TITLE: The Wrath of Angels
AUTHOR: John Connolly
BLURB: In the depths of the Maine woods, the wreckage of an aeroplane is discovered. There are no bodies. No such plane has ever been reported missing, but men both good and evil have been seeking it for a long, long time. Hidden in the plane is a list of names, a record of those who have struck a deal with the Devil.
I realise waiting until the 11th novel in a sequence is not the best way to introduce oneself to a writer or his by now legendary character, but having said that it didn’t hinder me in any way from enjoying Wrath of Angels by John Connolly or accepting Charlie Parker as the detective I’d most likely turn to in an emergency. Apparently Connolly writes each novel to be read either as a standalone experience or part of a ‘sequence’ rather than a ‘series’ and that paid off for me because while I picked up the existence of a rich past history shared by a number of the characters I didn’t get the feeling I was left out of a private joke
The story was an interesting mix of crime novel meets supernatural thriller, a sort of cross between Raymond Chandler and Stephen King, but with an almost literary voice that’s all Connolly’s own.
While the novel is a fast-paced detective story interwoven with sub-plots that seep into the main story, if only very vaguely at times, it manages a good mix of description to help you feel the context for the story – mainly the state of Maine, USA, witty and believable dialogue and a smattering of plausible clues to keep you guessing.
I was sufficiently caught up by the plot and the characters to want to go back 10 novels and catch up with myself and I suppose that’s a good sign. If I have any criticism at all it would be that we’re treated to a little too much of the sub-plots and I felt the ending was a little rushed, but a really good read nonetheless.