The #Bookvent Calendar 2018: Day 23

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#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2018 

Complex, dark and full of haunting menace, my twenty-third #bookvent book really was everything I love about reading, and about this author and their epic series of books. One of my favourite ever series, this book really was one of the best. The protagonist in this series has been through the ringer more times than any man could be expected to stand and yet he keeps coming back. Perhaps not stronger these days – advancing age and several gun shot wounds and attempts to end your life will put paid to that. He’s not superman. But he is pretty hardy and determined to continue his, what can only be considered, quest to battle evil. With some of the best side-kicks a Private Investigator could ask for, Charlie Parker is one of my favourite characters of all time. So you’ve probably guessed by now that my day twenty-three #bookvent choice is …

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The Woman in the Woods

by John Connolly

The new thrilling instalment of John Connolly’s popular Charlie Parker series.

It is spring, and the semi-preserved body of a young Jewish woman is discovered buried in the Maine woods. It is clear that she gave birth shortly before her death.

But there is no sign of a baby.

Private detective Charlie Parker is engaged by the lawyer Moxie Castin to shadow the police investigation and find the infant, but Parker is not the only searcher. Someone else is following the trail left by the woman, someone with an interest in more than a missing child, someone prepared to leave bodies in his wake.

And in a house by the woods, a toy telephone begins to ring.

For a young boy is about to receive a call from a dead woman . . .

How to even start. My original review turned into an epic love in for Mr Connolly and his all to brilliant series and I’m worried this may turn out the same. For those not in the know, Charlie Parker is a former Detective turned PI, who has seen his first wife and daughter murdered, survived more attempts on his life than should even be possible and who, along side Angel and Louis – two of the best characters ever written – has sworn to defeat the evil which is plaguing his life and that of his young daughter who is more like her father than he may wish to admit. And also very, very different. If you are looking for straight up Detective/PI fiction then this isn’t it. The series is dark – so dark at times I almost quit at book one – but it is oh so brilliant too. Combining crime with the supernatural and the inexplicable, there is a kind of conspiracy thread which feeds through all the books, a Parker tries to find his place in a clear battle between good and evil. The Woman in the Woods took us back to the series supernatural best as he is hired by slightly maverick lawyer, Moxie Castin, to investigate what happened to a young woman whose body has just been discovered buried deep in the woods and to find the child she appears to have been carrying just before she died. Being a parker novel, there is so much more to the story than that and the dark and menacing undertones will keep you on the edge of your seat. I always love the antagonists, in a ‘God I hope they get their comeuppance but they are sooooooo deliciously evil that I like them anyway’ kind of way, and Quayle is one of the worst. He is so calm and deliberate that his actions may seem innocuous, yet appear more threatening as a result. I missed Angel, but there was good reason for his absence and it made the scenes in which he appeared all the more emotional and poignant. It also grounds the stories in reality in a world which could easily become too fantastical. And that ending … I can’t believe I still have so many months to wait until the next book. I’m going to cry. Or maybe move to Ireland. I think I can get it quicker that way … Love it.

If you’d like to read my full review of The Woman In The Woods you can find it here. You can purchase the book from the following retailers:

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US ~ Kobo ~ Waterstones

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Happy #bookvent reading all

JL

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