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Every Dead Thing (Charlie Parker #1)

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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  12,265 ratings  ·  672 reviews
Hailed internationally as a page-turner in a league with the fiction of Thomas Harris, this lyrical and terrifying bestseller is the stunning achievement of an "extravagantly gifted" (Kirkus Reviews) new novelist. John Connolly superbly taps into the tortured mind and gritty world of former NYPD detective Charlie "Bird" Parker, tormented by the brutal, unsolved murders of ...more
Paperback, 467 pages
Published July 1st 2000 by Pocket Books (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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mark monday
I am a dilettante when it comes to my tastes. I like to read here and there, delve into some genres deeply, take a break with a shallow dip in another genre, and in general approach literature like it is a buffet. It keeps things interesting, but at times I wonder if it means I am losing the ability to be truly critical when it comes to such things as ‘clichés of the genre’. I’m not an expert in any genre, so things that seem fresh and fascinating to me may come across as clichéd and wearying to ...more
Bill
This really hurts. My mother bought me this for my birthday, on a recommendation from a local bookstore here. I know she's going to feel badly if she reads this but I must maintain the integrity of my reviews by sticking with the Brutally Honest program. So here goes.

I have to rip Every Dead Thing. Ready? Sorry Mom. It's not your fault; you didn't write it, and I likely would have bought it myself.

On to the review: Those who read my review for Messiah know how I feel about blurbs that compare no
...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
A thriller of rather epic proportions, what immediately sets Every Dead Thing aside from the crowd is the exceptional quality of its prose. The novel deals with some harrowing themes and should be approached with caution by those faint of heart or weak of stomach, and yet the writing is of such high quality that it is hard not to recommend this book to anybody and everybody. The plotting is extremely ingenious and Connolly pulls of a bit of a coup with this, his debut novel. Every Dead Thing was ...more
Brandon
Ah, you never forget your first.

When I was surfing around on the interwebs trying to find a new book to pick up, someone suggested John Connolly’s The Book of Lost Things. I nabbed it shortly thereafter and upon finishing it, I knew I had just read something special. I immediately needed more Connolly and upon realizing he had an entire mystery/thriller series featuring a private detective named Charlie Parker, I was filled with optimism and excitement.

Former New York City cop, Charlie Parker, h
...more
Scott Rhee
I don't give five out of five stars very often (which is probably debatable, given the number of five-star books in my "read" list, but whatever), so when I read a book that really blows me away, life is good.

"Every Dead Thing" by John Connolly is a phenomenal book, a perfect confluence of everything that I love in a detective novel: well-written, fast-paced, suspenseful, well-plotted, extremely violent, dark, philosophical, intelligent, and emotional.

Critics compare Connolly to Thomas Harris,
...more
Kimberly
This was my first book by John Connolly, and it certainly won't be the last. This was a great detective/thriller story with a couple of of serial killers' stories linked in. The main story concerns former policeman, Charlie Parker, whose life has been put on hold ever since a serial killer murdered his wife and 3 year-old daughter, mutilating their bodies savagely.

Parker is an incredible character! Very believable, and impossible NOT to like. With all he's gone through, it's easy to see how he n
...more
Ms. Nikki
I was taken from this world too soon.
No sun, no light, no moon.
With each beat my heart does break.
No peace you felt at my wake.
I pray you do not seek me soon.
Where there is no sun, no light, no moon.

by Nikki


I enjoyed this thinking read of a man whose wife and daughter were killed in an awful way and how he was steadfast in his resolution to find the killer. In his quest he also has the help of some interesting friends and many more murders and twist are unveiled in his search.
The only downside
...more
Brooke
I first encountered Charlie Parker in John Connolly's short story collection Nocturnes. The novella featuring the former cop alone made me give the collection four stars, so I was eager to read the rest of the series.

Every Dead Thing did not disappoint. Serial killer thrillers are a dime a dozen, and it's always nice to find an author who can stand out from the pack. Charlie Parker left the police force following the brutal murder of his wife and child, and the book opens in bleakness as he's g
...more
Bandit
As a rule I don't like mysteries and I don't like series. Having than been said, if more mysteries were like this one, I'd read more mysteries. This book is great in so many ways and to think, this is Connolly's debut novel, does that mean he gets better? Back to singing Every Dead Thing's praises...the plot is taut, there are sort of two mysteries in one book, it's long at almost 500 pages, but the pacing is great. The characters are terrific, interesting and immensely likeable (or hate-able), ...more
Jason
4 Stars

Every Dead Thing had an uphill battle to win me over as I am put off by the Thriller genre as it is even more played than that of the sexy vampire. I normally stay away from these books unless they offer something different, or unique, and fortunately Connolly and thus Charlie Parker do serve up a bit of something special.

This is really two books in one and would have played out better as such. The first book gives us the heinous backstory of Charlie Parker(CP) the police officer, of CP t
...more
Teresa
"É impossível enganar alguém que não nos esteja a prestar atenção."

