Connolly’s antihero, former cop turned private detective Charlie Parker, continues his fight against the forces of darkness in this supernatural thriller.
Parker isn’t so much a man on a mission as one whose missions find him, much like a stray dog following home a schoolboy. And although he doesn’t go looking for trouble, he’s not averse to taking it on, even if it comes to the Backers, a shadowy group that supports what Parker and his confederates believe to be a movement of fallen angels expelled from the heavens and capable of evil in unimaginable proportions. The former angels take on many forms and corrupt the corruptible among men by promising their hearts’ desires, foremost of which are success and power. Parker becomes entangled with these forces one more time when two individuals at a local bar offer a strange tale about a plane crashed deep in the Maine woods, a bizarre and frightening child that haunts it, and a list of names that might shine a light on some of the dark forces moving about. Parker soon finds himself searching for the rest of that list with the help, and hindrance, of an unlikely ally, as well as a frightening competitor who is contemplating putting Parker and his sweetly homicidal buddies, Louis and Angel, on his to-do list. Add in a once beautiful but now ruined woman with a heart as black as the woods and a child that isn’t a child, and the author sets the stage for another one of Parker’s adventures into otherworldly events. Connolly’s Parker is wry, and the writing is particularly engaging when he brings Louis and Angel into the picture. This story inspires both a shudder or 20 and the vaguely realized idea that as far out as Connolly’s stories can sometimes be, there is always the possibility that he could be onto something. And, if he is, then we’re all in a whole lot of trouble.
Connolly’s Parker remains an interesting character, but Connolly's books are infinitely more enjoyable when he refrains from political moralizing.