Daughter of missing shrink Daniel Clay, Rebecca is being stalked by an ex-con called Merrick who wants to know where exactly her dad is now. This character is typical of the almost mythical characters Connolly often introduces, like the returning Collector. When she hires Charlie Parker to keep him away from her he gets deeply involved in Merrick’s quest for revenge which is linked to a mysterious group of masked child abusers and a dark chapter in Maine’s history. Along for the ride are gay assassins Louis and Angel, adding some comic relief.
There are again the supernatural overtones of earlier novels due to the appearance of the aforementioned Collector and the Hollow Men. There’s the emotional context of Charlie’s troubles of separating from his deceased wife and daughter. The action when Charlie and his sidekicks square of against Russian gangsters. And of course the lyrical crime writing of Connolly that compares to James Lee Burke.
As always with Connolly’s Parker novels a fantastic PI novel that shows what you can do within the genre when you respect what came before but don’t feel restricted by it. Highly recommended.