O Viajante Assassino é um romance com um elevado número de personagens (demasiadas), das quais destaco as que mais me marcaram, pelo bem e pelo mal.
Charlie Parker (Bird) é um ex-polícia que vive atormentado pela morte da mulher e da filha. A sua ânsia de vingança e o desejo de encontrar os culpados pelo assassínio da sua família leva-o a envolver-se numa espiral de crimes violentos - alguns perpetrados por ele próprio.
(...) O via
...more
David Brian
Every Dead Thing by John Connolly is an introduction into the troubled world of Charlie "Bird" Parker. It is also the first novel I have read by Mr. Connolly.
It is fair to say I am impressed!

This book is a multi-layered epic, a cop-story come mystery-thriller, dealing with mob-violence, serial killings, and elements of the supernatural which only add to the growing angst of Charlie Parker's life.

Parker used to be a cop, a booze-sodden individual who was stuck in the rut of family life; slowly dr
...more
Chris
Oh boy, I can tell that I am going to read every one of this series. Starts out dark and somehow gets darker and even more compelling. Not only are we treated to two separate mysteries in this first installment, I was fascinated by all extras----little vignettes that are fleshed out enough and so well done that they stand as short stories included in the overall work. Some may have found this distracting---I considered it a bonus.

Mr. Connolly can sure write. Take the noir and darkness of Elroy
...more
Tom Mathews
Apr 06, 2015 Tom Mathews rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of dark thrillers
I have long wanted to read John Connolly’s Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker series so I joined several Good Reads readers in a group read of this first book in the series of 12 (so far) thrillers featuring a former NYPD detective tortured by the brutal murder of his wife and daughter.

What struck me first about Every Dead Thing is the writing. Connolly writes with a deep and lyrical style that is not only engaging but forges a bond between the reader and the characters. Not only are we told about the loss
...more
Maria João Fernandes
"O Viajante Assassino" é o primeiro livro da série de Charlie Parker. Podia também ser o último, mas infelizmente há mais.

Tudo do que existe de pior e de mais horrível no mundo em que vivemos, com o seu lado mais obscuro, frio e desprezível, envolve o protagonista Charlie Parker, também conhecido por Bird. O antigo detective da polica de Nova Iorque viu a sua mulher e filha assassinadas após uma noite de galhofa com os amigos. Após o sucedido passou de viúvo, a suspeito, a vitima e finalmente ca
...more
Mells
'No, I know better than reading that kiddies' stuff', I said, looking at the much recommended copy of The Book of the Lost Things on my shelf, so I've read Every Dead Thing instead.

And it's really hard to rate it adequately, since it's a very good book I didn't like at all.
It has everything a proper serial killer novel should: there're some insights into police procedures, there's a lecture on the history of art, there's a cooking recepie and there're cops with good literary tastes in it. Ther
...more
Sumit Singla
As I finished this book, two things struck me:
1. What a fantastic Halloween month I'm having with loads of good reads
2. I was living under a rock for the last decade and a half, considering I discovered this book just a few weeks ago, whereas it was published in 1999. Gah!

The book blurb didn't really impress me much, because like many Thomas Harris fans, I found it tough to believe that someone else could give Hannibal Lecter a run for his money. After finishing this book, I still find it unfair
...more
Mike
A really dark 4 Stars for this intial Charlie Parker thriller about a serial killer. The book is really two in one as the first story follows a "mob" killing that Parker is involved with. Didn't understand why this wasn't a separate story until I read Brooke's review(https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...). She nails the reason...we need to know about Parker before we get to the story involving the murder of his wife and daughter. Word of caution....don't read this if you are quesy about murde ...more
Andrew
This is the first of the full length Charlie "Bird" Parker novels and I must admit I really did enjoy it - there is so much going on which I do not want to spoil but there is just action on action, arc within arc.

You see one investigation brought to a conclusion less than half way through the book only to realise that its only the start of a much longer darker journey which builds and builds to what I can only say as a life changing event - which obviously sets the scene and creates the charact
...more
Mohammed
This first book of Charlie Parker series was two mystery stories about two different serial killers case. I dislike really serial killer books. I avoid them but i like the first story of the child serial killers in small town of Haven. There is some pleasure to read a small town PI mystery when its well done.

The other bigger more important serial killer story to hero PI was not as interesting. It was more generic serial killer story that was not written as well. It took down the rating of the b
...more
Book Him Danno
A good writer will improve with each successive book, and that is the case with John Connolly’s debut novel. I am glad I read book 11 first, otherwise I might have passed on what became a fantastic series. While the writing was good, a lot of the plot points and general structure screamed first novel.

