Anne Bonny #BookReview The Woman In The Woods by @jconnollybooks 5* #CrimeFiction #Horror #NewRelease @HodderPublicity #CharlieParker I absolutely adored this subtlety sinister crime fiction novel. . .

cover
The Woman In The Woods by John Connolly
My Own copy from my tbr Pile
Synopsis:

The new thrilling instalment of John Connolly’s popular Charlie Parker series.

It is spring, and the semi-preserved body of a young Jewish woman is discovered buried in the Maine woods. It is clear that she gave birth shortly before her death.

But there is no sign of a baby.

Private detective Charlie Parker is engaged by the lawyer Moxie Castin to shadow the police investigation and find the infant, but Parker is not the only searcher. Someone else is following the trail left by the woman, someone with an interest in more than a missing child, someone prepared to leave bodies in his wake.

And in a house by the woods, a toy telephone begins to ring.

For a young boy is about to receive a call from a dead woman . . .

My review:

I absolutely adored this subtlety sinister crime fiction novel. I particularly enjoy the supernatural themes, that run throughout the series and are utterly menacing. For me, it is the perfect blend of crime fiction and horror and Charlie Parker is the perfect protagonist to guide you through the pages.

The novel opens with Angel recovering from surgery for stage 2 colon cancer. So, Parker is one wingman down. This doesn’t impact the plot unravelling and throughout we receive regular updates on Angel. Although ironically given his name, he seems to fear death or the impact his death may have upon others.

The novel then jumps to the perspective of a little boy. Daniel Weaver is just 5yrs old and lives with his mother Holly and grandfather. His mother reads him Grimm’s fairy tales, in particular Woman In The Woods. We become aware that he has a violent and horrific father, but this is not elaborated on, until much further in the novel.
Needless to say, you become protective of Daniel.

We then meet Leila Patton a waitress at a local diner in Cadillac, Indiana. She has been working at Dobey’s diner for some time. She loves her job and the staff. But hates the town itself and if it wasn’t for her terminally ill mother, she’d be long gone! She dreams of the day she can finally escape.

Late one night, after closing time at Dobey’s two strange characters enter. They seek a young woman named Karis Lamb. A woman Dobey hasn’t seen for 5yrs. Over the course of the evening we become more aware of Karis’s background.

‘What some men do to women makes me ashamed of my sex’ – Dobey

We learn that Dobey first met Karis when she was 8 months pregnant and fleeing a crazed man, with a violent streak named Vernay. Dobey’s over time has become a sanctuary for women in need and runs on a discreet basis. Vernay controlled Karis with making threats against her mother and sister but that after their death in a car accident; Karis finally had the strength to flee. . .

‘She was running from the devil himself’

The strange characters Quayle and Pallida Mors seek to find Karis and something she holds dear. But is it the child they seek?

Meanwhile, Daniel hears a toy phone (with no batteries) ring. He answers the call to a mysterious lady named Karis. . . .

#SoScary

In Maine a body has been discovered, female remains that had give birth recently. But there are no signs of a baby. The grave site is marked with the star of David and it is this that urges Mozie (Parker’s lawyer) to have Parker shadow the case.

‘This was not alone woman
This was a mother’

As Holly becomes more concerned for her son Daniel. The remains of the female are exhumed and analysed. Parker gets to work! One thing is for certain Parker fears nothing and no one. No matter what it takes he will unravel the case.

There is a background story of Bobby and Billy Ocean, a pair of redneck racists/homophobes with too much time and money on their hands. Which distracts from the creepy elements of the case.
But when the creepy elements strike they really are eerie!

For the most part of the novel Parker has to gain the trust of females who have been repeatedly victimised and brutalised by men.
Can he do it? Can he free the dead woman from the shackles of an unjust death?

The ending leaves you desperate for the next Charlie parker novel 5*

JC
John Connolly
Website
Twitter

My Review for A Game Of Ghosts by John Connolly

Anne Bonny #BookReview A Game Of Ghosts by @jconnollybooks 5* #CharlieParker #CrimeFiction #Series @HodderBooks #MustReadSeries

cover
A Game Of Ghosts by John Connolly
Own copy from tbr pile
Synopsis:

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 . . .

My Review:

The novel opens in Portland during winter. With a worse-for-wear Charlie Parker, who is feeling the pain of old injuries. When he is approached by FBI agent Edgar Ross. Angel and Louis are as always lurking in the background. Parker is currently on FBI retainer, when he is asked to look into the case of a missing PI. The PI in question Jaycob Ekland is also on FBI retainer, yet they are unaware of his most recent case. Ross wants the investigation doing as quietly as possible.

As always there is an element of the supernatural. We become aware of the Buried God – The god of wasps – one who waits behind the glass. Whose believers use their ‘faith’ to justify unimaginable acts of depravity. They are usually people of power and wealth.

Parker begins his investigation by digging into Ekland’s files. 52yrs old, ex-cop, divorced and no children. There is no clues and nothing out of the ordinary. Ekland’s laptop and phone, remain missing, which impedes Parker’s search for more information. He decides to speak to Ekland’s ex-wife Milena Budny.
But Ekland isn’t the only one with an ex-partner. . .

Parker’s former partner Rachel and mother of his daughter Sam. Has scheduled an appointment for Parker to attend Sam’s child psychologist, after a recent abduction. But Sam is strong, mentally strong. Not only that Sam has added support from her half-sister Jennifer. Her dead half-sister Jennifer. . . .

Ekland’s notes are scattered with references to ghosts and the paranormal. Making this the perfect case for Parker. But what is Ekland’s connection to the occult?
How does it all tie together?

A separate scene plays out of mother and son, May and Alex Mackinnon. They are being haunted, but is this a person or spiritual entity? I found these scenes insanely suspenseful. I knew they had to be the mother and son mentioned in the synopsis.
Yet I dreaded something happening to them.

‘They’re all someone’s children’ – Parker

There are a series of strange characters and even stranger occurrences in the novel. From Eklund’s secret basement, to the boy who drew his father’s death as it happened and Sally & Kirk the creepy couple running a religious sect that sounds like a cult.
There is plenty going on in this novel and I love the way the chapters add layer and layer of intrigue and suspense. 5*

I was so engrossed in this novel, when I opened it. My husband already bought me the next in the series, The Woman In The Woods. Which I will be reviewing as soon as I have caught up with my blog/review tbr mountain.
But here is the cover and synopsis.
cover
The Woman In The Woods by John Connolly
Review scheduled 7th May
Synopsis:

The new thrilling instalment of John Connolly’s popular Charlie Parker series.

It is spring, and the semi-preserved body of a young Jewish woman is discovered buried in the Maine woods. It is clear that she gave birth shortly before her death.

But there is no sign of a baby.

Private detective Charlie Parker is engaged by the lawyer Moxie Castin to shadow the police investigation and find the infant, but Parker is not the only searcher. Someone else is following the trail left by the woman, someone with an interest in more than a missing child, someone prepared to leave bodies in his wake.

And in a house by the woods, a toy telephone begins to ring.

For a young boy is about to receive a call from a dead woman . . .

JC
John Connolly
Website
Twitter