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"Parker was different now. For starters, he was thinner, with a few more lines on his face, and his hair was speckled with new white. He also seemed quieter, more distant, although Dave figured that with being shot and left for dead, not to mention dying and being brought back a few times, would do that to a person."......
Private Detective, Charlie Parker, returns in the 14th book of this series. Meet Roger Ornsby, a widow in his early 60's. Roger has a dark side, or rather another identity. He calls it "Gray Man." Roger is someone you'd never suspect of having a dark side. "Gray Man" is a serial killer who takes great satisfaction in tormenting the victims families. That's just a taste of what is to come.
Charlie is still dealing with his past tragedies. Now he's up against a cult like group that resides in the "Cut," an isolated community in West Virginia. With his associates, Louis and Angel, at his side, Charlie has been hired by a man, Jerome, that had his life destroyed by these people and is seeking retribution. He sought Charlie out after the notoriety of the Ornsby case. There are others that roam the world similar to Ornsby.
Part paranormal/supernatural weaved into this story line. Charlie now possesses certain gifts, after having died more than once, and was brought back. His daughter also possesses something. He uses these things to track what lurks in the darkness of man, and in places like the "Cut."
There is much at stake here. Charlie is backed by others higher up. There are things being sought. Who is the "Dead King?" A slightly complicated story line. Intriguing, but I can only say so much without giving things away. It will definitely hold your attention and take you in directions you'd never thought of.
Can Charlie help Jerome Burnel? Will it put an end to Jerome's agony or will the men of the "Cut" finish the job they started? Nobody believed he was innocent, and it cost him everything. Now Charlie is venturing into the "Cut," can he survive? There are dark places others are not welcome. Creepy and shocking just barely begins to cover this story. An ending you won't quite expect. An entirely enjoyable read.
I've always enjoyed this authors dark/mystery story lines and have read a few of his books. Several await on my own book shelf. While you can read this book as a stand alone, I'd recommend the series. The development of the characters and the background makes each book a more enjoyable read. This will also lead to anticipation of his next book!
Thank you John Connolly, Netgalley, and Atria Books.