The Burning Soul

John Connolly, Author
John Connolly. Atria, $26 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4391-6527-0
Reviewed on: 08/01/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
In Connolly's solid 10th thriller featuring private detective Charlie Parker (after The Whisperers), Randall Haight approaches attorney Aimee Price in the tiny Maine town of Pastor's Bay to ask for help regarding anonymous notes he's been receiving in the mail. It's obvious the sender knows that Randall used to be William Lagenheimer, who at age 14 with a friend raped and killed a 14-year-old black girl in North Dakota. Having served his time, Lagenheimer is living as Randall Haight, the new identity created for him by the court. The threats couldn't come at a worse time: 14-year-old Anna Kore is missing from a strip mall on the mainland, and if word got out about Randall's past, he'd be the prime suspect. Aimee draws Charlie into the fold—despite his personal distaste at working for a man who killed a child—and he starts his own investigation. Though the plot plods initially, Connolly later gathers momentum, and his portrayal of the perpetually troubled Charlie as ever rings true. (Sept.)
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