Nazis, neighbors, and a nasty hit man coalesce around Connolly’s iconic character, Charlie Parker, who’s recovering from a near-fatal hit.
Parker, the haunted former police detective and private investigator, holes up in a rented beach house in Boreas, on the rocky Maine coast, but it’s never smooth sailing when he’s in the mix. Louis and Angel, longtime associates of Parker who are deadly in their own rights, have helped their friend settle into what should be a tranquil place to recover from the attack that almost killed him. But this is Parker, and in Connolly’s capable hands, nothing is ever simple. When a dead body washes ashore nearby, Parker crosses swords with Boreas Police Chief Cory Bloom and meets his neighbors Ruth Winter and her ailing daughter, Amanda. The body is identified as that of Bruno Perlman, a stranger with a Yiddish paper in his car. Meanwhile, two aging Nazis have been picked up in the U.S., and one of them is naming names, causing a twisted, vicious, and contemptible little man to go on a brutal multistate killing spree. Parker fans know their favorite detective isn’t indestructible: he’s tortured by the loss of his wife and daughter many years ago; estranged from the mother of his 6-year-old daughter, Sam; and, it seems, destined to never again know happiness. But he has knowledge and insight where the spirit world is concerned, and his radar starts screaming when bodies begin turning toes-up all around him. Combining fascinating and not widely known information about Croatian World War II concentration camps with Parker’s struggle to regain some sort of normalcy in his life, Connolly mixes a seamless storyline with a narrative voice that is quite unlike any other.
Connolly infuses his thrillers with enough of the supernatural to please fans of both genres, but it’s his sense of humor, timeless characters, and impeccable writing that make his work worth reading.