Publication Date 6th April from Hodder and Staughton
Source: Review Copy
It is deep winter. The darkness is unending.
The private detective named Jaycob Eklund has vanished, and Charlie Parker is dispatched to track him down. Parker’s employer, Edgar Ross, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has his own reasons for wanting Eklund found.
Eklund is no ordinary investigator. He is obsessively tracking a series of homicides and disappearances, each linked to reports of hauntings. Now Parker will be drawn into Eklund’s world, a realm in which the monstrous Mother rules a crumbling criminal empire, in which men strike bargains with angels, and in which the innocent and guilty alike are pawns in a game of ghosts . . .
Oh look its that time of year where I’m reading the next novel in the Charlie Parker series from John Connolly, ending up emotionally traumatised (and boy was THAT true this time) then wondering what the heck else I can say that I haven’t already said that can get across the pure brilliance of this series.
It really is a difficult one because you end up going around in circles and coming back on yourself then thinking well surely if I haven’t sold it by now its just never going to happen. But we’ll give it a go and I’ll even try and stay relatively sensible about the whole thing. Relatively.
This instalment finds Charlie on the hook again to FBI Agent Ross (a man I still haven’t made up my mind about) who sends him off on the trail of a missing private detective. This man, Jaycob , has been messing with things he can’t possibly understand so things are going to get fraught. Well lets face it if Charlie found him in the next town then went home for tea it wouldn’t be NEARLY SO TRAUMATIC. And breathe..
I can’t tell you anything else without then having to kill you, but suffice to say the indomitable Mr Connolly takes us on another emotional rollercoaster read, where the ongoing mythology deepens and just wraps you up in that enigmatic something that I have no words for, the current shenanigans are dark and so beautifully terrifying, the storytelling genius just gets me every single time. And THIS time particularly some things happen that had me needing to lie down. I’m still not over it.
I don’t know another writer around today that has such a gorgeous, descriptively haunting and brilliantly incisive prose, the scene setting is sublime, the entire time you are just enveloped into this whole other world that feels as real as any you leave behind whilst in it. Emotionally charged readers will understand what I mean when I say life is blurred around the edges slightly when coming out of it and it takes a while to settle down. It is just CLEVER. From the first book to this book and probably on into further books, the quality never falters, every one feels fresh, you genuinely never know where they might take you next. The best crime series out there currently? In this readers opinion definitely. Head and shoulders above the best of the rest.
Angel and Louis never cease to be funny yet inevitably flawed, Charlie himself is still facing down the problem of a daughter who may be scarier than he is, more revelations about the underneath of it all are drip fed out to us and overall this was a purely dazzling reading experience which once again left me desperate for more. But I’ll have to wait. I don’t like waiting. It makes me crazy. It’s worth it though. Every single time.
Fans of Charlie Parker do not fear. This is everything you were hoping for and more.
A note – A Game of Ghosts is book 15 and whilst I’m fairly sure that it might be more helpful to be able to say you could read it as a standalone, I’m afraid I’m often to be found screeching at people NO PUT THAT DOWN YOU MUST READ IN ORDER. There is of course no must about it, each book is a brilliant read and you’ll pick up some of the layers, but genuinely, if you don’t follow the arc’s I feel you will lose a lot of the soul of it. And it has a HELL of a lot of soul. So if you’ve not read these yet, you make your bets and you take your chances but I can almost guarantee book one will hook you and we won’t see you for a year while you burn through the rest (Every Dead Thing is where to start by the way)
Highly HIGHLY recommended.
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