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Every Dead Thing (Charlie Parker #1)

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  16,186 Ratings  ·  1,064 Reviews
When former New York City detective Charlie Parker is pulled into the search for a missing woman, he finds insight into the murderer responsible for the slayings of his own wife and daughter -- a monster/artist/serial killer who uses the human body as his canvas and takes faces as his prize. Aided by a beautiful young psychologist and two career killers, Parker becomes the ...more
Paperback, 516 pages
Published by Hodder & Stoughton Publishers (first published 1999)
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Popular Answered Questions

Nitzan Yes, and you won't be disappointed.
There are a few that are more or less self-contained, such as The Reapers and The Burning Soul, and to a lesser…more
Yes, and you won't be disappointed.
There are a few that are more or less self-contained, such as The Reapers and The Burning Soul, and to a lesser extent, The Unquiet, but to understand the rest you need to read in order.
It's probably my favorite series, and Connolly is one of the best thriller writers alive.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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mark monday
Apr 17, 2011 mark monday rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murdertime
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
Feb 08, 2017 Arah-Lynda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All things decay, all things must end, the evil as well as the good.

This is not your average run of the mill detective story.  It is so much more than that and if you will bear with me I will attempt to explain why.

The story opens with the horrific slaying of Detective Charlie (Bird) Parker’s wife and young daughter.  What makes matters even worse for Charlie is that during the commission of this crime Charlie was holed up at his neighbourhood bar, drowning his sorrows in a bottle of Wild Turkey
Feb 25, 2017 Meredith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
To say there is a lot going on in Every Dead Thing (book #1 in the Charlie Parker series) is an understatement. There are numerous subplots and characters that at times make it hard to keep track of who’s who and what’s what. However, the constant is Charlie Parker. His character grows and evolves in this mystery, transforming from a shell of a man into something much more.

When Detective Charlie Parker comes home one evening to discover his wife and young daughter have been brutally murdered, he
Charlie Parker has more than a nodding acquaintance with the dark. The vicious murder of his wife and small daughter has left him a damaged soul, tormented and raw. A serial killer is not even close to finishing his work. A former police detective, Parker is going to try to focus away from his grief and turn his full attention to finding the perpetrator, this demon, this man without a face. I believe in evil because I have touched it, and it has touched me.

Read this if you need to stay awake all night.

I, for instance, read through the majority of this book during one of the most boring night shifts ever. I don't know what the world is coming to when patients actually sleep through the night. It turned out to be an almost optimal way to read it for me--the occasional call light interrupting the build of tension, yet enough suspense and horror to drive any sleepies from my mind. Really. I should have lent a chapter or two to Ashley, who was working
Paul Nelson
Rereading the first book in your favourite series is like revisiting a cherished memory. Your first kiss, the first time your dad bollocked you for coming home drunk spending five minutes trying to get the key in the door, getting louder by the minute. When you wrote knob on next doors lawn with weed killer or even taking a screenshot of mum's desktop, hiding all the icons and then using it as the wallpaper, ok maybe not that cherished but you know what I mean, or is that just me.

This time I lis
Feb 04, 2008 Bill rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
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
Apr 07, 2015 CL rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charlie Parker had it all. A wife and child, a job he was good at and then his world crumbles and he becomes a former shell of himself. Haunted by the death of his family he blames himself and his world spirals out of control. His visions of the death lead him into a life he had not planned and does not want but his sense of survival and right and wrong is too strong to let him to let him shy away from the evil he knows walks among us. I have read all of the Charlie Parker stories and if I ever ...more
Sep 25, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Irish writer John Connolly introduces his readers to his continuing murder mystery hero Charlie “Bird” Parker in the 1999 thriller Every Dead Thing.

His writing has reminded many readers of Thomas Harris (the author of The Silence of the Lambs) and I did not really see this in the previous book of his I read (2016’s A Time of Torment) but I could most definitely see Hannibal Lecter’s influence here. To be blunt, there are some seriously f***ed up scenes. Connolly’s writing, and his plot and theme
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
Edward Lorn
Decline to rate. DNF @ 100 pages

Can anybody tell me exactly what "Oriental laughter" is? It came issuing from a vent at one point in this book and I'm still trying to figure out what exactly that would sound like.

