The Woman in the Woods
Charlie Parker #16
Emily Bestler Books/Atria, June 2018
The Charlie Parker series blends a traditional-thriller-mystery with elements of otherworldliness. This, the 16th novel in the series, as usual, does both. When a tree falls in the Maine woods exposing the remains of a woman, and her afterbirth, the Jewish lawyer Moxie Castin notes that a Star of David was carved on a nearby tree, leading him to retain private detective Charlie Parker to shadow the police investigation and discover what happened to the infant, since no baby was found buried near or with the mother.
So much for the traditional mystery. At the heart of the novel are the occult features, especially the baddie Quales, who does not hesitate to murder anyone with whom he comes into contact in his quest for a rare book of fairy tales supposedly with inserts needed to complete an atlas which would change the world by replacing the existing God with non-gods.
There probably is no other author like John Connolly. His novels offer complicated plots, well-drawn characters and make-believe to keep readers turning pages. His works, in addition to the Charlie Parker series, includes standalone novels, non-fiction and science fiction, as well as literature for children. Obviously, The Woman in the Woods is highly recommended.
Reviewed by Ted Feit, August 2018.