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Charlie Parker #1

Every Dead Thing

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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 track down a missing girl, Parker finds himself drawn into a world beyond his imagining: a world where thirty-year-old killings remain shrouded in fear and lies, a world where the ghosts of the dead torment the living, a world haunted by the murderer responsible for the deaths in his family—a serial killer who uses the human body to create works of art and takes faces as his prize. But the search awakens buried instincts in Parker: instincts for survival, for compassion, for love, and, ultimately, for killing.

Aided by a beautiful young psychologist and a pair of bickering career criminals, Parker becomes the bait in a trap set in the humid bayous of Louisiana, a trap that threatens the lives of everyone in its reach. Driven by visions of the dead and the voice of an old black psychic who met a terrible end, Parker must seek a final, brutal confrontation with a murderer who has moved beyond all notions of humanity, who has set out to create a hell on earth: the serial killer known only as the Traveling Man.

In the tradition of classic American detective fiction, Every Dead Thing is a tense, richly plotted thriller, filled with memorable characters and gripping action. It is also a profoundly moving novel, concerned with the nature of loyalty, love, and forgiveness. Lyrical and terrifying, it is an ambitious debut, triumphantly realized.

467 pages, Paperback

First published May 11, 1999

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About the author

John Connolly

143 books6,819 followers
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.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See other authors with similar names.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,035 reviews
Profile Image for mark monday.
1,619 reviews4,955 followers
July 20, 2014
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 others.

For example, Every Dead Thing. Is it a cliché to have a detective so tormented by his past? To have that past be so carefully described, the tragedy be so disturbing and overpowering, that the reader still thinks of it while reading of perhaps unrelated mysteries? The hero, Charlie Parker, is so tormented that his story is as equally compelling as the plot of the actual mystery.

Is it a cliché to have settings rendered so richly? The atmosphere in this novel is so thick, so rich, so substantial, that you can cut a piece out of it and eat it. It is a very impressive achievement, particularly when considering that the author hails from Ireland while the action of the novel takes place mainly in the American South. Connolly’s descriptive abilities and his skill at conveying exactly how a place looks and feels are the abilities of both an expert journalist and a passionate historian.

Is it a cliché to have supporting characters that are highly idiosyncratic yet totally sympathetic, who just pop off the page whenever they appear? The gay couple, one a killer and the other a thief, are just such supporting characters. They are not easy caricatures built solely to add color and spice or to amuse the reader; they are fully flesh-and-blood, characters who are intriguing yet make perfect sense, and who demand their own novel. Which apparently they have.

Is it a cliché to have a detective novel that includes the supernatural to such a strong degree that at times the reader feels they are reading something that is much more ambiguous, much more rooted in primal fears and unearthly mysteries than a standard police procedural? Is it a cliché to have a story that solves a finite mystery but leaves the greater mysteries entirely unsolved? Certainly this is common enough in mainstream literary fiction, but how often does it happen in the detective genre? That is truly what sets this novel apart for me. The mystery is solved, yes. But the world the protagonist lives in is still the greatest and most troubling mystery of all.
Profile Image for Meredith (Slowly Catching Up).
770 reviews12.1k followers
February 27, 2017
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 loses himself. He gives up his job and devotes his life to finding “The Traveling Man,” the serial killer thought to have killed his family. At the same time, an old friend asks him to find a missing woman, Catherine Demeter.

Parker’s search for Demeter takes up about the first half of the book. I found this portion of the book a bit muddled and messy. However, when Parker focuses his energy back on finding The Traveling Man, things start to come together and tighten up.

Parker’s search for The Traveling man takes him to New Orleans. Connolly captures the essence of New Orleans, from the energy and the people to the food and the smells that make up this wonderful city.

Every Dead Thing isn’t for the faint of heart. The gruesome murders of The Traveling Man are described in vivid detail and there is a great deal of death and violence. I started this series by reading A Time of Torment, so my experience might be a bit different than others. I loved seeing characters like Angel and Louis and learning more about their history with Parker.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Arah-Lynda.
337 reviews520 followers
February 19, 2017
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.   No ……wait…… worse by far was making the grizzly discovery of their bodies after he stumbled home in a drunken stupor.  They, both his wife and little girl, had been flensed, their bodies posed in some ritual fashion and their faces removed.

Struggling with his loss and law enforcement's inability to make any progress in finding their killer, Charlie resigns from his position and then more to keep occupied than for any other reason he takes on a couple of assignments with a local bail bondsman and eventually agrees to look into a missing person case for Lieutenant Walter Cole.  

But Charlie is a man who is haunted.  Someone stole his wife and child, but they still come to him in his dreams.  He cannot look away and he cannot let go.  He needs to end this.

They come to me sometimes, in the margin between sleeping and waking, when the streets are silent in the dark or as dawn seeps through the gap in the curtains, bathing the room in a dim, slow-growing light.  They come to me, their breath in the night breezes that brush my cheek and their fingers in the tree branches tapping at my window.  They come to me and I am no longer alone.  

