The latest problem for Big Problem Guy Charlie Parker is fallen angels, on a mission to recover one of their nasty number from centuries’ long imprisonment.
The Portland (Me.) Chamber of Commerce has to have mixed feelings about Irish journalist-turned-thrillmeister Connolly (Bad Men, 2004, etc.), who plugs the place relentlessly but who also continues to populate the beautiful coastline with busloads of murderers and the undead. The latter haunt the opening of Connolly’s return to the torments of private investigator Parker as Parker’s specters of dead wife and child, brutally murdered several thrillers prior, seem to be lurking around the house he now shares with psychologist girlfriend Rachel and their new baby. The hypertension of the domestic atmosphere ratchets up when an uninvited guest arrives at baby Sam’s christening. She’s the bereft mother of a missing heroin-addicted prostitute, up from the South to confront her nephew, Charlie’s associate Louis, whom she had charged with protecting her daughter Alice. What Charlie and Louis and Louis’s boyfriend Angel will learn when they dig into her exceptionally sordid past is that Alice had accidentally got involved in the theft of one of the fragments of a 16th-century map originally dispersed to trustworthy abbots of Cistercian monasteries. Reassembly of the fragments would reveal the spot where a Czech Cistercian hid one of the bad angels, a location long sought by the angel’s chums and their hangers-on who call themselves Believers. How the bad angel fell into a vat of molten Bohemian silver and why one would hide the resultant statuary are bits slowly revealed to Charlie and his associates who must travel to New York, Mexico and the Czech Republic in their search. It is also revealed to Charlie that the exiles from Paradise, especially the morbidly obese eater of souls Brightwell, think that the p.i. properly belongs to their side. It’s no wonder Rachel’s gone home to mum and taken the baby.
Stylishly literate gore and terror.