John Connolly, Author . Simon & Schuster $25 (448p) ISBN 978-0-7432-0332-6

Irish writer Connolly's follow-up to Every Dead Thing, which won the 2000 Shamus Award for Best PI First Novel, is just as grim, hard-edged and compulsively readable as his debut. Recently relocated to his home town of Scarborough, Maine, newly licensed PI Charlie Parker tries to get some overdue child support from wastrel Billy Purdue as a favor to Purdue's ex-wife Rita, an act of charity that ends up pitting Parker and his friends Angel and Luis against mobster Tony Celli. Celli is looking for $2 million that Purdue might have heisted during a botched ransom exchange, and a pair of killers named Abel and Stritch are on the loose. There's also a trail of dead bodies, all of them linked to Purdue's search for his birth parents, a line that stretches from his family to an old woman who kills herself after running away from a nursing home. She claims to have seen Caleb Kyle, a vicious serial killer who hasn't been heard from since Parker's youth. It's this element of the plot that lends a supernatural air to the already creepy proceedings (Parker has visions of his dead wife and daughter); the book opens like a Stephen King novel, with a violent prologue, visions of nameless evil darkening the stars, and the dead past coming alive. Since the novel is set in Maine, it feels like an homage to the master of Pine Tree State horror. Luckily, this very violent hunt for a revived serial killer can survive comparison with the best, especially when you consider that Connolly is creating pitch-perfect American dialogue and believable American characters from a desk in Dublin. Agent, Darley Anderson. (July)

Reviewed on: 06/04/2001
Release date: 06/01/2001
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 544 pages - 978-1-4391-5730-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 528 pages - 978-0-7434-1022-9
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-7432-1749-1
Mass Market Paperbound - 504 pages - 978-1-4165-9599-1
Paperback - 489 pages - 978-0-340-72900-7
Downloadable Audio - 1 pages - 978-1-4423-8690-7
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-1-5011-2263-7
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