Atria, Jun 2008, $26.00
Assassins Louis and Angel kill a Russian trafficker who peddled young children to pedophiles. Bliss kills a predator in a bar’s bathroom. A wealthy dying recluse murders a man who was involved in the death of his son. All these crimes are linked in a surprising way. Gabriel and his lover Angel will learn that crimes from their past have come back to haunt them in the present.
In 1983 Louis was assigned to kill Luther Berger, but what he didn’t know was that his victim was really Jon Leahagen, son of Arthur. Mr. Hoyle, is helping the duo with people coming after them. Arthur is dying, but before he passes on he wants to take with him to the grave everyone who was involved in the homicide of his offspring. Hoyle wants Arthur dead because he killed his daughter. He hires Louis and Angel to kill Arthur and his son; they agree not because of the money, but instead want Leahagen to stop trying to kill them. When they get to Leahagen’s estate, they realize they walked into a trap, but Charlie Parker is on the way to assist them.
The REAPERS is a great thriller as the readers get a deep look at the workings of Louis and Angel. When he was young Louis a black man watched whites lynch his father and set fire to kill him. Angel was sold repeatedly to pedophiles by his father to pay for his booze. Surprisingly they have traces of humanity left inside them although for the most part their human flame is barely flickering. They receive reader empathy in spite of being condemned for their actions, as John Connolly provides a strong crime caper fueled by these two outsiders.