Anyway, I gave this book 100 pages. That's 50 pages more than I normally give a new-to-me author.

Mark this one down as Not For Me.
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
May 24, 2016 Panagiotis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Με την αστυνομική λογοτεχνία δεν έχω την καλύτερη σχέση. Στην πλειοψηφία της την θεωρώ ένα συνονθύλευμα κλισέ, περιττών περιγραφών και ίσως από τα ελάχιστα λογοτεχνικά είδη που έχουν τετελεσμένη έκβαση: ένας ή παραπάνω κακοί που θα μπουν στη στενή ή θα σκοτωθούν ή θα συνεχίσουν να ζουν, στοιχειώνοντας τον πρωταγωνιστή και τους ερεθισμένους αναγνώστες. Κάπως έτσι σχηματίζεται στο νου μου η Ευρωπαϊκή αστυνομική λογοτεχνία. Τα Μεσογειακά και εξ Λατινικής Αμερικής ορμώμενα παρακλάδια όταν δε αναλώνο ...more
David Brian
Feb 18, 2015 David Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 23, 2011 Bandit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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,
Dec 21, 2013 Kimberly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series
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
3 stars for me. I liked this one. At first it was a bit confusing, jumped around, couple story lines happening but I stuck with it and eventually settled into it. What the serial killer does to his victims is beyond words! Yes it was a bit long at times. The main character would reference something from earlier in the story and I would think "oh yea, I forgot about that part". I will check out the 2nd in the series if I see it on my book hunts :-).

PS - are there any fictional homicide dectectiv
Jan 28, 2015 Jean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an intro! When Charlie “Bird” Parker describes the murder of his wife and young daughter in the prologue of Every Dead Thing, I was riveted. At the same time, I was horrified and distressed. This book threatened, or promised, depending upon your reading preferences, to be a gruesome display of serial killings.

I found it to be that and much more. I’d be lying if I said that I enjoyed every moment of it. I especially didn’t enjoy the seemingly endless rivalries between organized crime bosses
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
May 26, 2013 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2013
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
Nov 13, 2007 Brooke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, mystery
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
Tom Mathews
Oct 19, 2014 Tom Mathews rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
aPriL does feral sometimes
Charles ‘Bird’ Parker is a hard man, damaged beyond repair, and he hears the voices of people who died because of extreme violence. He used to be an alcoholic police homicide detective, but now he is looking to keep busy after he retired early. People are beginning to call him to do private detective work, but they do so cautiously. Since The Incident, there have been rumors of unsolved murders in the wake of Parker’s involvement in certain cases.

Police report excerpted from the Prologue of ‘Eve
Mar 08, 2017 Manju rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: br-with-smitha, 2017
a little too long and too many characters (with great details about their past), for my liking but it had its moments of shocks. Gruesome murder details (put me off sometimes), gang-wars, scary side kicks, FBI and many more like these.

End was a little too abrupt. would have loved to hear killer's story.

I will still pick second book as my friends love Parker and he was not very bad in the book.
Theresa Alan
Charlie Parker is a cop on the hunt for the murderer of his wife and child. It is a sprawling, complex, well-written story. I kept reading because I really wanted him to find the man known as The Traveling Man who murdered his wife and young daughter. However, I think this book should have been 100 pages shorter and tighter—it really goes all over the place.

The story begins with Charlie Parker getting in a fight with his wife and going to a bar to drink away his frustrations. When he comes home,
Arielle Walker
This one slid right off the edge of crime/thriller and into pure horror - and that isn't a bad thing.

Not a bad thing at all, aside from those few sleepless nights I spent, light on, jumping at noises and wondering if finishing the thing would make it less frightening.

John Connolly has a way with darkness, as anyone who has read The Book of Lost Things will know. His characters are on a journey to confront that darkness, not only in outside forces of evil but also (and far more challenging) the d
Apr 09, 2013 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-irlanda, e4
"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
Alexander Páez
Necesito un cuerpo nuevo, me siento sucio después de leer lo que ocurre en el libro. Me ha parecido BRUTAL.
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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 15 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)

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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...” 11 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.” 11 likes
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