Monday, May 10, 2010

The Reapers (Charlie Parker) by John Connolly

Louis and Angel usually spent their time as Charlie Parker’s psychotic sidekicks, but this time they get to take center stage. At least, during a big part of the story, because a lot of page-time is devoted to their friends and enemies. Every character gets the chance to shine with extensive pages of backstory devoted to them. Often before they get killed… John is a fan of Stephen King and that trick of making us learn more about relatively minor characters before they bite the dust is something Mr. King excels in of course. Where John doesn’t emulate King this time is the use of the supernatural. More and more his stories started to include these elements, but this time they are totally absent.
What we do get is the story of how Louis and Angel are targeted by a hitman, called Bliss and the backstory of Louis, told in flashback. We find out Louis used to be part of special band of hitmen called Reapers and we are shown how he grew up to be a natural killer.
Charlie Parker makes a few appearances at the end, under the name The Detective. It is interesting to see him described from the point of view of other characters than Charlie himself.
The plot itself seemed to be a bit shallow to me and the book could have been a lot thinner without the excessive backstories. An enjoyable book, but Mr. Connolly has shown he can do better.

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