Sunday, December 20, 2009
Soul reapers are a fictional race of spirits who govern the flow of souls between the human world and the afterlife. Wikepedia
In "The Reapers" John Connolly has given his readers some background on two of Charlie Parker's humorous homosexual sidekicks.
Someone is after Louis because of something he saw when he was a teenager. We learn of Louis' childhood and the misfortunes that his family went through. It was the racial hatred that caused Louis' family that changed Louis from a shy child into a murderer.
The person hunting Louis is a man named Bliss. Bliss is known as a killer of killers, hence, a reaper. In his hunt for Louis, he targets not only the man himself but his partner, Angel, Louis' home and his businesses.
In a departure that demonstrates Connolly's versatility, it isn't Parker who is the central protagonist, but his friend Louis. In fact, Parker only makes a tangential appearance in the latter part of the story.
It is safe to say that there are no heroes in this dark story. The central characters are all men who have gotten where they are through killings and having others murder for them. The only decent character is a man named Willie who is the lone honorable man with a significant role in the story.
The plot, as always with Connolly, is highly original and the characters of Louis and Angel are two of the more unique characters in noir literature today. I don't think the level of suspense was as heightened as is usually the case with the Charlie Parker stories but overall this was entertaining.