I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books on August 2nd 2016
Genres: Fiction, General, Horror, Mystery, Paranormal, Suspense, Thriller
Buy on Amazon, B&N, iBooks, GooglePlay, Kobo, BAM, Book Depository, Publisher
Dangerous and driven private investigator Charlie Parker returns in the latest gripping thriller of internationally bestselling author John Connolly’s series, in which ungodly fears haunt a strange and isolated community.
Jerome Burnel was once a hero. He intervened to prevent multiple killings, and in doing so destroyed himself. His life was torn apart. He was imprisoned, brutalized.
But in his final days, with the hunters circling, he tells his story to private detective Charlie Parker. He speaks of the girl who was marked for death, but was saved; of the ones who tormented him, and an entity that hides in a ruined stockade.
Parker is not like other men. He died, and was reborn. He is ready to wage war.
Now he will descend upon a strange, isolated community called the Cut, and face down a force of men who rule by terror, intimidation, and murder.
All in the name of the being they serve. All in the name of the Dead King.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I received an invite via NetGalley to read A Time of Torment. The synopsis is rather vague and doesn’t really do this novel justice. I have never read a novel from the Charlie Parker series so I wasn’t sure what this novel was really about. Paranormal creatures? Vigilante Private Investigator? Murder Mystery? It turns out A Time of Torment is actually a little bit of all three.
A Time of Torment is properly dark, with some really captivating cultural lore behind the mystery of the “entity” that resides in the Cut.
The Cut is a tiny settlement of people who have employed unscrupulous means for generations in order to keep their community secular. Although the Cut keeps crime down in the surrounding counties by ensuring those who break the rules disappear, thus keeping their small community out of the purview of State authorities, local law enforcement is uneasy. When a convicted child predator named Jerome Burnell goes missing and is tracked back to the Cut by Charlie Parker, the Sheriff supplies just enough information to send Parker on a bloody hunt that could upend the quietly malicious existence of the Cut for good. What Charlie finds there is a shockingly grisly secret and an ancient entity of great evil of which not even the Sheriff had an inkling. Something is rotten in sleepy Charleston, and its up to Charlie Parker to exorcise it – with force.
First, and foremost, A Time of Torment is book number 14 of the Charlie Parker series thus there is a really intense multi-book plot arc that requires patience to understand should a reader be new to the Charlie Parker series. There is plenty of history between characters, some allusion to previous struggles Charlie has barely survived that a first time Charlie Parker reader will need to shuffle through to enrich their understanding of the enigmatic character that is Parker. Fortunately, the story of Burnell and the Cut is very easy to follow and properly detailed to create a mystery within a paranormal suspense within a action thriller.
In typical John Connolly fashion, A Time of Torment is a slow burn novel with colorful characters, deep historical details about the locales and some seriously exceptional prose. Connolly never ceases to surprise me with his ability to develop characters that are realistic and appear to be living lives in a world filled with plenty of context, diverse histories and corruption. He also continues to cultivate the legend that is Charlie Parker – the man with two daughters (one living, one dead), the man with physical and emotional scars, the man who helps the little people and the paranormal warrior.
Connolly is a master manipulator by dropping some obvious hints that some seriously exciting things will be happening for Charlie Parker in the near future with “happenstance” pushing him towards a possibly preordained conclusion.
My only complaint for this novel was that the end is rather abrupt. The Cut’s evil entity is overcome through a method that seemed underwhelming and dissatisfying even while the over arching story line of Charlie Parker’s future battle with the Great Evil continues to march forward. I was expecting more oomph from Charlie’s final show down with the paranormal Dead King but regardless, I am incredibly excited to read the next thrilling installment of the Parker series. Consider me a new series convert!
This novel will appeal to readers of Connolly’s other works, fans of paranormal thrillers, mysteries, novels with religious overtones and corruption. I would suggest this novel to readers who enjoy an intense and well researched mystery with a story arc that will probably span a multitude of books. A Time of Torment does not contain any sappy romance, many uncomfortable subjects and is a rather dark read.