Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Wrath Of Angels by John Connolly

Charlie Parker's new client comes to him with an intriguing tale.  Her father confessed a story to her on his deathbed.  He and his best friend got lost in the woods while hunting.  They found a crashed plane deep in the woods that had been there for years.  There were no bodies, but a satchel of money was there along with papers, specifically, a list of names.  The men took the money but left the paperwork, hoping if the owners ever discovered the plane they would be mollified by that and not come looking for the thieves.  The plane was not found, nor was there any news stories of a missing plane or pilot.  The men spent the money over the years but now wanted to make amends.

As Charlie starts to research the story, he quickly realises that this is tied to his life work of discovering and defeating an organization of evil.  It is a group of fallen angels, and it is a testament to Connolly's skill that the reader is willing to believe that such a group exists.  The participants leave a trail of murder and broken lives, including the murder years before of Parker's wife and child.  Parker realises that the list is the prize that the group desires and knows he must get to it before they do.

Thus the lines are drawn.  On Parker's side are his team members, Louis and Angel, violent men who watch his back and that he trusts with his life.  Tangential help is supplied by two men who are not friends, but who also fight the same enemy.  One is a Jewish rabbi surrounded by bodyguards to protect him as he works against the fallen angels.  The other is an ancient lawyer whose firm stays out of the spotlight but maintains files on those involved.  On the other side is a scarred, formerly beautiful woman with a child who is abnormal, and The Backers, who lead the group.  Stalking them is a serial killer known as The Collector. 

All these disparate individuals race against time and each other to find the plane and the list of those whose names are essential to the organization's ultimate success.  The suspense is drawn tighter and tighter as they all come together in one last attempt to end their war.

The Wrath Of Angels is the eleventh book in the Charlie Parker series.  I had not read the others but didn't feel at a loss as enough backstory was supplied that the reader doesn't feel list.  The book has a menacing undertone that is racketed tighter and tighter as the book progresses.  None of the characters are totally good, although it is clear that Parker's team is fighting for the common good.  This is a superb thriller and is recommended for both mystery and paranormal fans,

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