'There are people whose eyes you must avoid, whose attention you must not draw to yourself.'
So the second book in the Charlie Parker series, and my reread mission continues. Hired by a woman to get child support from her ex-husband, Charlie joins a lengthy queue of people searching for Billy Purdue and the alleged funds he's suddenly come into. Pretty soon Rita Purdue and her son are dead, there are mobsters, hitmen and all sorts running round being naughty and Charlie has to wade through it all with a little help from Angel and Louis.
His old boss Walter Cole's daughter comes to visit and then goes missing, everything leads back to Dark Hollow and a chapter of Charlie Parker's history. His Grandfather back in the day, was haunted by a series of deaths, missing women. A killer that was never caught, sure enough someone went down for it but he never believed they'd caught the right man.
'In the old house, the past hung in the air like motes of dust waiting to be illuminated by the sharp rays of memory.'
There's some top quality creepy bad guys in Dark Hollow, aside from the usual nasty mafia mobsters, there's Abel and Stritch (or Lurch and Uncle Fester as I fondly remember them).
Stritch is a completely disturbing individual and his meeting with Charlie is top draw.
'The smile didn’t flicker, but his eyes were now dead.
“I understand,” he said, and again there was that terrible sibilance in his voice.
“I don’t think you can be of help to me after all.”
“‘Don’t let me see you again,” I said.
He nodded to himself. “Oh, you won’t see me,” he replied, and this time the threat was explicit.'
Stritch is small fry compared to a man, a ghost who even has a little ditty sung about him to frighten the children.
‘Caleb Kyle, Caleb Kyle,’ he intones, repeating the words of the children’s rhyme, the fire casting shadows on his face. ‘If you see him, run a mile.’
But this was from the time of his grandfather, surely this monster was long dead. The man who everyone said tore those woman apart and left them hanging from a tree.
‘I'm not overfond of coincidences. They’re God’s way of telling you that you’re not seeing the big picture.’
Of course the good guys and all those not so good guys, meet up for various picnic and brunch activities. A few knives, the odd firearm and cucumber sandwiches with a few beers, can't go wrong. You know the score, multiple plot lines, fascinating and terrifying characters, delightful prose, the odd bit of humour all make for a tremendous read and series. The supernatural aspect is just starting to peek over the covers, readying to jump out and expand the already massive list of points that have you eagerly awaiting the next release.
My reread or listen to, are the audio's narrated by Jeff Harding who gives voice to Charlie Parker and the gang, quite brilliantly in fact and there are just way too many quotes to include in a review and actually include some opinion (Paul shut the fuck up, you’re boring me) exactly, next up is The Killing Kind.