A Book of Bones

A woman's body is found in a junkyard freezer on the Arizona-Mexico border. Details of the murder suggest the killer is the same one Maine detective Charlie Parker has been chasing for years. The FBI flies Parker in to take a look at the scene, and Parker agrees the killing is similar to the other murders. His suspect is someone chasing an otherworldly book--made of human skin--imbued with the power to tear down the barrier between this world and Hell.

But saving the world is only part of Parker's agenda. The killer has ties to the murder of Parker's wife and child. Parker enlists his partners, Louis and Angel, as well as a trusted researcher to help track down the book before it's too late.

John Connolly's A Book of Bones continues his long-running Charlie Parker series (The Woman in the Woods). Readers get the usual nuances of crimes set in creepy New England small-town environs, but Parker also pursues his quarry to Amsterdam and finally London. A Book of Bones's thrilling hunt runs through centuries-old buildings, revealing the ancient beliefs these structures were built upon. Connolly creates witness testimonials for the death of Black Mary (allegedly Jack the Ripper's last victim) that insist Parker's seemingly immortal suspect killed her instead. The plot is scary, but it's the author's blend of actual and alternate history that provides shivers. And the tales of stained-glass windows in old churches might cause readers never to turn their backs to them again. --Paul Dinh-McCrillis, freelance reviewer

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