In the depths of the Maine woods, the wreckage of an aeroplane is discovered. There are no bodies, and no such plane has ever been reported missing, but men both good and evil have been seeking it for a long, long time. What the wreckage conceals is more important than money: it is power. Hidden in the plane is a list of names, a record of those who have struck a deal with the Devil. Now a battle is about to commence between those who want the list to remain secret and those who believe that it represents a crucial weapon in the struggle against the forces of darkness.
The race to secure the prize draws in private detective Charlie Parker, a man who knows more than most about the nature of the terrible evil that seeks to impose itself on the world, and who fears that his own name may be on the list. It lures others too: a beautiful, scarred woman with a taste for killing; a silent child who remembers his own death; and the serial killer known as the Collector, who sees in the list new lambs for his slaughter.
But as the rival forces descend upon this northern state, the woods prepare to meet them, for the forest depths hide other secrets.
Someone has survived the crash. Some thing has survived the crash. And it is waiting . . .
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, to which he continues to contribute.
He is based in Dublin but divides his time between his native city and the United States.
This page is administered by John's assistant, Clair, on John's behalf. If you'd like to communicate with John directly, you can do so by writing to contact-at-johnconnollybooks.com, or by following him on Twitter at @JConnollyBooks.
There's a couple of things that keep me coming back to Connolly. One, he hits my prose sweet spot. "For after Barney Shore had spoken of her, Harlan had become aware of movement in the trees to his right, a roving darkness obscured by the falling snow, as though the mere mention of her existence had somehow drawn the girl to them. He had chosen not to look, though; he feared that was that the girl wanted, because if he looked he might stumble, and if he stumbled, he might break, and if he broke she would fall upon them both, boy and man, and they would be lost to her. It was then that he had called upon his old friend, and he could not have said if Paul had truly come to him or if Harlan had simply created the illusion of his presence as a source of comfort and discipline. All he knew was that a kind of solace came over him, and whatever had been shadowing them in the forest retreated with what might have been a disappointed his or just the sound of a branch surrendering its weight of snow, until at last it was gone from them entirely."
The second reason is that he blends a sense of supernatural, or otherworldly, or perhaps better, supra-worldly, into the every day world. I find that a fascinating concept to deal with. And last, but very much not least, is that Parker, and by extension Connolly, very much seems to believe in vengeance. Connolly's pretty clear cut here; though his characters might deal drugs, or do the occasionally smuggling, direct crimes against people are what's unforgivable. While Parker isn't always that agent, his investigative work always seems to lead him that direction.
With The Wrath of Angels, I was hoping for a bit more, well, mystical, fallen-angel type action, an elucidation of the greater mystery. Eleventh in the Charlie Parker series, it does sum up the various hints from proceeding books and complies them into a sort of world-view. It also elaborates on the various players on the stage that have become somewhat cyclic. However, I don't think it advances the overarching story particularly. It does turn out to be an interesting story in this one, albeit slightly padded.
These days, I suspect mood is what ultimately edges a book into 'good' instead of a more lukewarm 'I liked it' evaluation, and I had this lying around waiting for the right mood. Sure, there were a few too many narratives that kind of felt like padding. And yes, we're running around the Maine woods again. But I rather like the Maine woods, and the other viewpoints weren't belabored enough to become boring. I imagine Connolly gets kind of tired of telling the same story, so playing with various viewpoints, including those of the villains, the ambivalent co-conspirators, and the victims, must provide a bit of intellectual stimulation.
At any rate, this was another enjoyable book in the series for me. I think the trick is not to read them too close together. Much better to space this one out, as the publisher intended.
Three-and-a-half stars, rounding up for breaking a funk.
Another fantastic and ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ book in the Charlie Parker series for me!
The Wrath of Angels is the 11th book in the series and should not be read as a stand alone book. Reoccurring characters from past books pop up in this one and the events that take place puts the spotlight on who and what type of man Charlie Parker is.
The atmosphere, writing and dialogue with this series is one of the best. John Connolly is one of the best writers out there and his books never fail to disappoint me.
The Wrath of Angels starts off with Parker being asked to listen to a story about a missing plane carrying money and a list of names that went down in the North Woods of Maine. The two men that found the plane have kept this secret until their deaths and the family of the deceased are not sure what to do with this information.
This missing plane is much more complicated then Charlie, Louis and Angel seem to realize when they start looking into the story. What starts off as a hunt for something simple turns into death, destruction and a power play between many players.
If you are looking for a fantastic series that has compelling mysteries and chilling supernatural elements, look no further!!
I have read John Connolly's entire Charlie Parker series, and Wrath of Angels is the one where he definitely hits his stride. Several themes and characters are resolved that were extremely vague and mysterious upon their introduction. The fallen angel theme becomes more well-defined as does the Jewish faction in the chase thereof, but most of all, the character of The Collector is finally revealed in all his insidious decay. But the best thing about a John Connolly novel is not so much the story, but HOW it is told.
