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Book 123: The Black Angel by John Connolly

Book 123: The Black Angel (Charlie Parker #5).
Author: John Connolly, 2005
Genre: Crime Fiction. Supernatural Thriller. Angels/Demons.
Other Details: Paperback. 599 pages.

A young woman goes missing from the streets of New York. Those who have taken her believe that nobody cares about her, and no one will come looking for her. They are wrong. She is 'blood' to the killer Louis, the man who stands at the right hand of private detective Charlie Parker, and Louis will tear apart anyone who stands in the way of his efforts to find her. But as Louis's violent search progresses, Parker comes to realize that the disappearance is part of an older mystery, one that is linked to an ornate church of bones in Eastern Europe; to the slaughter at a French monastery in 1944; and to the quest for a mythical prize that has been sought for centuries by evil men: the Black Angel. Yet the Black Angel is more than a myth. It is conscious. It dreams. It is alive. And men are not the only creatures that seek it. . - - synopsis from author's website.

While I zoomed through The White Road in a day it took me a week to read The Black Angel, the next in this excellent series. As with all the Parker books it was very dark with scenes of violence and exploitation. Here though Connolly's writings take a bold leap into brining the supernatural elements firmly to the fore. They had been present from the opening of the series though in a more subtle way.

The plot involving the Black Angel of the title was quite complex and did slow me down some as I found I needed time to assimilate what I was reading. The supernatural element involves angels, especially of the fallen variety, and some demons along with a millennium spanning war between good and evil played out in the world of men. There is a great deal of Church history as well as hidden lore. In this sense it is an unashamedly Christian novel with themes of forgiveness and the repentance of sins. I expect that now started along this route that the series will continue to explore Parker's relationship to these dark forces.

It was a little sad to see Parker's girlfriend, Rachel Wolfe, become the kind of partner so often found in crime fiction, who withdraws emotionally rather than support or assist their man. She had started out as such a strong woman and now seems to be slipping to the sidelines.
Tags: angels/demons, crime fiction, sexual violence, supernatural, thriller
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