Hodder, p/b, 432pp, Â£6.99
Reviewed by Stewart Horn
A plane has crashed deep in the Maine woods.Â Inside were a bag of cash and a list of names.Â Now several interested parties are converging on the spot, and theyâ€™re not all good guys.Â Itâ€™s not going to end well.
John Connolly is Irish but sets his fiction in New England, what we would recognise as Stephen King Country.Â His style is classic noir, complete with violent though essentially moral first person narrator, but the supernatural elements that were hinted at in the early novels have gradually escalated to the point where heâ€™s now writing proper horror thrillers.Â Donâ€™t expect vampires, zombies or any such clichÃ©s here though â€“ Connolly is more subtle and more imaginative than that.
There are characters you will recognise from earlier in the series, including a particularly nasty guy who used to be dead, but Iâ€™m reluctant to tell you anything else except that The Wrath of Angels is brilliant.
Connolly is one of the most accomplished authors out there.Â He uses his concise and deceptively simple prose style to deliver shocks and tingles and thrills and a bit of emotional kick when need be.
The Charlie Parker series now comprises eleven novels, all of which work well as standalone thrillers, but there is an overriding story arc that is equally exciting for those of us who have followed him.
My only worry when reading this book was that we might be nearing the end of that grand arc.Â Wrath had such an epic feel and so many strands seemed to drawing together that it felt like it couldnâ€™t go much further.Â But there seems be plenty for Parker and his friends (and enemies) still to do.Â Keep them coming, John.