John Connolly's prose is not just an intellectual communication. His stories are a place where there is more to each word than the definition, more to each sentence than a subject and a verb. His writing seems to be fused together with emotional content where, between the letters and the words, another deeper story runs, which goes beyond the dialogue and descriptions to include the characters' feelings and fears. He tells of a place where there is not just a forest, but a forest with a purpose and intent that is not always good, where bad people don't just do bad things, they live evil like a doctrine, where victims are not randomly chosen, but are debtors to some karmic reckoning they feel coming before it gets there. People, places, and things are imbued with an ever-present potential for evil. Charlie Parker is different from any other literary character in that he embraces his darker side in order to do his work.
Connolly's stories carry an atmosphere of mystery, above and beyond the plot necessary to make a mystery novel, a feeling that life itself is something to be figured out, as if it were made to cause suffering and proliferate evil. But, that is not what is terrifying about John Connolly's Charlie Parker series. The truly terrifying thing is that he seems to understand that goodness is but a compounded, twisted, transformed version of that same evil, and that very twisted version of goodness is the most we can hope for on this earth. He portrays the drama of a life where evil is the default, and therefore easily obtained, and goodness is always beset with obstacles, requiring tremendous effort, never achieved with any great satisfaction or perfection, and even that only with the most heroic effort.
This was such a weird book. I didn't like the ending/resolution at all. And the whole thing about the list didn't even make sense in the end. You are telling me supernatural beings need a list of names? Like come on. And I really wanted to throttle a lot of long time characters in this one like Rabbi Epstein. The whole book read like filler, and it was bad filler at that. And The Collector was the only one whose point I could actually see here. I was sad to see a long time character go, but they have not been that great in the past two books honestly. This was still better than the next book in the series IMHO.
"The Wrath of Angels" follows Charlie Parker as he and his friends race to find a missing plane and a list that has the names of many people on it. One of those names is Charlie's. And now those who he thought were friends or at least sometimes allies are coming for him.
I have to say the writing wasn't up to par in this one. I think it's because we are jumping around and trying to find resolution on too many subplots in this one. We have The Collector and his mission and his quest for revenge, Epstein and his allies, Charlie, Angel, and Louis, etc. There was a lot going on here that I almost forgot about the whole missing plane thing. And of course we have the return of The Believers and I am sick of hearing about them. We do get an answer about Charlie though (or what he is and is not) and I went really? It was just a disappointment after the last couple of books which were building to an arc I thought.
I should be clear that this three would be a five for almost anyone else. Unfair, possibly, even probably, but even though I feel like a teacher making a report card, I just expect much more.
It almost feels like all but the last fifth or so is preamble - gorgeously written, evocative and imagination-provoking preamble, but still. It might simply be that carol is right and I should be spacing these out further, but it almost reads like the author was the one in need of a break. We do get some movement on the overall story of the primal forces of good and evil, and even some clarification on mysteries previously only hinted at. There's even some pretty cute moments with Charlie, his daughter, Angel and Louis, but I just could shake the slightest sense of waffle.
Anyway, just to clarify again, my ever-shifting rating system is absolutely rating this one as compared to the others in the series. John Connolly's writing skill is absolutely still present, and I've no hesitation about moving on to the next in the series.
До тук, за мен това е най-добрата книга от серията за Чарли Паркър, препрочетох я с удоволствие.
В нея има всичко, което един любител на трилърите и мистериите може да желае - загадки, преследвания, убийства, страшни и невероятни истории за Севера на Америка и злите му богове и обитатели, както и чудесно изградени от автора главни и второстепенни герои.
Все пак е препоръчително да бъдат прочетени книгите подред, за да се уловят препратките и нюансите в историята. Тя продължава да е все така силна и вълнуваща и след 11 книги, Джон Конъли е ненадминат майстор на психотрилъра.
"Ядът, глупостта и користта винаги печлят срещу разумните доводи."
"Предишните поколения са искали да бъдат управлявани от хора по-умни от тях, докато днешните гласоподаватели предпочитат да бъдат водени от такива, които са тъпи като тях."
If you’ve read more than one Charlie Parker novel, then you know the creep factor alternates with the violence factor— in the case of this installment, it was one of the creepiest of the series.
As always, heinous villains, dark forces, and ghosts from the past haunt our story. Unlike other installments that dive into the back stories of Parker and friends, this book spends more time with the antagonists which makes for a creepier read.
Highly recommend and always looking forward to the next!
If you go down to the woods today you’re sure of a big, and in true John Connolly fashion, quite nasty surprise in this the eleventh, in the Charlie Parker series. Fear not if this is your first step into the dark, supernatural tinged tales from the pen of Mr Connolly as there is just the right amount of back story to bring you right up to speed as to why everyone behaves in the way that they do, and the numerous, and at times more than a bit scary skeletons that reside in Parker’s closet which delight in coming back to bite him on the derriere. If you’re a seasoned fan of the unholy trinity of Charlie, Louis and Angel step right in and prepare to be entertained- this is a corker with more than a few familiar faces along the way...
