A Game of Ghosts
by John Connolly
Hodder & Stoughton

Every year, I read John Connolly’s latest novel and declare his Charlie Parker the finest series around. Each episode works on its own dramatic terms, and also complicates the long-running soap opera of Parker’s slow path to redemption. This started 15 books ago in Every Dead Thing, with the murder of his wife and daughter, and has continued with help from offbeat assassin friends Louis and Angel, and scene-stealing interventions from the otherworldly figure called The Collector. Hinting at some George R.R. Martin fireworks, A Game of Ghosts starts with a private detective, just not Parker. Jaycob Eklund has vanished and Parker is sent to find him. The solitary Eklund might seem small-time but he’s a private eye with a private specialty: more ghostbuster than man hunter. Parker tumbles as ever into a Gothic plot where the concerns of this world rub up against those of the next, where men and angels make deals and the characters have ominous names such as Mother and the Magus. As ever, the prose is a thing of terrifying beauty: “And they were silent: death had taken their tongues. The Collector was sure of it.” John Connolly’s back.