Connolly, an Irish-born author who splits his time between Dublin and Portland, Maine, has written several different series of books and The Black Angel is part of the 18-book Charlie Parker series.
This book is one that Cindy brought back from her last trip to Ireland for me and strangely enough I had just not gotten around to reading it over the years. When I was gathering up books that I needed to read that were at the cabin, I made sure to bring this one back with me. It is also the fifth book in the series which will come into play during the review.
The Black Angel centers around private detective Charlie Parker who battles “against the darkness” and in this story the darkness is fallen angels who are searching for one of their own who has been missing since being caught and covered in silver in the midst of transforming from demon to human. The resulting silver statue was hidden by monks who created a map to its hiding place and then split the map into quarters and hid these four pieces in small silver cases some 600 years ago.
Now, three pieces of the map have been located and the searching demons and their followers will stop at nothing in their attempt to locate the final piece of the map. Parker gets involved when the niece of one his associates is killed by the demon Brightwell who thinks that she may have the remaining silver case.
Now Parker and his team are on the case as well and their investigation takes them around the world and to his own backyard.
It is intimated that, unknown to even himself, Parker may also be one of the fallen angels. And, having not read the previous four books in the series, I assume this is why the series is called “Charlie Parker Against the Darkness” as a label.
This story stands on its own, but I wish I had read the prior four titles first. Even with the sufficient references to the past stories within this one, I always prefer to read a series in order, mostly to see the main character’s growth as it happens.
This story is long (532 pages), dense in plot and characters, and with multiple layers that kept me regretting every time I had to stop reading to sleep or work. I like the Parker character and Connolly has made him a person with conflicting issues and a myriad makeup of possible outcomes for situations he faces. He is not a cut and dried, cardboard cutout of a character. The same remains true for many of his associates.
I highly recommend The Black Angel by John Connolly, but would also recommend reading the series in proper order to obtain the greatest level of satisfaction.