Charlie Parker’s tale began more than a decade ago, with Every Dead Thing. The private detective has faced more than the usual hazards. After losing his wife and daughter to a serial killer, Parker’s cases have grown darker and stranger. In Charlie’s world, evil is not just an abstract concept. In Charlie’s world, there is such a thing as Evil. And it’s starting to run out of places to hide in John Connolly’s The Wolf in Winter.
Prosperous, Maine is a quiet town that seems to be holding its own through the recent recession. It always has. The town has something looking out for it. And that thing is hungry. Of course, we don’t know any of this at the very beginning of The Wolf in Winter. Instead, we first learn that not all is right that in Prosperous when a homeless man learns that his estranged daughter got a job after there, then disappeared. Jude, the homeless man, calls in all his debts but is found hanged in a basement in Portland before he can call Charlie Parker to go looking for his daughter.
Parker picks up Annie’s trail at a women’s crises center in Portland and follows it to Prosperous. But the town has always kept itself to itself. It’s hard to get anyone to tell him anything. Still, his spider senses tingle when he visits the disturbing, ancient church in the middle of the town. He slowly starts to piece together what might have happened to Annie. It becomes clear before long that whatever has been protecting Prosperous needs to be stopped.
As Parker investigates, Connolly shows us the perspectives of Prosperous’ chief of police, two terrified citizens, a dying wolf, and a former enemy. It might seem too much when I list it all out, but it creates a hugely atmospheric thriller. It raises the stakes. And then Connolly raises them even higher when Prosperous hires a pair of assassins to try and take Parker out of the picture. The Wolf in Winter is an incredible, complex novel.
I received a free copy of this ebook from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. It will be released 28 October 2014.