Despite my more than a bit flippant intro to my review this is indeed one of the darkest tales yet featuring Charlie Parker and there is a suffocating miasma of evil throughout the whole affair with most characters being touched in some way by this atmosphere of death and misery. From the opening scene of a dying old man’s confession of a past sin to a sinister path of discovery towards a hidden list of doomed souls, Connolly weaves a convoluted tale that is murderous, tangential and twisting hither and thither with all the main protagonists being expertly drawn together for a bloody denouement. As I alluded to earlier, the recurring characters all have a part to play and with the reappearance of the wonderfully sinister Kushiel (or ‘The Collector’) and with a couple of other nasty surprises, there is more than enough to keep Parker on the back foot throughout the novel as they close in for different reasons to the acquisition of the list, languishing in the wrecked fuselage of a crashed plane in the backwoods of Maine. As regular readers of Connolly know, there is a strict adherence in his writing that no-one can really be perceived as 'good’( and spookily in this tale not even children as one character more than proves)- there is an element of badness within all the main characters with strikingly different reasons for the course of their actions and how this 'badness’ manifests itself in their own tarnished views of the world. There is always a balance between depraved cruelty and loving heroism and this is what sets Connolly apart from just being a mainstream crime writer as his books always give the reader something more to think about on the human condition, as well as his ability to construct a good yarn...
There is a carefully used quote at the outset of the book from artist Andrew Wyeth that says “I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape- the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show” and what was particularly striking in this novel was Connolly’s adherence to the naturalistic writing style prevalent in the formative period of American fiction in his depiction and realisation of the potency of the natural environment within this tale. The natural setting of the woods is instrumental to the thrust of the plot and his perfectly rendered descriptions of the beauty but inherent malevolence of the natural world are perfectly realised. Skilfully interweaving folkloric tales into the plot, the woods and their surrounds become like another character in the book and influence greatly the actions of the human characters within its confines as it seeks to conceal the evidence of evil that the protagonists are seeking with a grail-like intensity...
But even within the darkness of the plot there are elements of humour particularly in the interplay of Charlie, Louis and Angel on a particularly eventful evening babysitting Parker’s daughter Sam and in the description of the most depressing ‘titty bar’on the planet to name but two, and these interludes of playful joshing or pure wit do much to lighten the sinister atmosphere that prevails within the rest of the novel.
All in all another great read in an always entertaining, yet wonderfully disturbing series that deviates enough from being strictly crime writing to incorporate moments of pure horror but beautifully balanced with a literary, naturalistic and philosophical bent- what more could any reader ask for?
Connolly's North American publisher is waiting until January 01st, 2013 to release it in my neck of the woods and seeing as how the world is supposed to end on December 22nd, there's a good chance I wouldn't have been able to ever read it. So, seeing as it was released as originally specified in the UK on August 30th, I took it upon myself to order it from the UK Amazon store.
A group from Charlie Parker's storied past returns in The Wrath of Angels. An enemy who Parker believed to have stopped in the past is at the forefront of a mystery surrounding a fallen plane, a missing sack of money and a list of names. While the purpose of said list is not initially known, it eventually comes to light that those names contained within have already faced certain doom or are destined to confront it. As if that wasn't enough, Parker must deal with the resurfacing of a dangerous and ruthless man known as The Collector who will stop at nothing to bring those with tainted souls to his unique form of justice.
As I said, The Collector returns and often plays as big of a role in The Wrath of Angels as Parker himself. This time around, The Collector has a lot to accomplish within a time frame that continues to restrict as the story moves forward. Nothing about the character struck me as overly exceptional the first time we meet him some time ago but Connolly really gives him an edge this time around, surprising me with a pretty cool development about halfway through.
Arguably the most entertaining characters in this Parker universe return with Louis and Angel once again providing a form of back-up for Charlie. Their back and forth dialogue is something I always enjoy and look forward to Connolly hopefully giving us a follow up to The Reapers, a book strongly focused on the two.
I found that the scenes in which Charlie interacts with his daughter one on one felt forced and awkward. Writing a child's dialogue isn't an easy task in my experience, Room was probably the only book that I've read that nailed it and even then, it took a while to really get into that story. However, I will say that the idea of Parker, Louis and Angel eating in a restaurant with a child amused me greatly.
It's a pretty strong entry into the Parker series and proves that Connolly's signature character still has longevity within him. Eleven books and counting is pretty impressive when you think about what it takes to keep a lengthy series like this strong. I'll look forward to number twelve!
I love Charlie Parker and my reviews of this series always vary between four and five stars. Four is for a very good book and five for an outstanding one. This book is a four. It wasn't outstanding because Charlie himself played such a small part in it. There were so many other characters vying for space I felt a little overwhelmed at times. Nevertheless it was totally readable, full of suspense and occasional horror and spookiness and generally what we expect from John Connolly. Looking forward to the next one.
