Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Atria via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
Summary: Charlie Parker is a reformed alcoholic who left the NYPD for PI work when his wife and daughter were brutally murdered by a would-be serial killer. While pursuing other cases, he is always looking for connections to the killer who took his family. Little does he know, the killer is closer than he thinks.
Review: No doubt, John Connolly is a good storyteller. He manages to make Charlie’s less than moral choices feel justified given the potential outcome (the ends justify the means, etc.). And despite these highly questionable decisions, it’s hard not to like Charlie, to empathize with him, to support him in his cause. There was plenty of suspense and drama, quite a bit of grit, and since I’m a sucker for the supernatural/paranormal, I loved his openness to the idea that some people are extra “sensitive”.
However. This should have been two separate books. To me, it read like two separate books. When the first part of the story ended, I thought somewhere along the way there would be some connection to the two stories that was SO strong, it would make sense to tie the mostly unrelated stories together. Yes, there was a connection. No, it didn’t warrant including the second story in the same book. Two great stories, mind you, but I felt like I was being tricked into reading a second in series. Had they been separated, there would have been room for a little more development in the first story, and a great cliffhanger at the end. Just sayin’.
I also felt like the relationship building between Charlie and (sorry, no spoilers) was a little rough. Fortunately, I don’t usually read these types of books for the romance aspect, but that coupling becomes an important part of the story at the end, and I just wasn’t feelin’ it the way I would expect. Don’t even get me started on the sex scene…
Certainly, I enjoyed this book and I’ll read more in the series. It’s a perfectly fine mystery/thriller, and I understand the paranormal aspect is brought more to the forefront later in the series (yay!), and I’m sure the series finds its groove along the way because it certainly has excellent ratings. At some point in the future, I’ll rejoin Charlie Parker. I just don’t know when.