For John Connolly fans the series of Charlie Parker thrillers has seen many readers enthralled in the storyline of a crime fighter who will almost stop at nothing to find the killer or killers and bring some kind of justice to the victims’ families. But what was it made Charlie Parker, a former NYPD detective, become the fighter for justice he has become, a man determined to discover the truth?
The Dirty South is a return to the beginning of the man who became Charlie Parke; a man reborn after the death of this wife and small child, a man who had been imprisoned in Arkansas for pushing the boundaries a bit far in the search for their killer, a man who eventually agreed to join forces with the local police, in a Cargill, town that was as dissolute as it was poverty stricken, a town where young black women were being slaughtered, a town where new industry is trying to be established, but With the deaths mounting up, the salvation of Cargill is looking less likely unless the killings stop.
So, begins the beginning of Charlie Parker as he and the local Sherriff’s department learn to work together to peel back the layers of evil, greed and lust that stalk the streets of Cargill, as Parker seeks to right a terrible injustice in the Deep South.
Portraying the elements of a young Charlie Parker the work is refreshing, filling in the many blank spots left over the previous nineteen Charlie Parker crusades, with a little less of the supernatural Connolly is noted for and a lot more of the everyday elements, which reflecting back on the dark history of many of the southern states of America, leaves plenty of history to be mined for works such as The Dirty South.
As always the storyline is riveting, and by chapter 12 it is clearly understood that this book is a little different to many of the others in the series, by the careful and descriptive introduction of Charlie Parker,, ‘He seemed sad- and angry, because the two often went together’ which immediately introduces you to a man in crisis, a smart man, a man who is looking for answers.
Chapters are kept clean and short adding strength to both the storyline and the characters which offers options as either a standalone or the beginning of a walk on the dark side, courtesy of Charlie Parker and John Connolly.