I have no idea how we are 11 books in this series and they just keep getting better and better. There hasn’t been a bad one yet! How do you do it Mr. Connolly?! This book is great, this series is great.
Η εντέκατη περιπέτεια του Τσάρλι Πάρκερ ξεκινάει όταν τον προσεγγίζουν κάποιοι για να του μιλήσουν για ένα μικρό αεροπλάνο το οποίο έχει πέσει μέσα στα αχανή δάση του βόρειου Μέιν. Είναι πέρα από προφανές ότι το αεροπλάνο αυτό δεν κρύβει τίποτα το φυσιολογικό ενώ ο Πάρκερ αντιλαμβάνεται πολύ εύκολα επίσης ότι αυτή η ιστορία αφορά άμεσα και τον ίδιο.
Το βιβλίο αυτό για πολλοστή φορά είναι αρκετά διαφορετικό σε σχέση με τα αμέσως 1-2 προηγούμενα. Εδώ ο Πάρκερ ουσιαστικά ασχολείται με τα προσωπικά του προβλήματα, αυτά που ουσιαστικά τον ταλανίζουν σε όλη τη σειρά και αφήνει στην άκρη την ιδιότητα του ιδιωτικού ερευνητή που είχε στο δέκατο βιβλίο της σειράς. (Φλεγόμενη ψυχή). Επίσης, το μεταφυσικό εδώ πέρα επανεμφανίζεται δυναμικά σε μεγαλύτερες αναλογίες, μιας και τουλάχιστον οι μισοί από τους εχθρούς του δεν είναι καθόλου φυσιολογικοί. Μέσα σε όλα, πρέπει να εμπλακεί και με μερικούς ανθρώπους που κατά το παρελθόν είχε αρκετά μπλεξίματα, όπως ο δικηγόρος Έλντριτς και ο ραβίνος Επστάιν –αν θυμάμαι καλά απ’ έξω την ιδιότητά του–, ενώ, η παρουσία του Συλλέκτη, μιας από τις πλέον εμβληματικότερες μορφές της σειράς, είναι εντονότερη από ποτέ.
Θεωρητικά η συνολική συνταγή μοιάζει να είναι τρομερότερη από ποτέ (και ειδικά αν συνυπολογίσει κανείς και κάποιον ακόμα εχθρό του Πάρκερ που δεν αναφέρω, για λόγους αποφυγής σπόιλερ). Πρακτικά όμως, τα πράγματα δεν είναι και εντελώς άψογα –δίχως όμως να είναι καθόλου άσχημα. Και εξηγούμαι:
Γενικώς δεν συμπαθώ καθόλου τους αναγνώστες που λένε «εγώ ήθελα να κάνεις αυτό στο βιβλίο σου» διότι πολύ απλά δεν είναι στο μυαλό του συγγραφέα και θα πρέπει να ξέρουν ότι μας διηγήθηκε την ιστορία ακριβώς όπως εκείνος την είχε στη σκέψη του και ότι αν δοκίμαζε να εισακούσει τα θέλω του καθενός μας θα έβγαζε απαίσια βιβλία. Σε μια μικρή ομολογία όμως, στην «οργή των αγγέλων» σιγομουρμούριζα κι εγώ μερικά «θέλω», αν και νομίζω ότι κατά βάθος ήταν περισσότερο προσδοκίες που πήγασαν αυθόρμητα ακόμα και από τη στιγμή που διάβασα το οπισθόφυλλο, πριν καν το βιβλίο μεταφραστεί στα ελληνικά. Φαντάστηκα λοιπόν τον Πάρκερ και την παρέα του, να έχουν ξεχυθεί στα δάση του Μέιν ήδη από τη –βαριά– 100η σελίδα του βιβλίου, έτοιμοι να αντιμετωπίσουν όλους αυτούς τους αλλόκοτους εχθρούς σε ένα εντελώς διαφορετικό περιβάλλον απ’ ό,τι μέχρι τώρα. Φταίει λοιπόν ο Κόνολι που εγώ περίμενα λίγο από Lost κα�� Alien Vs Predator; Προφανώς και όχι, ο άνθρωπος ήθελε να εστιάσει στο πώς όλα τα πιόνια της ιστορίας ανακαλύπτουν το αεροπλάνο και ξεκινούν σταδιακά να κινηθούν προς αυτό, ενώ η συμπλοκή που ενδιέφερε εμένα κράτησε χονδρικά καμιά πενηνταριά σελίδες στο τέλος (οδηγώντας πάντως σε ένα εξαίσιο φινάλε). Οπότε, πριν βιαστείτε να βγάλετε συμπεράσματα, οι φίλοι τις σειράς πρώτα διαβάστε το βιβλίο. Δεν νομίζω να απογοητευτείτε με τίποτα, εκτός και αν θέλατε άλλο βιβλίο!
