The Book: John Connolly, BAD MEN. Hodder & Stoughton, 2003 (U.K. first edition). Inscribed and dated by the author (April 25, 2004). Fine condition.
First read: 2004
Owned since: 2004
An obvious choice today, since I spent yesterday on Peaks Island, which inspired the fictional setting of this book: Dutch Island, formerly known as Sanctuary.
Sanctuary's resident policeman, the giant Melancholy Joe Dupree, protects the island from external and internal threats, but the island has secret defenses of its own. Marianne Elliot and her son, Danny, have come to the island for sanctuary, running from a man whose evil even Marianne doesn't fully understand.
That man, Moloch, is Danny's father, and determined to do whatever's necessary to reclaim his own. He enlists the help of other men just as bad as himself, and forces a final, deadly confrontation on the shores of Dutch Island.
BAD MEN is a thriller and a ghost story, a tale to be spun out over nights in a dark, isolated place.
It is also a story of heroism and the obligations of family and community. This morning I took the book off the shelf and hesitated, thinking I might better choose a book appropriate for Memorial Day. But, without spoiling the book, it too is about the sacrifices that heroes are willing to make for their homes and families.
Later this morning, I'll walk over to the Common for the day's ceremony. A monument there honors Gardiner's war dead; a band will play, and a color guard will salute them. May they and all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.