John Connolly

The Wolf in Winter

"John Connolly never fails to please..."


The community of Prosperous, Maine has always thrived when others have suffered. Its inhabitants are wealthy, its children's future secure. It shuns outsiders. It guards its own. And at the heart of Prosperous lie the ruins of an ancient church, transported stone by stone from England centuries earlier by the founders of the town.

But the death of a homeless man and the disappearance of his daughter draw the haunted, lethal private investigator Charlie Parker to Prosperous. Parker is a dangerous man, driven by compassion, by rage, and by the desire for vengeance. In him the town and its protectors sense a threat graver than any they have faced in their long history, and in the comfortable, sheltered inhabitants of a small Maine town, Parker will encounter his most vicious opponents yet.

Charlie Parker has been marked to die so that Prosperous may survive.

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John Connolly never fails to please and with this latest in the long-running Charlie Parker he has delivered yet another superb thriller. With 'The Wolf in Winter' he gives us a slice of the old world in the new world with one of the creepiest churches you will ever read about. This is a book about small towns, how they can protect their own and how their self-limiting behaviour can ultimately lead to their downfall. The cast of Prosperous itself, given their outlandish and despicable behaviour, are convincingly drawn. From the town matriarch, to the church warden, to the town sheriff they all earn their space on the page and are used to great effect. Connolly also takes the opportunity to highlight the plight of the homeless in the U.S. He details their situation carefully, displaying how difficult and dangerous life on the street is without ever feeling exploitative and I found these sections to be both moving and insightful The wolf motif is a nice touch with the occasional visit on the page from a wounded lone wolf wondering through the Maine woodlands searching for food and shelter, giving us a hint as to what might be happening next to his human counterpart, Charlie Parker. And the sense of menace this provides – after all, who isn't afraid of the big, bad wolf – carries us through the book at a fair lick. A minor grumble might be that the denouement is over just a wee bit too quickly. Nonetheless, for me this book still gets top marks.

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