ANALYSIS: For longtime readers of the blog, it will come as no surprise when I reiterate how much I am enthralled by John Connolly’s writing style and prose. John is a master at writing supernatural mystery thrillers but with the last few years he has diversified his books and become even more enthralling. I’m always amazed as to how he has grown the mythology in his Charlie Parker series, firstly by exploring the past in “The Lovers” then with the varied milieu in the “The Whisperers” as well as “The Black Angel”. The last book “The Burning Soul” while a very entertaining one didn’t quite follow the footsteps of its immediate predecessors but hearkened back to the first four books. John had spoken about this book when I met him last year and had described it as the sort-of-sequel to The Black Angel, which I believe is the epitome of the series so far.
The Wrath Of Angels begins with an abandoned plane that is lost in the forests of Maine. Marielle Vetters and Ernie Scollay approach Charlie Parker with a request to find this missing plane that might have some money as well a list on it. The problem with that list is that it has the names of people dealing in Faustian favors that might doom them or perhaps might be their path to redemption. Barbara Kelly is a person with limited time and yearns for something that might not exactly be in her reach. Rabbi Epstein and his Yiddish henchmen are still quietly going about their task of capturing the otherworldly killers and lastly throwing his lot in this complicated mix is the Collector and his legal acquaintances. As you can guess with this overview that there are several plot threads that make up the mosaic of this tale. This story is a complicated one as Parker finds out in regards to the list, noting is ever sure and his so-called allies might not be so friendly after all.
Mainly this book is a terrific return to the heyday antics of the earlier books that I loved and also further enlightens the readers on the mythological aspect of this series. Firstly while the main thread is a simple mystery, the other story threads make up for the complexity of the story. This book is as much about Charlie as it is about the Collector and his earthly origins. We get a look into his family life of sorts and get to know his lineage. There’s also a return of one of John Connolly’s creepiest creations and for many fans it will be simply great to get reacquainted with this infernal characters. This story is the literary sequel to The Black Angel and deals a lot with the events and themes introduced in that book. For me this was a major reason for my higher-than-ever expectations from this book and this book delivers resoundingly with truly terrific revelations about the metaphysical beings and structure of the world.
Some truths are revealed and some mysterious facets are clarified. This book is an excellent payoff for those readers waiting for a reveal in regards to the secrets of the world. For the characters present in the book, John has weaved the theme of redemption in almost all the character arcs. Beginning with Charlie, then going onto Angel, Louis, the Collector and including all the antagonists as well. All characters strive to achieve their preferred goals however not all of them succeed. This book also deals with a character death and it was totally out of the left field. I feel this volume marks a pivotal point in the series as the series arc is getting bleaker and from now on I must say no character is truly safe. I think Charlie might be around till the very last however he might not make it in the end.
Lastly the best point about the book is its atmosphere that is presented by the author; he transforms Maine from its isolated, woody landscape into a land that is almost mystical to the point of overtaking Stephen King as Maine’s magical transformer. His vivid description of Maine forestland is both creepy and enticing to the mystery fan. I believe at the end of his Charlie Parker series, the state of Maine might rival fabled Atlantis in regards to its magical legends and local oddities. Its safe to say that John Connolly’s Maine is something that all of us can’t stop exploring via the books even though we might not personally want to go there.
In regards to drawback of the book, this is a series with this book being the eleventh volume and so there’s no direct resolution in sight but with John at the helm, the journey is still as fresh as the first book. Some readers of course might not find this book to be all that lucrative and this will be entirely subjective. For me this book held no regrets or dissatisfaction, it kept me captivated throughout and wowed me with all its revelations. Expanding the mythos of the series considerably and also by the death of one of my favorite ancillary characters, The Wrath Of Angels marks itself as a high point of the Charlie Parker series.
CONCLUSION: John Connolly delivers and does so with panache, the next Charlie Parker book will be a while from now as John refreshes his literary muscles by writing about other stories that fascinate him. With that in mind, this volume is a perfect stopping point for series readers until we come back to this spectrally fraught Maine and the eternally tormented Charlie Parker.
These Charlie Parker series books are just so consistently good! I can count on enjoying myself every single time I pick one up, and this time is no exception. As a matter of fact, this one ranks at the top of my list of favorites in the series so far even. The characters, and their interactions continue to be the highlight, and I’m absolutely loving where the storyline has evolved. It’s left me very excited to pick up book 12. 5/5 stars for me!
John Connolly es un maestro a la hora de mezclar la novela negra con lo sobrenatural, y con cada nuevo libro de la serie del detective Charlie Parker, aumenta su mitología y se vuelve más apasionante.
