Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Circle of Enemies by Harry Connolly

This is the third book in the Twenty Palaces series, and I really do think it's the best so far. The writing is tighter, as is the plot.

Ex-con Ray Lilly is between temp jobs--both ordinary and magical. He's also waking up screaming almost every night from nightmares about the events of the previous book. Then an old friend shows up and accuses him of killing her and all their friends--and disappears. Literally. Of course Ray takes off to L.A. to find out what's really going on.

Like the previous books, the action starts immediately and doesn't let up. It's fast, brutal, and riveting. I don't know that the violence is quite as much as in the last book, but the creepiness factor is just as high. Connolly's monsters would freak the hell out of Lovecraft.

I really like Ray, who's tough, practical, and does what he has to do even if he doesn't like it. I would have liked to see more of Annalise, Ray's boss, but their interaction in this book is satisfying; I like the way their uncomfortable relationship is unfolding at the same time that Ray is learning more about the Twenty Palaces Society Annalise works for.

One great thing about this book: while I recommend you read the first two books just because they're great too, you don't really need to; and while this book sets up for the events of the next ones, it doesn't end on a cliffhanger. In other words, Circle of Enemies stands alone while also forwarding the overarching series plot. I wish I could say the same of all series.

B&N link

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