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November 12, 2011 / John Sheridan

REVIEW: The Burning Soul by John Connolly

Links : Amazon US, Amazon UK, Book Depository, Book Depository UK

I’ve been a devoted follower of John Connolly’s Charlie Parker series since I read Every Dead Thing over 10 years ago and was absolutely mesmerised. If you haven’t been following this series, you really should. The Burning Soul is another excellent novel and is much more of a mainstream novel than some of the other entries, since the usually present supernatural elements are barely represented. Also given less focus is the explicit violence.  Loyal friends Louis and Angel appear in the story, but unlike past escapades, when they usually provide comic relief, Parker himself is the humorous one.  Connolly accordingly presents another and very different dimension to Parker’s character compared to the earlier books.

The story revolves around a missing teenaged girl with Boston Irish mob connections. Parker is retained on behalf of a man who was given a new identity following his conviction as a juvenile for the murder of a teenaged girl.  Now he fears that he will become the prime suspect and his former identity will be revealed. There are echoes of the Bulger case in England from early in the text and sure enough, it does get mentioned later on, but it is interesting to see what Connolly does with this criminal’s perspective. He acutely presents the conflict in an individual who tries to separate his newly created identity from his original.  Who is to say which one better represents his true personality?Suffice to say there are plenty of individuals with secrets in the missing girl’s small town and all with motives to keep Parker from investigating too deeply.

One of the best books I’ve read this year.

P.S. Don’t forget about the contest running this week. Refer to CT’s post for details.

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3 Comments

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  1. Dan McClean / Nov 12 2011 6:29 pm

    This book was boring. Nothing really happens until the last 20 pages or so. If this was a movie, you could sleep right through it till about 15 minutes from the end, and still not miss anything worthwhile.

    Beginning with “The Whisperers” John Connolly’s books have taken a downturn with me.

    I might pick up a copy of his next book if I come across it in a bargain bin, cheap. No way will I be paying full price for it. I made that mistake with “The Burning Soul”.

    • John Sheridan / Nov 13 2011 12:36 pm

      I know from an earlier post that CT was disappointed with “The Whisperers” but I liked it even though it may not be as good as some of the rest of the series. I especially liked that I learnt something (about PTSD) which is not usually the case with genre novels. Overall I enjoy John Connolly’s writing style and usually find the books engaging. I’d love to hear what other books you’ve read recently that you enjoyed more.

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