It’s a Mystery: The Unquiet, by John Connolly

The Unquiet (Charlie Parker, #6)Hollow Men 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Frank Merrick is a dangerous man, a violent ex-con set on finding out what happened to his missing daughter during his lengthy incarceration. He believes the answers lie with psychiatrist Daniel Clay, accused years ago of promoting the sexual abuse of some of the children he treated. Clay has been declared legally dead, but since Merrick thinks Clay’s reclusive daughter Rebecca keeping him hidden away. Badly frightened, Rebecca hires detective Charlie Parker to warn Merrick off. But Merrick will not be warned, and Parker proceeds to investigate the stalker’s background. The facts and connections he uncovers are very dark indeed. Even more unsettling, Parker senses that he himself is being stalked by shadowy presences he designates “the hollow men.”

Author Connolly wraps his detective story in a sort of ghost story, but the haunting is perpetrated not so much by outside spirits as by personifications of Parker’s own personal ghosts. To make the novel even creepier, the plot is based upon actual events, organized crimes against children that the state of Maine has never succeeded in obliterating. The Unquiet is pervaded by a somber mood, with an ending that is as disturbing as it is conclusive. This was my introduction to the Parker series, and immediately upon finishing it, I went online to order the first three. Another favorite author filling up my to-be-read shelves.

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