Written by John Connolly

Review written by Ayo Onatade

Ayo Onatade is an avid reader of crime and mystery fiction. She has been writing reviews, interviews and articles on the subject for the last 12 years; with an eclectic taste from historical to hardboiled, short stories and noir films

Hodder & Stoughton
RRP: £14.99
Released: 10th April 2014

Anticipating a John Connolly novel is like waiting for your favourite meal to be cooked by someone unknown and hoping to hell that they don’t muck it up and let you down. 

Luckily this has never been the case with John Connolly and fans of his Charlie Parker series will be relieved to know that once more he has written an outstanding story which will leave you gasping! With John Connolly it is more likely to be the case that each time he surpasses himself and the reader knows that there is a delectable story just waiting to be devoured.

In The Wolf in Winter Parker finds himself investigating the death of a tramp and his missing daughter. What should have been a simple case is not and before too long the dark, dangerous evil secret that has been hidden for so long in the town of Prosperous, Maine slowly raises its head and spills out into the open with Parker finding himself deep in the maelstrom of evil and battling what may be his most inhuman and dangerous adversary. Will he survive or will Prosperous, Maine finally be the death of him?

Readers will be pleased to learn that there are old protagonists in the mix as well and Parker’s two friends Angel and Louis are also around to help and pay off some of that debt that they owe him.

There are so many good things about John Connolly’s writing that it is at times difficult not to sound trite.  He has managed to juxtapose himself between crime fiction and horror without allowing one aspect to overpower the other.  This is one of the reasons why John Connolly is such an exceptional writer as has managed to tap into two different fan bases and make them work incredibly well. Connolly's writing is intense, humorous, dark, and deeply thrilling but above all a joy to read.

Parker certainly has his own problems and as each book is written it is clear that he is on a ceaseless pursuit against evil which becomes more intense as time goes by.  You may not like Parker by the end of The Wolf in Winter but you can’t fault him for his intensity and his own moral stance.  Furthermore, this is a strong enough novel that the heartfelt observations about homelessness, army veterans and religion are skilfully woven into the story without making you feel as if you are being beaten around the head with a heavy brick.

The Wolf in Winter is much more than a compelling novel.  It is dark, moody and intense. Very much like a rich cup of smooth coffee that is demanding to be consumed slowly.

Once again John Connolly has written a novel that demonstrates why he is amongst the best and has such a loyal following.   The only downside? Having to wait for the next one!

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