song of shadowsReview by David Steinberg

I have favorite authors, as many readers do. Choosing what to read of what they’ve written is another matter.

I watch for John Connolly’s crime novels. I’m a big fan of his Charlie Parker series.

And I’ve just finished reading “A Song of Shadows,” the newest in that series. Not that new; it was released last fall. But it certainly hasn’t lose its power sitting on the shelf.

Parker is a fearless private detective even while recovering from a shooting that nearly killed him. Battered physically and emotionally, he’s still haunted by the death of his wife and daughter.

Parker is now recuperating in a seaside house in Boreas, Maine when he meets a neighbor, Ruth Winter. She is reluctant to let Parker peel away the shadows of her world.

When Ruth is killed, Parker takes it upon himself to find out what’s behind her murder. His snooping challenges the local police and the dynamics of the town. He is smart, forceful, relentless. He is, in other words, a presence, and that presence is reason why some folks in town want him out of the way. 

Among them are Germans who emigrated to the U.S. after World War II. They’re still hiding their Nazi past and are linked to a shadowy Boreas resident who is an unlikely neo-Nazi. Parker keeps digging. He sees a connection between this cabal and Winter’s death, and to an apparent suicide by drowning in the offshore waters.

And there are the constant shadows in Parker’s life – his half-hidden buddies Louis and Angel who are available to rescue him and the reappearing specter of his dead daughter.

Obviously, shadows dominate this story. They invest the novel with shades of darkness that Connolly fashions into a thrilling read.

“A Song of Shadows” is an Emily Bestler Book published by Atria. Retail price is $26.99.

The next installment in the Charlie Parker series is due out this year.