Mystery thriller provides horror and dilemma for readers

Patrick Briotte- Staff Writer

For countless millennia, humanity has sought answers for that which has no rational explanation. Phenomena which defy science and make people wonder about a world that could be just beyond one’s grasp or understanding. Internationally recognized and bestselling author John Connolly takes this concept and applies it to the modern world.

. The story follows Charlie Parker, a police detective based in Portland who specializes in cases that are above and beyond what a private investigator is typically called in to deal with. His is a tragic story of a man who had to endure the loss of his wife and first daughter, also hardened by trauma both physical and mental. Parker never claims to be a perfect man, but he will always strive to at least try to do the right thing. Part of an on-going series, Connolly creates a very clear point for new readers to join without alienating older fans. The newest dilemma presented to him by FBI Agent Edgar Ross is one of irony. Ross needs Parker to locate a fellow private investigator who has gone missing, one Jaycob Eklund. Eklund had been persuing crimes that were related to numerous paranormal activity reports, where hauntings and spectral apparitions were witnessed. Teaming up with Louis and Angel, highly trained individuals with loyalty to Charlie, they set out to learn what they can about the mysterious organization who may be behind everything that is happening. The organization, known as The Brethren, seems to be connected to the mysterious events that Eklund had last been looking into prior to vanishing.

With cunning and plans that date back for numerous generations, working to outsmart the lethal cult, Parker must also balance the more mundane but equally important aspects of his life. Rachel, his ex-girlfriend, is considering cutting his time that he is allowed to spend with his remaining daughter, Sam. The universe presented to us is one that drips with realism despite the more fantastical elements present in the narrative. Each instance of the extraordinary is contrasted with the world one sees every day, almost being enough to make the reader wonder exactly what could be going on beyond our perception of life.

Connolly’s writing focuses on intrigue and mystery, but does not sacrifice the chance to show dry humor to break up the pacing of a very bleak or dry outlook. This keeps the story flowing naturally, and prevents the reader from getting bored or overexposed to the harsh situations that can be found in this book.

Each situation is handled organically, and each accomplishment feels like it was properly earned. The warning signs of lazy progression, such as characters finding exactly what they need in a convenient manner, are not present here. Proper deductions are thought out and conclusions are drawn based on what is available to Parker in the story. “A Game of Ghosts” by John Connolly is a well put together mystery thriller that provides a good jumping-on point for readers new to the adventures of Charlie Parker.

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