Cramming

The Lovers by John Connolly
I’m
doing that thing I sometimes do. 
Yes, I’m over-preparing for something. 
Nothing
makes me happier. (Lots of things make me happier. Cadbury Eggs, for example.)
But
here’s the thing: I’m leading a session of a mystery genre study soon, so I’m
cramming. 
It makes me feel virtuous. 
It makes me feel confident. 
It makes me
feel resourceful.
Ultimately,
it makes me feel a bit tired.
But
mostly, virtuous.
And I’m
reading authors I feel like I should’ve read years ago: Walter Mosley, George
Pelecanos, John Connolly.
And
today we’re talking Connolly. Not Michael, but John. The guy who sets his
mysteries in Maine.
And I
picked a good one: The Lovers. For
me, it was the perfect fit because this is the one where private investigator
Charlie Parker looks into his own family’s past to discover the reason for his
father’s death. And I love that mystery-from-the-past stuff.
And Parker
is a fairly typical p.i.—tough as nails, independent to a fault, and stubborn.
I like p.i.’s.
The
thing that surprised me was the element of the supernatural. Parker’s wife and
daughter were murdered (earlier in the series), and their ghosts are present. Somehow
Connolly makes this work, even though I’m usually curmudgeonly about such
things.
And
Parker is a guy you can’t help liking. And that’s probably the most important
appeal element in a mystery series: you gotta like the main character, or the
whole thing’s sunk.
So if
I had way more time, I’d read more books in this series. But back here in my
own little reality show, let’s face it: ain’t never gonna happen. But that’s nothing against
Connolly, just my beautiful, busy life and my devotion to other series who got
there earlier and staked a claim on me. 
Sorry, Charlie.

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