Friday 30 September 2011

A Wee Review - The Burning Soul by John Connolly

Randal Haight is at wits’ end. Somebody is sending him pictures that prove you cannot escape your past. You see, Haight hasn’t always been Haight. The person he was before – the child he was before – murdered a little girl. And now the town he’s settled in is in a frenzied uproar over the disappearance of a fourteen-year-old girl. Cue Charlie Parker, a private investigator with a tragic past, as Haight’s protector. The only thing is, Parker doesn’t believe his client is as innocent as he claims.

John Connolly’s latest, The Burning Soul, is a Charlie Parker thriller (number 10). Excellent news for fans of the series, but equally great news for those yet to sample Connolly’s work (if there’s anybody out there who hasn’t, that is). This is a very self-contained book that is faithful to the series but is not loaded with back story. Parker’s arc as a character continues but there are no huge developments in a broader sense that require chronological reading from the very start of the series. If you’re not on the Connolly train already, this is your boarding platform. But set aside some time. You’ll want to make this a round trip.

This is an outstanding novel. It’s chockfull of dense and powerful prose that isn’t intimidating but, in fact, is addictively consumable. The portrayal of a violent and unpredictable Boston Irish mob (post-Bulger) in constant crisis is chilling. And the supernatural twist? Cross your heart and bless your burning soul. This one’s coming to get you.

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