A Time of Torment (Charlie Parker 14) by John Connolly

By John Connolly

Jerome Burnel was a hero. He intervened to avoid a number of killings and in doing so damned himself. His existence used to be torn aside. He used to be imprisoned, brutalized.

But in his ultimate days, with the hunters circling, he tells his tale to personal detective Charlie Parker. He speaks of the woman who used to be marked for loss of life yet used to be kept, of those who tormented him, and an entity that hides in a ruined stockade.

Parker isn't really like different males. He died, and was once reborn. he's able to salary war.

Now he'll descend upon a wierd, remoted neighborhood referred to as the lower, and face down a strength of guys who rule by means of terror, intimidation, and murder.

All within the identify of the being they serve.

All within the identify of the useless King.

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Tair sounds more amused than fatalistic. ” Tair used to work for an international arms merchant named Silver Blue—until Charlie decapitated him. “His organization is still up and running. ” If this bothers him at all, it doesn’t show. ” He shrugs, the chains giving a metallic tinkle with the movement. “Took care of it myself.  Pete. It’s the kind of thing he’d say. “I’m not here to get you to testify, Tair. ” The sly look this produces on his face is a lot more like the Tair I know. Dr. Pete and I went on exactly one date, and nothing much happened—but going out with Tair would have been very, very different.

I ask. I’ve lost my shoes, I have a cranky infant in my care—one whose mother is going to show up at my door any minute now, and is entirely capable of mobilizing the Marine Corps to ensure the safety of her child—plus it’s almost dawn. I’m starting to head toward cranky myself, and I generally don’t have very far to travel at the best of times. ” Dino’s voice is very flat, very cold, all the Mediterranean charm drained out of it. He got what he wanted, and he doesn’t have to pretend to be polite anymore.

So apparently the Don is loopy. ” “Of course,” I say. ” Which is how, a little less than five hours later, I find myself in a room at the Tsubaki Grand Shrine School, observing a Shinto ritual being performed by a vampire on a werewolf. Shinto is big on Thropirelem, though it’s evolved into something considerably different from the Japanese religion I’m familiar with. Here it’s a magic system, one based on an intricate bureaucracy of deities, spirits, and ancestors. It’s animistic in nature, which means one of its central tenets is the belief that everything has a soul: people, animals, plants, weather, even rivers and mountains.

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