A Game of Ghosts by John Connolly

Read January 2020
Recommended for fans of Charlie Parker
 ★     ★     ★   

“A new fall of snow had settled upon the old, like memories, like the years.

It would freeze, too, according to the weathermen, adding another layer to the ice that blanketed the city, and another day or two to the slow thaw that must inevitably come, although any release from the cold seemed distant on this February evening. Still, at least the latest snowfall, the first in more than a week, hid beneath it the filth of earlier accumulations, and the streets of Portland would look fresh and unsullied again, for a time.

Although the air was chill, it held no clarity. A faint mist hung over the streets, creating penumbrae around the streetlights like the halos of saints, and making a dreamscape of the skyline. It lent the city a sense of duplication, as though its ways and buildings had been overlaid imperfectly upon some earlier version of itself, and now that shadow variant was peering through, the people of the present within touching distance of those of the past.”

It’s not fair. One of the one writers who I would absolutely read a literary fiction book by has never written one. Oh, it’s integrated, to be sure. I would just prefer even more passages devoted to our main characters, and even less time on various depravities. I liked the emotions in this book; there’s tough work with Parker and Rachel, and serious things developing with Angel that result in some solid conversations. Jennifer and Sam both appear and do interesting things, although Sam’s are definitely from a more age-appropriate perspective, and Jennifer’s are from her otherworldly one.

For future-carol.: Parker is asked by Ross, FBI agent to informally look into a missing P.I., and Angel and Louis end up helping him out. This book is slightly more distinguishable through the multiple viewpoints that include Parker, Lewis, Jennifer, Sam, villain, the Collector, side villain. There’s significant threads from other books brought in, particularly the Collector and his father, and the remnants of the Webb family (who I had forgotten). There horror factor is dialed far down, with only one torture scene, and the supernatural spooky is dialed up. 

The short, spoiler-y (but not really) summation: this is the one where (the villains are all suburbanites–apparently Connolly’s new go-to; the Collector’s father is aging; Rachel initiates custody proceedings; Angel is hiding serious medical symptoms; there’s a weird side story with Webb’s son and an attempt to take over a criminal enterprise that is responsible for the other part of the gore/violence factor.)

Read again? Probably not. Except that first page. Solid.

About thebookgator

avid reader and Goodreads reviewer looking for a home.
This entry was posted in Book reviews, Thriller and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Game of Ghosts by John Connolly

  1. Sabina says:

    I agree with you. I love his storytelling, but wish there was less horror.

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