A Librarian Recommends: Every Dead Thing by John Connolly
When NYPD detective Charlie Parker comes home from a night of binge drinking to find his wife and child murdered and skinned by a sadistic serial killer, his life is turned upside down. Leaving the police force and bottle behind, he takes on some under the table private eye work, but his real mission is to track down the killer. When a lead in the case takes Parker to the swamps of Louisiana, he is accompanied by his lethal friends Angel and Louis and the brilliant criminal psychologist Rachel. While in the bayous, the sadistic murders continue and Parker is also trapped in a gang war between two rival factions who may unwittingly have information about the identity of the killer. Like all books in this excellent series, there is a light touch of the supernatural in this story, with Parker sensing the spirits of his wife and daughter, and being contacted in a dream by one of the murder victims. But don't let that scare away fans of straight ahead crime fiction, as most of the book centers on a frantic chase between Parker and friends, the local police and the FBI to find the killer. This is the opening book in the continuously excellent Charlie Parker series. Elements of extremely graphic violence make this a melding of crime and horror fiction with a hard-boiled veneer of the great private eye stories.
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