Review of A Time of Torment


A Time of Torment by John Connolly

Publication Date: August 2, 2016

Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler

This is the third time very recently that this has happened and you all may be beginning to think that I am not careful with what I read, but A Time of Torment is actually the 14th book in John Connolly’s Charlie Parker thriller series and I have missed the other 13. I don’t normally just pick up a book in a series, which is not the first book. I think I need to research a bit more before I request an ARC so I’m not starting in the middle of a world I’m not familiar with. My confession is done.

Now, with that said, “oh, yay!” I am getting the other thirteen books lined up to read. My to-be-read pile is not just one stack from floor to ceiling, it’s several! (Not kidding in the least and that doesn’t count what’s on my reading app.)

Charlie Parker is a private investigator located in Portland, Maine. An ex-con, Jerome Burnell, arranges to meet with Parker, declares that he is innocent of his crimes, that he was framed after an event that garnered him hero status, and that he will probably end up dead. Parker believes him, but doesn’t agree to take the case right away.

There was so much to like about this novel that I am not sure where to begin. Although from the beginning, I was certain that I was in for a Jack Reacher-type novel, this was not the case. And, don’t get what I’m about to say wrong. I like Jack Reacher novels, but after having read this one, I think I could quickly become more of a Charlie Parker fan. It’s intelligently written, has a sense of humor, well-paced action sequences, and more than a hint of the supernatural, which is more than fine with me.

Connolly has also done a lot of research to give background to the towns and cities he incorporates, mythology, and natural history, and it’s all interesting. I never encountered a passage that I wanted to skip over, except when it came to the climax and my eyes kept wanting to skip ahead, but obviously not because it was boring.

For A Time of Torment he’s created a cult of sorts called The Cut that has been located in a small county in West Virginia for generations. They honor The Dead King. Now I haven’t delved to any degree into whether The Dead King is Connolly’s own creation or whether it has a basis in mythology, but it’s all so well conceived that I felt like googling to see if it actually existed. This was fascinating stuff.

Stylistically I found Connolly’s execution intriguing. He told the story from the third person points-of-view of a handful of characters, all extremely pertinent to the story. In lesser hands this could have been jarring, but in Connolly’s it was brilliant.

The only thing I found to criticize in my entire experience reading this book was my own lack of attention in determining that it was not the first in the series. I hope that the others are as good.

Last, let me just say that if you ever thought you might want to write a detective thriller, this book makes for a good lesson.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From AmazonA Time of Torment

rating: butterflybutterflybutterflybutterflybutterfly(5 out of 5 butterflies)


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