Without delving into spoilers, I can definitely say this book is John Connolly’s best book yet. The prose is gorgeous without being arrogant and obnoxious , and the plot drags you into an all night reading session as Parker comes to grip with his father’s, and his own, intertwined past. Coupled with the plot and the prose the book proves that, unlike many literary writers, John Connolly can actually write a good plot.
My favourite style in this book is that John Connolly blends modern storytelling with a more word of mouth, ‘round a campfire, style of tale telling. There are many moments where we get some deep insight into a character, or a place or even a tale, all in a colloquial, word of mouth language. All of this adds a substance and an atmosphere to the tale that is lacking in many books. Also, it creates a sense of kinship to the peripheral characters that isn’t apparent in most books, which makes certain scenes unbearably heart wrenching.
John Connolly seems to play around with character point of view. It isn’t noticeable, or overdone, but you do find yourself filling in what you’re not directly told. Like, how unnerving is Charlie Parker? Characters, especially when Parker’s enraged, back down, or act as though they’re in danger. Why do they do this? Is Charlie Parker a wolf in sheep’s clothing to many people? That is one of the joys about reading this book, the joy of seeing what you’re not told.
With every book there are always downfalls. The two things that bothered me in this book was the lack of depth of the main antagonists and the rather un-climatic ending. Although, one could argue that since this is Parker’s tale, Connolly deliberately does not flesh out the villains, so as not to take away from Parker. Still, the confrontation was rather lacklustre and I would’ve liked more meat to the villains.
If you like crime, fantasy or horror, you should definitely buy this book.