It is 1997, and someone is slaughtering young black women in Burdon County, Arkansas.
But no one wants to admit it, not in the Dirty South.
In an Arkansas jail cell sits a former NYPD detective, stricken by grief. He is mourning the death of his wife and child, and searching in vain for their killer. He cares only for his own lost family.
But that is about to change . . .
Witness the becoming of Charlie Parker.
John Connolly is author of the Charlie Parker mysteries, The Book of Lost Things, the Samuel Johnson novels for young adults and, with his partner, Jennifer Ridyard, co-author of the Chronicles of the Invaders. John Connolly's debut - EVERY DEAD THING - introduced the character of Private Investigator Charlie Parker, and swiftly launched him right into the front rank of thriller writers. All his subsequent novels have been Sunday Times bestsellers. He was the winner of the 2016 CWA Short Story Dagger for On the Anatomization of an Unknown Man (1637) by Frans Mier from NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes Vol 2.
A finely written thriller haunted by a powerful sense of the struggle between good and evil * Daily Mail * Anyone who enjoys the exploits of the former New York Detective-turned-private-investigator Charlie Parker will be thrilled by this prequel to his stories . . . Beautifully told, this underlines the sheer brilliance of the character of Parker * Daily Mail * A beautifully measured novel that is equal parts gripping mystery and an unsentimental meditation on grief, probably the best crime novel you will read this year * The Irish Times * This is a story populated with richly described characters, be they honorable or slimy, as well as rich descriptions and dialogue. Fast-moving, witty dialogue helps speed this well-plotted yarn to a dramatic conclusion. A most satisfying read for crime buffs. * Kirkus Reviews * Intelligent and subtle . . . Connolly is writing at the top of his game * Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) * There's no denying this one is a hell of a tale: dark, haunting, and beautifully told . . . For fans of the Parker series, the book is required reading * Booklist * It is a dark and wondrous tale . . . an indispensable addition to the Parker canon for Connolly's longtime readers and a terrific introduction for those who have yet to discover his dark prose magic * Book Reporter * Mr Connolly's slam-bang thriller is studded with memorable characters and boasts cliffhangers within cliffhangers * Wall Street Journal *