Book Review - A Time Of Torment

by John Connolly (Hodder & Stoughton), ISBN: 978-1-444-75158-1

John Connolly’s latest Charlie Parker novel is an eagerly anticipated book of the year and fans will not be disappointed. The opening of the story, the kidnapping of a young girl is enough to capture Connolly fans’ interest. 

Evil simmers in the story as the plot unfolds and it takes a while for Parker and his side-kicks, Louis and Angel, to make an appearance. 

Jerome Burnel has recently been released from prison. He hires Parker to prove that he is innocent of child pornography charges. He also tells Parker that he is afraid that he will be killed for a heroic act that involved members from a small town cult known as The Cut. 

Initially the reader doubts Burnel’s innocent, a skilful technique on the behalf of Connolly who constructs the story in such a way to question Burnel’s innocence. Before too long Parker finds links from Burnel’s case to other violent crimes in the Maine area, and this leads the investigation to a reclusive town in rural West Virginia. The town is ruled by The Cut who live in Amish-like seclusion. They control the town and (ironically) the criminals, but it is evident that their income is based on criminal activities instigated by The Dead King. 

The Cut and Parker’s dead daughter provide a supernatural element which may be confusing for readers who have not read A Wolf in Winter. This should be a compelling reason never to miss out on any of the Charlie Parker books.

Ulrike Hill          


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The Wrath of Angels

by John Connolly (Hodder & Stoughton) R180, ISBN: 978-1-444756456



Harlan Vetter is dying and he has a secret to tell.


His home is on the edge of the Great North Woods. In the depth of these woods lies the wreckage of an aeroplane. The wreckage contains something more important than the bag of money taken by Harlan. He found a list with names; names of people who had sold their soul for power, money and prestige. The wreckage still lies undiscovered, its secrets obscured by the forest. The pilot has escaped. How? Where is he? There are people who want the list to remain hidden.


Private detective, Charlie Parker’s name is on that list and he wants to know why. Parker wants to find the secret behind the list but finds his investigation hampered by murders. The murders seem to be connected to a beautiful yet scarred woman and a silent child. A serial killer known as The Collector creates further complications for Parker’s investigation.


This is not a quick read. The reader gets an insight to the cursed and the ambitious. Connolly reveals the vulnerabilities of the greed of man and the forces of evil who feed on these vulnerabilities.


A thrilling book with an interesting cast. The suspense will keep the reader guessing until the end.


Ulrike Hill


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The Burning Soul

by John Connolly (Hodder & Stoughton) ISBN 978-340-99354-5


After Haight and Lonny have done their time, Haight moves far away to Pastor's Bay in Maine where he hoped no-one would ever find out his secret past.


Haight remembers how he had wanted to let her go but Lonny was the one who took it too far, closing her nostrils so she couldn't breathe. Lonny and Haight were tried as adults and spent years in separate facilities, from juvenile to adult. The judge ordered that all records of the trial should be sealed.


Now someone attacks Haight about his past. He asks the police to intervene but keep the matter private. Haight is a private man, a man of figures, an accountant who lives a solitary life, except for his customers who were happy with his work. Pastor's Bay seemed to be as far away as he could get from his past.


But her ghost begins to haunt him, and then another little girl who was missing, played and sang in his basement. She seems quite happy there.


There is a shocking twist to this story, one you'd never believe could happen. The police come up with a solution in the end, in the woods, in an old caravan.  What happens to Lonny and Haight who did the worst thing they could ever have done?


Dee Andrew



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