(21) The Burning Soul

Title: The Burning Soul: A Charlie Parker Thriller (Charlie Parker Mysteries) by John Connolly
Publisher: Pocket Books
472 pages
Genre: Noir Mystery

Synopsis: There are some truths so terrible that they should not be spoken aloud. Here is one of those truths: after three hours, the abduction of a child is routinely treated as a homicide.
When a girl disappears from a small Maine town, her neighbor—a recluse named Randall Haight—starts receiving anonymous letters that contain tormenting references to a different teenage girl, murdered long ago. For many years, Randall has kept a secret: when he was fourteen, he was convicted of killing that girl. Now, his former life has returned to haunt him, and he hires private detective Charlie Parker to make it go away. But in a town built on blood and shadowed by old ghosts, where too many of the living are hiding secrets, the past cannot be dismissed so easily. As Parker unravels a twisted, violent history involving a doomed mobster and his enemies, the police, and the FBI, his search returns again and again to Randall Haight. Because Randall is still telling lies. . . .

Review: I am a huge Charlie Parker fan but these last two were just not up to par.  It seems Connolly is stepping further away from his dark and mystical roots.  Although there are ghosts and some eerie undertones to this story it didn't match up to early books in the series.  I didn't dislike it, it just wasn't what I was expecting when I picked it up.

The story line was actually two story lines that merged then veered in two different directions with Parker at the cross roads.  One the story of a missing girl and a man who is hiding from his past, the other about an Irish gangster who is loosely tied to the missing girl.  The story about the gangster just seemed like filler to make the book longer and took me away from the real drama of a missing girl in a small town filled with secrets.  I think Connolly needs to regroup and I'm hoping the next book in the series goes back to his roots.