The Dirty South

John Connolly. Atria/Bestler, $28 (448p) ISBN 978-1-9821-2754-1
Supernatural noir fans will relish Connolly’s excellent 18th thriller featuring PI Charlie Parker (after 2019’s A Book of Bones), an origin story set in 1999. The murder of Parker’s wife and daughter ended his career as an NYPD detective, but the ghosts of his loved ones still literally haunt him, and the tragedy may have turned him into a vigilante who beat a child predator to death. Parker’s hunt for his family’s killer takes him to impoverished Burdon County, Ark., where someone, possibly the same person he’s seeking, has been murdering teenage girls. One possible victim, Patricia Hartley, was ruled to have died accidentally, despite the placement of branches in her vagina and throat. During a chance encounter in a Cargill, Ark., bar between Parker and Evander Griffin, the town’s police chief, the conversation turns hostile after they get on the topic of Hartley’s death. Parker later learns that Griffin wants the murders hushed up to avoid losing a lucrative business opportunity for the county. Brilliant descriptions of the setting (a lake “seemed to consume light”) enhance this intelligent and subtle suspense novel. Connolly is writing at the top of his game. Agent: Darley Anderson, Darley Anderson Literary (U.K.). (June)
Reviewed on : 04/01/2020
Release date: 10/20/2020
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-0853-7
Book - 978-1-9821-2756-5
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-1-9821-2755-8
Compact Disc - 978-1-7971-0855-1
Library Binding - 500 pages - 978-1-64358-724-0
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