book reviews, books, Uncategorized

A Song of Shadows by John Connolly

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A fantastic book, that by rights should be Connolly running on fumes but here all the elements coalesce into a relentless whole. Charlie Parker, even when wounded, is still a danger to the dark forces that seem to follow his path.

It’s brilliant, it does not shy away from the complexities of prosecuting former Nazi war criminals and the motivations for doing so. It also contains some fantastic writing, sentences as polished as bullets and the whole book just moves at a fast pace but without forgetting to imbue everything with a sense of grief and horror at the sins of the past and how they impact upon the present.

In lesser hands, these books might have devolved into parody or vaudeville but each time out, Connolly pushes himself a little harder than before.  It has points where I was flinching with dread and then laughing out loud at the wry humour that leavens the more supernatural elements, but even these are subtle and do not detract from the tight knot of horror, pain and grief that drives the book onward.

I’ve been reading the series since it’s inception and it’s only gotten better as time has gone on. The cast of characters have an ease with one another that comes from time established, we’ve seen them rage against the horrors of the world and bring justice, but we’ve laughed and feared for them too. If you’re looking to pick up a series then you could do a lot worse than start with Every Dead Thing then marvel at how the series transcends it’s serial killer origins into something more melancholy and delicate.

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