A Song of Shadows by John Connolly
The Charlie Parker series goes strong because the essence is Charlie and his ghost story. He’s fucked up from page one of his adventures, and clearly part of a larger picture. We only get fleeting glimpses of what that picture. But the past is very much alive, and very much haunting, and very much intent on ripping Charlie to shreds. Fortunately, the detective seems to be made of harder stuff.
Again, this series is thirteen books deep, and still able to be surprising and difficult and captivating. It comes on the heels of the previous book, and it was like reliving a horrible memory — but in a good way. The events of the last book are ever present in the new one. In fact, this book might best be described as an accounting. It’s a lynch pin between this and the next. After being gunned down in his own home, Charlie Parker is trying to recuperate and put himself back together. He bears all the scars — emotional and physical — of that attack and it’s changed him. In what way is the crux of this story.
I forgot how much I love the secondary characters in this series. From Parker’s daughter and her coming of age to Louis and Angel, his assassin/thief cohorts, they really just add so much spice to an already intriguing lead character. Parker finds himself helping local authorities solve a murder in the small town he’s chosen for his convalescence. It involves Nazi war crimes and hidden identities. It’s almost a throwaway story. Old nemeses get their comeuppance, and it clears the slate for the upcoming whatever comes next. If this were a television series, this would be the Season 3 finale. With a probably six or seven seasons. Answers are given, but new questions are asked. And that’s all you can ask from a solid series. This could easily be meandering — and truth be told some of the middle books do feel that way. But Connolly has a way with the supernatural and the detective tale that keeps things fresh.