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Magwood on Books

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Reviewed: The Wrath of Angels by John Connolly, Hodder & Stoughton

The Wrath of AngelsJohn Connolly was in South Africa recently to take part in the Bloody Book Week and to promote this, his latest Charlie Parker thriller. He’s an affable, amusing man, the embodiment of Irish charm, and yet his stories are blackly disturbing, rooted in Gothic evil and peopled with grotesques.

Wrath of Angels is vintage Connolly, set in his familiar Maine woods, where the wreckage of a small plane is discovered. It is a mystery – no such plane had ever been reported missing, and there is no sign of bodies nor survivors. When two old friends stumble upon the wreckage while hunting deer, they find a suitcase of money and a list of names. Leaving the list behind, they take the money and live out their lives with their secret.

On his deathbed one of the men tells his daughter about the find, and she calls in Charlie Parker. Parker discovers that the list contains the names of powerful men and women who have, in a reworking of the old Faust story, struck deals with the Devil to advance themselves. What is clear is some diabolical characters are set on finding that list, and Parker is drawn into the battle to secure it.

A menacing, imaginative, other-wordly tale.

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