Friday, October 9, 2020

Review of A Game of Ghosts by John Connolly (2017, Hodder & Stoughton)

Charlie Parker is spending a lot of time talking to his lawyer. Rachel his ex-partner wants to restrict access to his daughter. Ross, a federal agent, has persuaded him to sign a contract to undertake work for the government. The first case is to track down Jaycob Eklund who has disappeared. Eklund was a private investigator obsessed with the paranormal, and in particular, The Brethren, a group of ghosts whose ancestors maintain their sect. The trail leads Parker, and his two friends Angel and Louis, to ‘Mother’, the custodian of a criminal empire, and her disturbed son, Philip, who also want Eklund found. As Parker follows the trail, his own ghost, The Collector, is also seeking out The Brethren. What evolves is a complex game of ghosts. 

Connolly spins a multi-layered story. The plot is fairly complex, and is heavily contextualised by previous instalments of the series that might make it a tricky read if read as a standalone. But that is also its strength, in that it builds on and ties off some of threads of the longer arc of the series. As usual, the prose and storytelling is engaging, the plot is compelling and entertaining with a strong sense of mystery and tension throughout, and Parker is put through the usual wringer with respect to both his personal and professional life. A chilling, page-turning read.

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