It was as if the author had three distinctive stories he wanted to tell, but couldn’t get any one of them to last over 200 pages. So instead of reworking it he just told all three over the course o
...more
Trev Twinem
The first in the series and we meet Charlie "bird" Parker. The writing of John Connolly is highly intelligent and informative creating a crime story out of ancient texts and mythology which is both horrific and spellbinding in it's telling. Charlie's wife Susan and his daughter Jennifer have both been murdered, their bodies butchered, dissected and displayed in a macabre demonstration of ancient belief and ritual. There is a link to the present atrocities being committed by the Travelling Man an ...more
leslye
I picked this book up because it's often compared to Silence of the Lambs, so I was intrigued. Such comparisons are obviously overdone, and mostly a marketing ploy. The book was a tedious read. It starts out promising: Det. Bird Parker's wife and daughter are butchered in a manner so horrific that it defies description here. Leaving the force, Bird is obsessed with tracking down the killer (identified as The Traveling Man), who slaughtered them in Bird's own kitchen.

The first 100 pages or so, t
...more
Rebecca
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Camille Stein
'...abraza la paz que al final llega a todo lo que muere.'

Nacido con nombre equivocado, Charlie 'Bird' Parker no parece un policía vocacional (desde luego no es un investigador convencional), sino más bien un ángel caído que utiliza su profesión para luchar contra el mal: contra su propia maldad y contra la que se extiende a su alrededor. Movido por un abrumador deseo de venganza y por un sentimiento de culpa muy arraigado, Parker es superviviente, víctima y verdugo. A pesar de la multitud de p
...more
Barbara
John Connolly, why have I never read your books before?! This author is a storyteller and a great one at that. Beautiful prose. Just 2 examples here, but there are so many: "I bought a copy of the Times-Picayune from a vending machine and read it as I stood before City Hall. The newspaper was so heavy with corruption that it was a wonder the paper didn't rot." and "On the day of the funeral he had stood behind me in the rain and let the water wash over him, the drops falling from the brim of his ...more
John Wiltshire
Superb. Must-read series.
I'm currently re-reading this whole series as a prelude to reading the new A Song of Shadows. I'm 50% through this and finding it a fascinating read the second time through. I still give this one 5 stars and the whole series merits that as well, but I wonder how many people began this first novel of Charlie (Bird) Parker, Angel and Louis, and gave up within the first few chapters.
For about 40% of this novel it seems to be a sort of gritty, detective-noir. You know the
...more
Simon
Charlie Parker is an investigator who finds missing persons and tracks down ruthless serial killers after having retired from the police force after his own wife and child became victims of a ruthless killer. This, the first book in a series is how he started out and found his new calling.

The story felt well researched with attention to detail and rich characters that came off the page with depth and feeling. It is primarily a crime-thriller/horror with supernatural overtones. The reason for my
...more
Mark
Apr 11, 2014 Mark rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody who likes a better than average thriller.
The duskjacket reads the quote: "The most terrifying thriller since Silence of the lambs". Which I find a bit funny since of the four novels I found the 1981 Red Dragon easily superiour to TSOTL. But I guess the one who came up with that quote got the book and the film mixed up. So not a great advertisement to begin with.

This being the first tale about Charlie Parker and the 4th book in the series I read I kinda knew how it would end.
But still this debut did deliver surprises galore. It was two
...more
Shannon
What a let down. After reading "The Book of Lost Things" (and loving it!), being attracted to these covers and being on the receiving end of some very enthusiastic ravings by a customer I finally gave in and all I have to say is why oh why was that customer so besotted? The main character is sarcastic and doesn't know when to shut his mouth, Angel and Louis seemed completely at odds with how I imagine renegade untouchable-by-the-law killers to be, I guessed who the Travelling Man was before the ...more
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John Connolly was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1968 and has, at various points in his life, worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a dogsbody at Harrods department store in London. He studied English in Trinity College, Dublin and journalism at Dublin City University, subsequently spending five years working as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper ...more
More about John Connolly...

Other Books in the Series

Charlie Parker (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Dark Hollow (Charlie Parker, #2)
  • The Killing Kind (Charlie Parker, #3)
  • The White Road (Charlie Parker, #4)
  • The Black Angel (Charlie Parker, #5)
  • The Unquiet (Charlie Parker, #6)
  • The Reapers (Charlie Parker, #7)
  • The Lovers (Charlie Parker, #8)
  • The Whisperers (Charlie Parker, #9)
  • The Burning Soul (Charlie Parker, #10)
  • The Wrath of Angels (Charlie Parker, #11)
The Book of Lost Things The Gates (Samuel Johnson, #1) The Killing Kind (Charlie Parker, #3) Dark Hollow (Charlie Parker, #2) The Unquiet (Charlie Parker, #6)

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“She was plump, with dyed red hair and a face so caked with cosmetics that the floor of the Amazon jungle probably saw more natural light...” 9 likes
“For a moment they still lived and I experienced their deaths as a fresh loss with each waking, so that I was unsure whether I was a man waking from a dream of death or a dreamer entering a world of loss, a man dreaming of unhappiness or a man waking to grief.” 7 likes
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