En ‘La ira de los ángeles’, Parker sigue su guerra particular contra las fuerzas de la oscuridad. Marielle Vetters y Ernie Scollay, requieren de los servicios de Parker para localizar un avión perdido en los bosques de Maine, que contenía unas bolsas de dinero y algo todavía más valioso, una lista de nombres de ciertas personas condenadas. Esta primera parte es memorable, y se nota el buen hacer de Connolly para intercalar historias en el presente y en el pasado. El descubrimiento de dicha lista, pondrá en alerta a las diferentes partes, incluido un viejo conocido de Parker, el Coleccionista. Pero antes hay que hacerse con ella, y eso no va a ser nada fácil, ya que los bosques ocultan su propia leyenda.
‘La ira de los ángeles’ mezcla sabiamente el thriller, lo sobrenatural y la novela negra, en un libro realmente entretenido y bien escrito. John Connolly es muy, muy bueno, y nunca defrauda.
4 stars out of 5 Audiobook - 15 hours 25 minutes - Narrator: Jeff Harding Reading a second time
Another great listen/read from John Connolly. Mixing adventure with mystery and a touch of fantasy, Connolly weaves a pretty violent story that once more exposes Charlie Parker's ability to adapt to life with the evil characters that inhabit his world.
I remember my first attempt to read this novel, I gave up about half-way through and shelved it as a DNF. This surprised me at the time, so I also added it to my 'try-again' shelf because I was pretty certain that, as a devoted Charlie Parker fan, either I hadn't tried hard enough or I had given up too early. I am glad that I trusted my usual feelings for the main protagonist, whose exploits I enjoy and for the author, whom I admire greatly.
My only criticism is that the plot/story line took a little too long to tell. 15 hours+ is a long novel in audio form and while I have nothing to criticise about the actual writing, I think this could have been edited by the equivalent of at least two hours to the reader/listener's advantage. However, the excellent narration by Jeff Harding saved the day. Harding is one of only a few narrators, in my opinion, who can maintain a variety of accents and vocal characterisations from beginning to end of an audiobook reading. The difference between the renditions of a Jack Reacher story by the aging Dick Hill and Jeff Harding is truly chalk and cheese.
The Wrath of Angels is the 11th in the Charlie Parker series and I have to say it just keeps getting better, while the previous novel The Burning Soul felt like the foot had come off the accelerator fractionally, well I gave it 4.5 stars so it was minuscule but TWOA puts the foot right down to the metal again.
I won’t give much in the way of plot details, just to say that this contains everything I love most about the series and it actually felt like the Charlie Parker story arc advanced somewhat with some key details coming to light and the death of a character in Charlie’s inner circle.
We get knowledge, small as it may be, of the backers, who instigate the chase for a lost plane and a list of significant importance that all the major players in the series come out to find it.
There’s more from Epstein, the rabbi, a grieving father and a hunter of fallen angels, the Lawyers Eldritch & Associates with deep connections to The Collector or Kushiel, in demonology Kushiel was Hell’s jailer, an incredibly dark and sinister character, both Epstein and The Collector feature heavily and have pivotal roles to play. Although I have to say it’s not quite getting into the realms of Supernatural with the Winchester brothers just yet. There is also the return of a character slain in a previous novel, a binder of lost men, a soul keeper, hunter of a hidden angel, reborn until killed by one of its own or locked away for eternity.
And the forever touched on implication that Charlie Parker is more than he seems, ‘more than a pawn but less than a king’, of great import in the fight against evil, fallen angels or risen demons, someone with a crucial destiny.
Even the little side stories are gripping, particularly one concerning Parker's grandfather and his friend, touched by death and scarred by loss.
A quote I liked was Charlie’s reply to a woman who tells him the world has taken its toll on your idealism – ‘I'm still idealistic. I just keep it safe behind a carapace of scepticism’.
There’s a lot of humour buried in this dark tale, much of it from Charlie and his two guardian angels but it cracks me up every time the Fulci brothers make an appearance, this time it’s their Mothers birthday.
Another quote of which I marked loads, the prose is excellent as ever. ‘Is this how evil is done, he asked himself, in small increments, one foot after the next, softly, softly until you've convinced yourself that wrong is right, and right is wrong, because you’re not a bad person and you don’t do bad things?’
The Wrath of Angels is simply superb and I find myself dying to get into the next in the series The Wolf in Winter but a little hesitant as it will mean I've then got to wait for the next book to be released. I’m thinking this the best in the Charlie Parker series but then again there’s been so many but its certainly one of my favourites.
Another wonderful, intriguing, extraordinary, out-of-this-world-yet-firmly-within-it Charlie Parker novel from Mr. John Connolly. Loved it!
Charlie gets drawn into a case involving a crashed airplane in Maine's north woods. There's intrigue, lots of questions, a little bit of supernatural (which Charlie more or less disavows, but it's there), along with a lot of weird characters. (Oh, how I love weird, esp. when it's centered around an MC who's strikingly normal.)
