Jerome Burnel was once a hero. He intervened to prevent multiple killings and in doing so damned himself. His life was torn apart. He was imprisoned, brutalized.
But in his final days, with the hunters circling, he tells his story to private detective Charlie Parker. He speaks of the girl who was marked for death but was saved, of the ones who tormented him, and an entity that hides in a ruined stockade.
Parker is not like other men. He died, and was reborn. He is ready to wage war.
Now he will descend upon a strange, isolated community called the Cut, and face down a force of men who rule by terror, intimidation, and murder.
All in the name of the being they serve.
All in the name of the Dead King.
Magnificent, magisterial and masterful – three words that could easily describe both John Connolly’s writing and his creation Charlie Parker. It’s great to have Charlie Parker back, life certainly wouldn’t be the same without an adventure from the private detective, a private detective who’s baggage increases with each outing. There’s no shortage of depth in this novel either, thanks mainly to Parker. It’s the depth of his character that’s so good, Connolly effortlessly allowing the reader an insight into his feelings and an opportunity to share his immeasurable pain born from past experiences.
There’s very little to say that hasn’t been said in the past but John Connolly improves with each novel, there’s no fear of an author resting on his laurels here, Connolly knows what works and sticks with the format time after time but like a good bottle of wine, with maturity comes excellence.
Charlie Parker is one of those characters you’d want on your side. Imagine the scene in school as a kid, you’re faced with a decision that could affect the rest of your days in school, the dreaded pick your team scenario. With Parker it’s a case of do I pick him first or second, Jack Reacher or Charlie Parker (two very different protagonists), two veritable champions, because there’s never the option of not choosing him! Not having him on your team would be a huge mistake and many a bad person have paid the price in the past and will no doubt suffer in the future!
The narrative is as strong as ever and the plotting is both complex and inspired, how Connolly brings this together in the end is crazy! Amazing writing. The tempo increases towards the end of the book, so much so that you feel as if you’re holding your breath on numerous occasions. There are a few shocks in store, Connolly is never one to shy away from violence and there’s definitely no shortage of that in A Time of Torment, this is in parts quite brutal!
Characterisation is good and we get to have another outing with Angel and Louis, two great characters that were introduced to us in Every Dead Thing in 1999, the year that Charlie Parker himself, a former NYPD detective, was introduced to the world. The sidekicks are great value and the books would certainly be lighter without the duo creating havoc and mayhem. Don’t worry, there’s more than enough bad guys to satisfy all readers here!
Another wonderful read, A Time of Torment stands alone well but as with any long standing series, the more you’ve read the more you take from the books. So get reading the back catalogue, you won’t be sorry! Bravo Mr Connolly!
- Hardcover: 480 pages
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (7 April 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1444751573
- ISBN-13: 978-1444751574
A frozen corpse means a big headache for Detective Michael McCabe
Lainie Goff thinks she has it all. A glamorous young Portland attorney with the brains and looks to match her ambitions, she’s on the fast-track to a partnership. Until one cold winter night she discovers that her belief in her ability to handle any situation was misplaced. Now she’s just a frozen corpse in the boot of a car at the end of Portland Fish Pier.
And a problem for homicide detective Michael McCabe.
Luckily for McCabe, there’s a witness. A mentally disturbed young woman named Abby Quinn saw what happened to Lainie. Unfortunately, Abby mysteriously goes missing the very same night. With a victim who’d known more than her share of bad guys, a list of suspects that seems to get longer and longer and his only witness missing, McCabe has got his work cut out.
But it’s only a matter of time before the killer strikes again . . .
I have to admit I was very excited when I received James Hayman’s follow up to The Cutting in the post a couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t wait to see what Mike McCabe would get up to this time around, re visiting Portland Maine in the process. His debut title was so good; I just hoped his second lived up to my expectations.
This book is all about one woman witnessing a murder but when she tries to tell the police about the crime they don’t believe her. We soon discover why the police are reticent to find her a credible witness but there’s one person who doesn’t let sleeping dogs lie – Detective Mike McCabe. Abby, a 25 year old woman who grew up on Harts Island – a small fictional island in Casco Bay Maine – is an intriguing character with so much depth and a well-developed back story. Although she had a regular childhood she begins hearing voices in her teens and is diagnosed as a schizophrenic.
Knowing very little about schizophrenia as I do I found the whole subject matter intriguing and poignant, Hayman dealt with the illness with so much compassion and tenderness. He doesn’t rush her scenes and I truly felt part of her story and her complex life. I could quite clearly get inside her head and see the world as she saw it – a frightening and frustrating place at times. In one scene we find Abby picking up a tennis racquet, swinging it for all her might, and refusing to put it down. When Hayman writes about a simple backhand stroke its simplicity took my breath away. I was in that very room watching Abby fall apart. Sensational stuff.
Of course it’s not all about Abby. McCabe is back with his love of Movie trivia, music and an undeniable infatuation with Macallan single malt Whisky. One of the things I enjoyed about The Cutting was Hayman’s obvious love for the cinematic world and he continues the theme in this book including a shout out to Jaws 4 – This time it’s personal – which made me laugh.
Although another cracking read The Chill of Night didn’t quite live up to my expectations, but then again, following such an engaging thriller – and debut – was always going to be a tough job. Don’t get me wrong, this is a terrific read and Hayman’s personality shines through adding that little something extra to this second McCabe title. I certainly can’t wait for the third title in the series!
For me, and hardly surprising given the subject matter, this title represents a more grown up side to Hayman. A well delivered thriller, a strong deduction that will surprise a few people, this book was all about Abby. She stole the show with her highly complex double life that will leave you wanting to know more about the young woman.
With an emphasis on crime scene forensics, police investigation and a terrifically taut narrative, The Chill of Night is another assured offering from James Hayman. You certainly gain an insight into how police investigate a murder and the pitfalls they face along the way.
416 Pages · ISBN-10: 0141047305 · ISBN-13: 978-0141047300