Let me begin by stating that I do not rate John Connolly against other thriller authors. It's simply not done. I rate John Connolly against John Connolly. His work stands alone in the field, and even a good John Connolly book is head and shoulders above anything else currently being written in the genre.
That being said, A Time of Torment is, in my humble opinion, the weakest in the Charlie Parker series. A man who stopped a pair of bizarre killers, only to have his life systematically taken apart, his reputation destroyed, falsely imprisoned for the lowest of crimes, and targeted by a brutal group intent on turning his incarceration into a living Hell.
Finally freed, he knows his days are numbered, and he turns to Charlie Parker to expose his tormentors, the deadly conspiracy that stems from an isolated community known as The Cut, and the dark secret it hides at it's heart.....the entity known as The Dead King.
An engaging enough plot, and a faster than usual read, with a strong start.....Parker forming an uneasy alliance with the Collector, one based on the threat of Louis, in order to use his nemesis against those Charlie hunts.....and a powerful finish, where Charlie's daughter, Sam, displays her growing talents to devastating effect, showcasing her cold, lethal intelligence.
But in between these points lies the problem.....the main characters of the series, Charlie, Louis and Angel, are mere shadows drifting in and out of the story, and the tale suffers the lack of heart, humor and depth they normally bring to the table.
Surely just a stumble in a series that raised the bar on thrillers.
As always, I look forward to the next book in the series with my enthusiasm undimmed.
This was an eARC from Netgalley.