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The Burning Soul (Charlie Parker #10) by John Connolly

Book Description
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?

“There are some truths so terrible that they should not be spoken aloud, so appalling that even to acknowledge them is to risk sacrificing a crucial part of one’s humanity, to exist in a colder, crueler world than before.”

Randall Haight has a secret: He is a convicted murderer, a man with the blood of a young girl on his hands. He has built a new life for himself in the small Maine town of Pastor’s Bay, but someone has discovered the truth about him. He is being tormented by anonymously sent reminders of his crime. He wants private detective Charlie Parker to make them go away.

But another girl has gone missing, this time from Pastor’s Bay itself, and her family has its own secrets to protect. Now, in a town built on blood and shadowed by old ghosts, Parker must unravel a twisted history of violence and deceit involving the police and the FBI, a doomed mobster and his enemies, and Randall Haight himself.

Because Randall is telling lies. . . .
My Review
It has been a long time since I have read a book from the Charlie Parker PI series. I used to really love Connolly’s books with Parker as the main protagonist I have read the first four on successive release dates then i drifted away while waiting the next title to be released. Over time like, many books that are part of a series by authors, that dark excellence lost it’s edge a bit. In this novel you have Charlie revisiting the memories of his Child’s death and all that comes with those feelings, another murder has re-earthed as a 14 year old girl goes missing. Writing about missing children is a ground covered well in the past and written about so frequently I feel it’s a hard story to write about, you need to really work hard at making it an immersing story that grips the reader. This story had elements in it that wanted you to keep turning but as time progressed it missed that something that I could say really confidently that i definitely liked it which gets four stars. If it wasn’t for Connolly nice words he put together in parts of this story I would have struggled to give it four. It is a cerebral story, that is not the best of Charlie Parker’s cases I loved so much his first few books Every Dead Thing, Dark Hollow and The Killing Kind. When you read the excerpts you can see how well he can write.

“Every fall brought the same realization: this was the best of it until March, perhaps even April. As bad as this was, with sodden leaves, and cold drizzle, and darkness in the mornings and darkness in the evenings, the winter would be so much worse. Oh, there would be moments of beauty, as when the sunlight scattered the first snows with gems, and the world in those early daylight hours would seem cleansed of it’s ugliness, purged of it’s sins, but then the filth would accrue, and the snow would blacken, and there would be grit in the soles of her shoes, and on the floor of her car, and traipsed through her house, and she would wish herself to be one of those huddled sleeping creatures that find a warm, dark cave or the hollow of a tree trunk, there to wait out the winter months.”

“I had witnessed the blurring of worlds, watching as elements of what once was, and what was to come, seeped into this life like dark ink through water. I knew of the existence of a form of evil that wad beyond human capacities, the wellspring from which all other evil sipped. And I knew that I was marked, although to what end I did not yet understand. So I had kept my distance from my child, for fear of what I might draw upon her.”

“I might have begun by arguing that when one encounters enough strangeness, what is strange ultimately becomes familiar. The mind can accommodate itself to almost anything, given time: pain, grief, loss, even the possibility that the dead talk to the living. And I understood, too, that this was all part of a larger pattern, a signpost on a journey whose ultimate destination I could not know. I had resigned myself to what was to come, whatever it might be, and that resignation brought with it a kind of peace. So I slept, and I was grateful for sleep. When I could no longer sleep, then I would know that I was going mad.”

Reviewed by Lou Pendergrast on 16 September 2011

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