When two elderly men find a crashed plane - with a bag full of money - slowly sinking into a bog in a part of the north woods which is already weird to begin with - what will they do? Keep it a secret until they're very old and dying, then confide in one person. That one person - or two - then go to Charlie who's sucked into a world of cryptic, 'it's-gonna-get-you-killed' secrets. There are mysterious lists, the return of Mr. Brightwell (omg yuck!) and the Collector. Plus the lawyer named Eldritch and of course, Angel and Louis, present to 'assist' Charlie in all his endeavors. For those who've read just one Charlie Parker book, you have to know what I mean.
(Mr. Brightwell, with his swollen goiter has got to be one of the most horrendous 'villains' in all of mystery-noveldom. As a child I actually knew an elderly man who had a goiter almost as big as his head. He refused to have it treated. Yes, it was atrocious. I shiver just writing this.)
Anyhow, you want a creepy read? Try this one on a day with no electricity, in a cold house which is getting increasingly colder, and you're alone and you've got ten blankets wrapped around you. This is when you really can get into a book - though I'll take a hot coffee, working electricity and my family nearby any day over a nor'easter.
I digress. This book has to be one of my all-time favorite Charlie Parker novels. I borrowed the book from the library but I want to OWN this one.
2nd read - Parker's name ends up on a list of baddies that someone is methodically exterminating. He must confront The Collector and the lawyer who represents him to find out why he's on it. The original, more complete list, was last seen on a plane that was lost in the forest years before. Several divergent groups end up at a fort deserted since the 1700s, each with their own deadly agenda.
1st read - The Charlie Parker series is twisted, but this one upped the ante. Up for grabs: a list of names to be found on a crashed plane in the Maine woods. The crash scene is close to an abandoned British fort, complete with a serial killer, with the area menaced by the ghost of a child. Throw in the baddies, a group associated with the cult the Believers, and the goodies, Parker, Epstein, and the Collector, and you have quite the page turner.
Ревю няма да пиша :) Джон Конъли трябва да се усети с ума и сърцето. Ирландец (демек - автор от Острова, а те, творящите в моите жанрове - трилър, хорър и фентъзи - забелязал съм, са СИЛА), избрал да ситуира историите си доста често в любимия щат на Краля - Мейн. Какво повече да говорим? Ще си позволя само едно леко цитатче:
Тук е Север... Тук самолети падат и после потъват в земята. Пристигат убийци и на свой ред умират. Тъмни ангели разтварят криле над земята и биват погубени от своите врагове...
Отличен Пет! Пи Ес: Излишно е да уточнявам, че веднага подхващам следващата от серията за Чарли Паркър.
Some of my favorite characters in fiction are back. It is good to get with old friends and I was quickly drawn back into their world. My only gripe with this one was that there was not enough of Charlie Parker. It seemed that it was more of a background story of the fallen and almost had an espionage vibe with warring factions of angels, fallen or not. Still a solid 4 stars for me and definitely one of the best series around. Can’t wait for the next one - With the set up in Wrath, it should really hit the fan.
A welcome return to form after The Whisperers (I’ve skipped a book – I didn’t read The Burning Soul). I love the Charlie Parker series and its supernatural elements. This one’s set in the Northern Woods of Maine, in an area of which the locals don’t dare to venture, and never speak of. A number of years ago, two local men came across the wreckage of a light aircraft. Inside they found a cache of money, and a list of names. They took the money and lived carefully for years, squaring their consciences because no-one came looking for the cash; but on his deathbed, one of the men relates the tale of the plane, the cash and the list to his daughter. Word of it gets out and a number of downright scary types begin the hunt for it. John Connolly is so skilful at what he does – his prose is superb and he paints a vivid picture of this part of the forest, imbuing it with a strong sense of brooding menace – I could almost feel myself there. His characters, as ever, are completely believable, and there’s just enough humour to provide a counterpoint to all of the scary stuff. I wish I’d kept notes of the earlier books because The Wrath of Angels tied up a number of previous plotlines, and I’m pretty sure I missed some of them – maybe I need a refresher course! I’m really curious to finally get to understand exactly what sort of man Charlie Parker is, but happilt there are a few more books to go yet.
I binge-read an author or book series I like the way some people binge-watch TV shows. The problem with that, I have found, is that binging on anything can be painful and counter-productive. You start to get almost bored or annoyed at the very thing that made you want to binge in the first place.
I have found that, with books at least, I need to pace myself. Some authors just can’t be binged on the way one can binge-watch great TV shows like “The X-Files”, “Lost”, or “Fringe”.
John Connolly is one such author. I love his Charlie Parker mystery series, but they are so rich with atmosphere and dense with hauntingly gorgeous prose that it’s difficult for me to sit and read his books back to back. I need to take breaks between them. Breathers, if you will. They are just too intense.
Take, for example, “The Wrath of Angels”, Connolly’s eleventh novel to feature his tortured private eye, Charlie Parker. It starts off the way most of Connolly’s books start, with a creepy, weird event. In this case, two hunters lost in the Maine woods find an airplane that appears to have crashed years ago. Inside the cockpit, they find a ton of money and a list of names. They also find evidence of a passenger who may have walked away from the crash.
