John Connolly was hte first non American writer to win the US Shamus Award and the first Irish writer to win the Edgar Award. This is the 14th book in the series that sees the Hardened Private Investigator facibg down a strange isolated Appalachian mountain community called “The Cut” and a nameless evil they protect.
The novel gets going when Charlie Parker When he’s approached by Jerome Burnel, who just got out of prison, he doesn’t know what to think of the soft spoken man. At first. Jerome was a hero before he went to jail. He shot and killed two thieves during a convenience store robbery, putting himself in grave danger. Soon after the shooting, however, the authorities were alerted to child pornography found in his house and on his computer, and off to jail he went. He claims he’s innocent though, and Parker believes him. He also claims that his life is in danger from those that he claims set him up and asks Parker for help in bringing them down. This investigation will lead him to an insular and murderous West Virginia community called “The Cut.”
Supported by the swift and purposeful Louis and Angel, the luckless and sad Jerome meets a sad end, while only these three figures plus a determined Sherriff’s deputy are able to bring Oberon and his treacherous sidekicks in “The Cut” to justice of the flaming and deadly variety.
The Cut is a terrifying place, and just when you think they’ve exceeded the bounds of criminality, it’s obvious that they are truly beyond the pale, and repulsive is too nice of a descriptive. Fans of the series will not be disappointed, anew fans will find much to love in Connolly’s incredible talent for creating creeping, atmospheric dread.
“A Time Of Torment” is a good read, staying within sensible boundaries with characters that are as believable in the real world as your next door neighbour.
– 4 stars