The Burning Soul by John Connolly

It all begins with ravens and then goes scarily awry.

The Burning Soul is a convoluted tale of kidnappings and murders, mobsters and small towns, private detectives and otherworldly encounters.  As a pageturner, it’s very easy to get caught up in its shenanigans, of which there are many.

Private investigator Charlie Parker is counting his blessings for being alive until he is hired by a lawyer friend to find out who is blackmailing her client Randall Haight, an accomplice years ago in the killing of a teenage girl.  Randall wants to maintain his protected identity he acquired after his term in jail, but somebody is determined to undermine his tranquil existence by mailing him disturbing reminders of his past deed.

Add to the mix the recent disappearance of a fourteen year old girl from the local community of Pastor’s Bay, Maine, and Randall stands to become a kidnapping suspect, should he reveal his true identity to the local cops.  The plot gets even messier than this, when things go nuts as far afield as Boston.   Too many people have their secrets, their own private ghosts with which to wrangle … and Pastor’s Bay is not as removed from the outside world as it would seem to be.

John Connolly writes a yarn full of shockers and violence and hauntings so real, it’s probably not advisable to read The Burning Soul right before bedtime.  I made this mistake and imagined every creak and pop at night being something other than the house settling. 

(William Hicks, Information Services)


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