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 Harrods department store in London. He studied English in 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.

This page is administered by John's assistant, Clair, on John's behalf. If you'd like to communicate with John directly, you can do so by writing to contact-at-johnconnollybooks.com, or by following him on Twitter at @JConnollyBooks.

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