Fast forward many years later: those hunters, now on their death beds, are confessing their sins. They took the money. They spent it to better their lives and the lives of their families and friends. They don’t feel too guilty about that part. What they worry about is the people who have, over the years, come around to ask about the whereabouts of the plane and, more importantly, the list of names.
What follows is a crazy tour de force by Connolly, who manages to tie threads from previous novels into a coherent culmination of storylines.
Parker’s investigation into the story uncovers a secret global cabal of the wealthy and powerful, a group simply known as the Backers. For decades (centuries perhaps), these select unknown few have been choreographing tragedies and wars, assassinations and coups. To what end? Parker has no clue. He knows, though, that the very existence of this list of names is highly important to these people, and they will stop at nothing to make sure it never sees the light of day.
That’s not the crazy part, though. Because it turns out that another group that Parker has dealt with in the past---a group known as the Believers, who believe that they are fallen angels put on the Earth to do God’s dirty work---also wants the list, for very different reasons.
But wait, it gets even crazier: the almost super-human hitman known as the Collector, a person that Parker has had run-ins with in the past and barely survived to talk about it, also wants the list.
Everybody wants the list. But here’s the craziest part, the part that both terrifies and fascinates Parker in equal measure: rumor has it that Parker’s name is one of the names on the list...
This book has it all: suspense, action, creepy supernatural stuff and weird paranormal activity, humor, sex, and lots of words. Seriously, this book has WORDS.
Connolly loves to write, and I love to read what he writes, but I’m not gonna lie: he is super wordy. If, like me, you love gorgeous writing and enjoy a well-constructed paragraph or two or fifty, then Connolly may be your ticket. Just don’t read him thinking he’s going to be James Patterson. He makes Patterson look like an eight-year-old who discovers a typewriter and thinks he can write a book.
Seriously, though, Connolly can write like a dream. Sometimes like a nightmare. And sometimes like one of those night terrors that wakes you up at 3 a.m. and fucks with your brain for weeks afterwards, which is why I need to calm down, take a break, and read some fluff now. Maybe a Stephen King or a Lee Child. You know, something light-hearted...
I have read the Charlie Parker series in a somewhat circuitous route, having started at The Unquiet, then The Reapers before diving straight into The Lovers and now have caught myself up by starting with Every Dead thing and working my way up to The Lovers, where I have now followed correct form and completed the last three books in order. The Wrath of Angels is the eleventh book in the series.
The Wrath Of Angels is an 'all cards on table' book, where the main elements and themes of earlier books in the series come together to form a more cohesive statement of where Connolly is finally heading.
Connolly is always an engaging writer. Others has attributed his style to Stephen King, and while I have seen elements of this and I recognise his obvious skill compared to his peers, here Connolly has to work hard to bring a lot of characters together and with that has lost some of the eloquence from earlier works. Because of this The Wrath of Angels feels very workmanlike, Connolly struggling manfully to get through this novel to the coda he has in mind. This is both a statement and a transition novel: Connolly now means business, and is heading towards an inevitable end game.
Perhaps this explains why I was less engaged with The Wrath of Angels compared to his others. There are a large amount of strong characters, each fighting for attention, and from this a lack of focus develops. It also suffers from redshirts syndrome, a problem any long-running series can have, in which main characters are too precious to fall victim to the writer's knife. It becomes obvious when a new character is introduced that they won't be around come the author's acknowledgments at the end. Being risk-adverse like this way reduces tension and promotes predictability. A third of the way in I correctly guessed a) what the final scene would be and b) who would live and who would not.
Despite this The Wrath of Angels is a strong entry into the series, and is finally producing answers a lot of readers have been asking for. Connolly is herding us gleefully towards the inevitable apocalyptic denouement the series has been angling for the past 13 years. The end is coming, both for Charlie Parker and his faithful readers.
Everyone is in search of the list. A list with the names of those that have made a deal with the devil.
While I love the paranormal aspect, this read took on a darker horror element which made the stakes seem higher than just a possible bullet wound. Your soul could actually be lost.
While, at times, there seemed to be too many characters to fully get a foothold on their stories, Connolly was still able to write his main characters in at the critical moments, though I would have liked them to be in the forefront, I know I can't always get what I want.
An awesome addition to the Parker series. I was thankful for the paranormal information this book was laced with to get a somewhat clearer picture of what Charlie is really facing.
De los que más me gustaron de la serie de Charlie Parker. No sólo por la trama (como es habitual en Connolly, inquietante, oscura y con esos estremecedores toques paranormales), sino por lo bien escrito que está. Admiro muchísimo el talento de este escritor (y eso que esta serie de novelas sufrió un bajonazo más o menos hacia la mitad, que me hizo plantearme dejarla... cómo me alegro de no haberlo hecho; Connolly remontó y se ha superado con creces)