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by John Connolly
Pocket Star, January 2006
624 pages
ISBN: 0743487877

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Charlie Parker is attempting to enjoy the experiences of fatherhood again. Unfortunately he is haunted by the memory of his dead daughter and wife. In addition, his partner has problems with his career path. Parker is a private investigator, who tends to get involved in very dangerous situations. To be more exact, he prefers to be involved hands on and likes to help innocent people caught up in situations out of their control.

A relative of his close friend Louis needs help. Louis' cousin, who is a drug addict and prostitute, has gone missing. Louis needs to find her in order to resolve problems he has with his family. Since they are friends, Parker insists on helping.

What they find is not a simple case of an addict vanishing or a pimp attacking a prostitute. Alice, Louis' cousin, was involved in something she did not understand. Her disappearance and probable death have connections to a blood cult and ancient religion.

A statue made of bones found in a New York apartment point towards a French monastery that was attacked in 1944 and a gruesome object called the Black Angel. The people behind Alice's disappearance have an evil plan in mind for both the world in general and Parker specifically. Parker must remain on his guard in order to solve a murder as well as remain alive.

THE BLACK ANGEL is a very dark thriller. All of the books in this series are dark; however, they were not quite this gruesome. In the four earlier Charlie Parker mysteries, there was a tiny hint of redemption throughout the story. This book lacks even a hint that things might work out positively. In addition, the crimes and type of punishments in this book, while not explained in depth, are pretty gruesome and disturbing. In a world where this type of evil happens, it makes sense that Parker would not be optimistic about his future or choices.

One of the things that stands out the most about this book is that this group of fanatics believe that they were fallen angels. They are immortal and do not have the same social responsibilities as the normal citizen. This book also reveals that some of the killers Parker has hunted in the past are or were part of this group. These fallen angels do not crave redemption but want to punish the world -- especially those who do not follow their path.

Reviewed by Sarah Dudley, January 2006

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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