John Connolly: The Wolf in Winter

Novelist John Connolly seems like an awfully nice guy, much too nice to spend all his time writing about hit men, serial killers, perverts and deviants. But he does. With the release of The Wolf in Winter, the 12th novel in his bestselling Charlie Parker thriller series, Connolly continues the story of the investigator and his friends (among them a pair of gay hit men and two serial killers) as they search for their own versions of justice. Each of the characters, from victims to heroes, major characters to minor ones, is a complicated mixture of good, bad and indifference.

Oh wait, Connolly doesn’t believe in minor characters. “There are characters who might only be in one or two chapters or even one or two pages, but they aren’t minor,” he tells us. “Just because we don’t see much of them, that doesn’t mean they don’t have a whole life. When they aren’t in [a Charlie Parker] book, they’re off starring in their own stories.”

Having read The Wolf in Winter, we shudder to think what some of those other stories might be. In Wolf, Jude, a homeless man who sometimes feeds Parker information about people on the street, asks the investigator for help in finding his missing daughter. Soon after he makes the request, Jude is found dead in an apparent suicide. Parker’s investigation leads him to a small town where residents have conspired for generations to keep their murderous secrets secret and will go to any length to continue to do so.

John Connolly discusses and signs The Wolf in Winter at 6:30 p.m. Murder by the Book, 2342 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-524-8597 or visit murderbooks.com. Free.
Thu., Nov. 20, 6:30 p.m., 2014

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Olivia Flores Alvarez