Charlie "Bird" Parker, the protagonist of John Connolly's Shamus Award-winning first novel, Every Dead Thing, returns in another moody, masterful thriller set in the beautifully evoked Maine woods where Bird has returned to lick his wounds and recover from the murder of his wife and daughter explored in the earlier book. A half-hearted investigator, Bird agrees to track down the ex-husband of Rita Purdue and get the child support she has coming to her. And when Rita and her son are killed and the finger of suspicion points to Billy Purdue, Bird still feels a moral obligation to find the young man, even though he can't believe he's a killer. Then the bodies begin piling up, among them a bunch of Cambodian killers, some mob-connected Boston gangsters, a couple of people to whom Billy turned for refuge, and an old woman in a nursing home who dies with the name of a bogeyman on her lips--the mysterious Caleb Kyle. It's not the first time Bird's heard that name: his grandfather, who was also a cop, spent his last years trying to track down the legendary monster whose name was always used to scare kids into doing what they were supposed to. And it's not only his grandfather's ghost that haunts Bird as he attempts to solve the mystery of who Billy Purdue really is; the spirits of his dead wife and child urge him on in his attempt to find justice for Rita and her child as well. Aided in his quest by two unlikely but compellingly realized associates, a gay hit man and his lover, Bird confronts the evil that lurks in a mythical monster who turns out to be all too real, and comes to terms, finally, with the grief that has colored his life black since the death of his family. A powerful, well-paced thriller with a complex and interesting hero who bears even further explication--hopefully in his third adventure. |
Source: Jane Adams, Amazon.com.