In a couple of weeks the ghost and goblins will be flying so it's the perfect time for a scary read.
In the spirit of the season, here are three of my favorite mystery series with a supernatural twist.
First on the list are the Charlie Parker novels by John Connolly.
|The latest Charlie Parker novel|
Connolly's debut novel, Every Dead Thing, introduced the character of Charlie Parker. Haunted by the brutal murders of his wife and daughter, former detective Parker hunts for their killer. On the surface, this sounds like boilerplate crime fiction, but as the events of the novel play out, the reader begins to suspect that there there is a lot more going beneath the surface. By the end of the novel, this suspicion becomes a certainty. Thus, Connolly gives us our first glimpse of the honeycomb world, a shadowland that exists beneath our own.
In the 14 novels that follow, Connolly builds a rich mythology that is mysterious and compelling. In the latest book in the series A Game of Ghosts Parker continues on his dark journey.
Another series I enjoy are the AXL Pendergast novels by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.
FBI Special Agent Aloysius Xingu Leng Pendergast first appeared as a supporting character in their first novel, Relic, and in its sequel Reliquary, before taking charge as protagonist in The Cabinet of Curiosities.
Pendergast is a man of rare ability, learning, and taste. He might come off as a snob save for his commitment to fighting evil. Unlike the supernatural world of Charlie Parker, Pendergast exists in a place neared to our own. As a consequence, fully enjoying these novels requires a total suspension of disbelief--and I mean total!
For example, one of Pendergast's more outlandish talents is his Chongg Ran practice, which he learned from the monks of the Gsalrig Chongg monastery. Basically, this involves building a memory palace which enables Pendergast to visualize a memory or a historical event in his mind as if he were actually there. The resourceful FBI agent has used this technique for solving several mysteries.
Two of the creepiest AXL Pendergast novels are Cemetary Dance (zombies) and Cabinet of Curiosities (mad scientist), either of which would serve as a fine introduction to the series.
My final pick is the Bill Hodges Trilogy by America's foremost author Stephen King.
Mr. Mercedes starts out firmly in crime fiction territory, but as the series progresses, moves into the speculative. This is driving suspense with memorable characters as well as a startling amount of sweetness.
But because this is Stephen King, there is also horror, and for my money, Brady Hartsfield is one of King's most memorable monsters, partly because he is so frighteningly human. If you haven't read this trilogy, what are you waiting for?
So if you're looking for a fright or two this Halloween, treat yourself to one of these books!