Mr. Berger has spent thirty-four years keeping his life as empty as possible. His job title as a closed accounts registrar doesn’t spark much interest, and his cautious flirtation with a woman at his company was cut short upon her engagement to another man. This doesn’t bother him, however, as he much prefers the company of books to that of people. When a series of fortuitous events leads to an early retirement in the English countryside, Mr. Berger is content to spend the remainder of his years nestled comfortably between the pages of a book. But fate has other plans.
His serene life turns strange when he witnesses a tragedy chillingly reminiscent of Anna Karenina as a woman flings herself before a train. When he rushes to the scene, she has vanished, leaving no body on the tracks. Berger’s investigation into this event leads him to Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository, where the line between fiction and reality becomes blurred beyond comprehension.
Bestselling author John Connolly became acquainted with crime and violence from an early age. The son of a public servant and a teacher, he was born in 1968 in Rialto, Dublin, a city he describes as “a dumping ground for drug addicts for a long time…it was pretty much ground zero for the heroin epidemic that swept Dublin in the seventies and early eighties.” He then became a freelance journalist for the Irish Times Newspaper after graduating from Trinity College in Dublin. His debut novel, Every Dead Thing, was published in 1999 to critical acclaim, taking home the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel and the Shamus Award for Best Private Eye Novel.
Since then, he has written eleven books in the Charlie Parker Series, several stand-alone novels, and a slew of short stories. Connolly cites veteran authors Ross Macdonald, James Lee Burke, and Ed McBain as the main influences on his rich and introspective prose style. He currently divides his time between his native Ireland and the United States.