The Burning Soul
Atria, Sep 6 2011, $26.00
In Pastor's Bay, Maine Randall Haight consults with attorney Aimee Price over unsigned threatening letters he receives in the mail at a time when fourteen years old Anna Kore vanished from a strip mall. The anonymous author knows who Randall was. When he was fourteen years old William Lagenheimer and a buddy raped and killed a teenage African-American girl. He was convicted and did time. Upon his release, the state court granted him a new identity.
Aimee persuades private investigator Charlie Parker to look into who the pen pal is and if the timing is deliberate to make Haight the suspect in the Kore case. Although Charlie detests doing anything for a rapist-killer, he begins his inquiry into Haight’s claims of being a victim, a town without pity horrific heritage and the Kore clan’s bloody secrets.
The latest Charlie Parker investigation (see The Whisperers) is a superb mystery as readers will understand troubled Parker’s self flagellation as he realizes perhaps too late his arrogance could harm the abductee. The story line starts slow but a few chapters in accelerates into a terrific running out of clock thriller with a great late twist as Parker and law enforcement know each hour a kidnap victim remains a captive means it is less likely finding the person alive. Readers will appreciate Parker’s doubts as he wonders if he is doing more harm than good.