The disappearance of a religious community in Maine had long since been the subject of controversy. It wasn’t until recently that the discovery of a mass grave containing those that had vanished all those years ago that the state began to get some answers. Shortly after it’s discovery, Detective Charlie Parker reluctantly becomes involved in the search for those responsible for the slaughter. Can Charlie uncover the truth behind the murders or will his connection with the afterlife ultimately lead to his downfall?
With Every Dead Thing and Dark Hollow, Connolly spends a great deal of time getting to know Parker while also establishing a world in which his characters can live and breathe. However, with The Killing Kind, Connolly takes the characters into as dark a direction as he can. Playing up the supernatural aspects that lingered in the first two books, Connolly puts it on front street for the reader to experience.
Basically, what Connolly does is infuses those supernatural elements from the first two novels and turns the volume up to eleven. In saying that, I’m not trying to convey that the story takes a turn in a direction that requires a certain level of disbelief. Connolly very much keeps the core story in the “real world”. The characters develop in a natural way and you’re not left wondering what kind of world he’s trying to craft. It’s a certain uniqueness that sets it apart from your standard procedural detective novel.
Parker’s main adversary this time around, Mr. Pudd, is well developed. He’s truly a terrifying enemy and has some excellent scenes. Using recluse spiders as a means to kill his victims, I can confidently tell you that my skin was crawling on more than a few occasions. His relationship with his girlfriend, Rachel, begins to feel the strain of his job as well as his growing connection with the spirit of his first wife and daughter. Connolly begins establishing that Parker’s life will never really be what he wants it to be.
It’s essential that you read this book before picking up the follow up, The White Road. Aside from The Reapers (the seventh book in the Parker saga), The Killing Kind and The White Road are his best work. Outside of where we find Parker in the outset of Every Dead Thing, Killing Kind and The White Road take Parker to his absolute limit so we truly get to understand what a gripping character he is.