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Every Dead Thing

(Charlie Parker #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  25,500 ratings  ·  1,667 reviews
Tortured and brilliant private detective Charlie Parker stars in this thriller by New York Times bestselling author John Connolly.

Former NYPD detective Charlie "Bird" Parker is on the verge of madness. Tortured by the unsolved slayings of his wife and young daughter, he is a man consumed by guilt, regret, and the desire for revenge. When his former partner asks him to trac
Paperback, 467 pages
Published July 1st 2000 by Pocket Books (first published May 11th 1999)
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Sheepdog I would RECOMMEND reading in order. Although the first book in the series I read wasn't the first. The characters, the writing style, the focus evolve…moreI would RECOMMEND reading in order. Although the first book in the series I read wasn't the first. The characters, the writing style, the focus evolve. (See the author's preface to book 3, "The Killing Kind" for more on this issue.

You CAN read out of sequence, though.(less)
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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 ·  25,500 ratings  ·  1,667 reviews

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mark monday
Apr 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: The patrol car arrived first on the night they died, shedding red light into the darkness. Two patrolmen entered the house, quickly yet cautiously, aware that they were responding to a call from one of their own, a policeman who had become a victim instead of the resort of victims.
I sat in the hallway with my head in my hands as they entered the kitchen of our Brooklyn home and glimpsed the remains of my wife and child. I watched as one conducted a brief search of the upstairs rooms wh
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
May 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
I am every dead thing . . . I am re-begot
Of absence, darknesse, death; things which are not.

John Donne, ‘A Nocturnall Upon S. Lucies Day’

Rereading this again after such a long time was a gamble. In my mind it holds its place at the forefront of my book exhibition, encased in glass, spotlighted, stunning in its contrasting beauty and darkness. I still recommend it without hesitation and it has never left my crime fiction top ten.

Connolly is a master of the atmospheric; rich detail and imaginati
John Culuris
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-shelf, 5-star
This book in paperback form looked and felt big for a detective novel; 467 pages as it turned out. Well, I thought, I’d probably read as many successful books of this size as not, and the fans that like this series really like it. Why not? Turns out Every Dead Thing is actually two novels. Not two concurrent stories, as often happens with the genre, but two consecutive cases--with a few through lines and back references to tie it together. Upon finishing the “first” novel, I suspected we were be ...more
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-read, 2019
I’ve got a book hangover!
I just finished Every Dead Thing by John Connolly in the wee hours of the night and must function at work today. I also had some strange dreams last night because this book was dark as hell!
This is the first book that I’ve read by Connolly and was impressed!

I’m going with 4 to 4.5 stars on Every Dead Thing.

I really loved this book along with the driven and flawed main character, Charlie “Birdman” Parker.

Haunted by the unsolved slayings of his wife and daughter, former Ne
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.

Sep 20, 2016 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
Feb 04, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars
This book starts with 2 horrific murders--a a mother and child are tortured, killed and then arranged in a pose reminiscent of some twisted horror painting. Charlie Parker comes home after a night of heavy drinking to find his wife and daughter murdered. The killer tortured them by cutting flesh from their bodies while they were still alive. Charlie is a NYPD police detective and now has a guilty conscience because he was out getting drunk instead of protecting his family. He decides to f
David Putnam
Nov 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite book of his. It's the start of the series. The writing is absolutely wonderful, the craft excellent. I read it a long time ago when it first came out but I highly recommend this book. It's a little rough for the faint of heart though.

Paul Nelson
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 07, 2015 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
This novel is the clearest case I've seen of the whole exceeding the value of its parts. It has 5 - 6 significant flaws, for the most part flaws that are typical of first-in-the-series suspense/thrillers. I gave it 4 stars and I'm not a generous reviewer, so I own defending that rating. After 24 hours of thought, I can't define any category of readers for whom it's a sure thing. It's a solid effort, but doesn't break any new ground. It's a 2009 novel, so not old enough to be a classic, and not n ...more
Edward Lorn
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Video review:

I've been returning to books I've marked DNF in the past five years and am finding that I'm enjoying more of them than I am not. If I return to one and my opinion hasn't changed, I'm not updating my review. But in cases like this, I feel the need to tell y'all what happened.

Unfortunately, I don't recall what I disliked the first time I tried reading this one, and my previous review was unhelpful. It did mention a quote I didn't care for, but the quote f
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
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I've started to reread (and that includes listening to the audiobooks version when I can't sit down to read) the Charlie Parker series while I wait for the latest book, The Dirty South, to be published. The first time I read this book I gave it 3-stars. I started to read this series, not from the start and had already read a couple of books when I went back to this one. And, it just didn't rock my socks like the ones I've read. Now, however. Oh, what a great joy to return to the beginning, to re ...more
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first John CONNOLLY book, and the first in the Charlie Parker series. I really like his writing style. The book keeps you engaged right from the beginning, and wanting to continue on with the series. I would recommend this to all lovers of mystery books.
After reading A Time of Torment, I decided that I definitely wanted to know more of the Charlie Parker back story. Then I was offered this, the first book of the series, which is being released with a new introduction from the author, again through NetGalley. Once again, I was struck immediately by Connolly's skill in creating characters, settings, moods and horror. Here the thriller involves a very human actor who appears to see himself as some sort 0f demon. The crimes are very brutal and diff ...more
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
A bit complicated at first with lots of characters and backstory getting rolling, but it hit its stride well. A good mystery filled with lots of action, and some twists. I didn't guess the ending until it happened. I thought Charlie was a solid main character, and I really felt his pain as he went through this. I've already picked up the next book and look forward to seeing where this goes next. I'm a solid 4 stars with this one.
Jan 28, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Dec 21, 2013 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
This was an excellent book. I have been looking for a series like this for awhile and I hear through the Goodreads grapevine it keeps getting better.
The main character, Charlie Parker, has had some dark things built into his past- and I do mean dark. Guilt ridden, suicidal and horrifyingly dark. This is part of what opens him to the reader. It creates a sympathy for his approach which is often a whatever means necessary to solve a problem.
A big part of the hook in this series is my interest in
Sep 28, 2016 rated it liked it
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
I read this with my friends, Ginger and Terry. I would like to thank them both for picking this book out.
This is probably the darkest book I’ve ever read. It’s dark, grim and hard to read at times but it’s also so hard to put down. You have to see if there will be closure cause it’s really hard to say happy ending after reading about the things that happen in this book. If I had to pick 2 words to describe this book they would be dark and smart. I will definitely read the next book in this ser
Chris Berko
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Oh shit I thought I had this one figured out. I was sure I knew the killer was but I loved that I was wrong, it made it that much more surprising and enjoyable. A very good book until the last forty or so pages then it became great. There's a lot of characters and a lot is going on and I was shocked by the ending. Great stuff.
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,
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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

Other books in the series

Charlie Parker (1 - 10 of 18 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)
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