cover image The Woman in the Woods

The Woman in the Woods

John Connolly. Atria/Bestler, $26.99 (496p) ISBN 978-1-5011-7192-5

Connolly’s 16th thriller featuring PI Charlie Parker (after 2017’s A Game of Ghosts) perfectly blends the natural and the supernatural. After a woman’s corpse is found in the woods near Parker’s Maine home, attorney Moxie Castin asks him to trace the child to whom the woman gave birth shortly before her death. Castin is moved to do so by a Star of David etched into a nearby tree, which suggests to him that the dead woman was a fellow Jew. A terrifying pair—an English lawyer known only as Quayle and a remorseless assassin, Pallida Mors—are also interested in finding the infant. In addition, they have been killing members of an informal underground group protecting refugees from domestic violence, who may have helped a woman named Karis Lamb elude an abusive man. Quayle’s quest involves enabling the “return of the Not-Gods, thus bringing about the end of days.” Several of the victims, all of whom are fully developed characters, choose death rather than betrayal, and the end result is both unnerving and moving. Fans will agree that this is Connelly’s masterpiece. Agent: Darley Anderson, Darley Anderson Literary (U.K.). (June)