Atria, Jul 13 2010, $26.00
In Baghdad, looters steal the treasures from the Museum of Antiquities. Only a locked box is left behind. American soldiers are among those ransacking the country’s valuables bringing them home when their tour ends.
In 2009 in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, highly decorated soldier Damien Patchett rushes outside his home with his dog Sandy. He struggles with control and forces his loyal canine to flee before pulling the trigger of the gun he holds. His distraught father hires private detective Charlie Parker to learn why his son and two other retuning vets from his unit recently committed suicide. The case turns eerie even for a man who lives partially in the paranormal. Charlie learns of the illegal cargo and of a sinister smuggling operation run between the Great North Woods that straddle Canada and the United States. Knowing he will need help, he enlists his two buddies Louis and Angel to assist him as he deals with a dying Herod, a malevolent shadowy Captain and disenchanted veterans back from the desert.
This is a great Charlie Parker thriller; perhaps the best in several years as John Connolly cleverly blends the ancient with the modern. Fast-paced, the exhilarating story line focuses on evil from ancient Sumerian times and the previous Administration’s ignoring the needs of returning soldiers many of who suffer with untreated PTSD. The suicide rate of soldiers and marines are very high in spite of some super efforts by the military to prevent this from happening. The Whisperers is Mr. Connolly in top form as he condemns chicken hawks that demand war but refuse to pay for it inside a strong action-packed tale.