AS Charlie searches for his missing person it soon becomes clear that he has stumbled upon a vicious serial killer, one with a taste for children.

For an author that hails from Ireland, Connolly’s ability to transport the reader to parts of the American south where a good deal of this story plays out is astonishing.  His descriptions are so rich and lush, that the pages fairly drip with atmosphere; readily usurping my senses. I felt as though I was right there with him at every stop.

The story builds slowly and embraces a generous host of characters; each of them so carefully constructed, their stories so deftly tied into the whole that I never really got confused or lost in the
crowd.  And some of them fairly leap off the page.  I am thinking of a gay couple, one used to be a killer and the other a thief.  The camaraderie and chemistry they share with each other and Charlie is intoxicating.  They are vibrant and witty and simply just too damn delicious to be mere supporting characters.

There is also a supernatural element to this story.  Charlie sees and hears things, that cannot all be attributed to the tortured dreams of his dead wife and child.  We meet others, who have visions, whose source is deeply rooted in some primal, intangible fear and mysterious truths are unveiled in the specter of their inner eye.

For a debut novel, Every Dead Thing is an ambitious work that is richly layered and while I have to admit that Connolly does meander a bit and perhaps shares a tad more detail than is strictly necessary, in the end one cannot deny that he is a skilled writer and a gifted story teller.  

I am typically reluctant when it comes to committing to a series of this genre, but I will definitely be checking out the next installment and you can bet that I am hoping Charlie’s two gay friends (Angel and Louis) put in another appearance.  

My thanks to Simon & Schuster, John Connolly and NetGalley for an opportunity to read this book.
September 14, 2017
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 while the other checked the living room, the dining room, all the time the kitchen calling them back, demanding that they bear witness.
I listened as they radioed for the Major Crime Scene Unit, informing them of a probable double homicide. I could hear the shock in their voices, yet they tried to communicate what they had seen as dispassionately as they could, like good cops should. Maybe, even then, they suspected me. They were policemen and they, more than anyone else, knew what people were capable of doing, even one of their own.

THE BLURB: 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 his wife and young daughter. Driven by visions of the dead, Parker tracks a serial killer from New York City to the American South, and finds his buried instincts -- for love, survival, and, ultimately, for killing -- awakening as he confronts a monster beyond imagining...

MY COMMENTS: When I closed this book on the final page, I went and lay down in a darkened room. I was spent, drained, depleted, amazed, stunned and awed. I needed to let the characters take their leave, to leave me in peace. Every Dead Thing is not an easy book to cast from ones mind. Like Charlie 'Bird' Parker, I could sense them there, shadows in the room wanting to be heard, as I read.

And that ending. .....but I get ahead of myself.

Connolly's writing is described as 'lyrical'. It is all of that and more. He writes with beautiful words and phrases that resound in my mind, that I return to and read again, that I roll around in my mouth and my mind like a fine wine. Beautiful words and phrases that are far removed from the dark acts they describe; and because of their beauty, words that make those acts even more starkly horrifying.

He uses devices, tactics in his writing that, with other authors, have me gnashing my teeth. But Connolly makes them work to his advantage and had me eagerly turning the pages. The man is a master at his art.

And the ending? With all the twists, turns, subplots, reminiscences and meanderings down country lanes throughout the book, I NEVER SAW THAT COMING!

I have randomly read a number of the books in the Charlie Parker series over the years, but never this, the first in the series. Now I am motivated to read them all again, in order this time.

Thank you to Atria Books via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Every Dead Thing by John Connolly for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page for an explanation of my ratings.

You can also see this review and others at sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
Profile Image for carol..
1,501 reviews7,547 followers
Read
July 28, 2017
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 a double shift and had to resort to napping during her break. A chapter or two with Connolly would have taken care of that, fast.

Still, it really wasn't my cuppa. I enjoy Connolly's ability to create atmosphere, but as someone who has approached his writing through his later works, first book awkwardness shows here. Instead of merely evocative, some descriptions feel more like digressions and interruptions, particularly brief side lectures on bone china, particular types of construction, history of mayors of New Orleans, brief history of FBI wiretapping, etc. Then there are large chunks that feel like nods to the expected genre tropes rather than personal style: an explanation of the guns Parker owns, a description of his beat-up car, the strange way the police in whatever area he's in include him in their cases. I felt like explanations for the latter were cumbersome distractions. And the biggest tropes of all--and honestly, my peeves with the horror/thriller genre in general--the insistence that both body count and gruesomeness make a story more suspenseful.

~Why, hello, Tana French, Christie, Conan Doyle and Poe.~

Add to it the feeling that this book is actually three books means it suffers even more from first books syndrome (all the ideas!): the story of Charlie Parker and his wife and daughter's murder, the story of a serial killer who preys on children, and the story of a serial killer who flays their victims. Eventually, two of the stories fit together, with the remaining section feeling like a long detour into a different book Don't get me wrong; certainly it entertained (did I mention needing to stay awake?) but in retrospect, I can't think that it had anything to do with the final story.

Some mention Connolly's characters as a strength, but I'm not convinced that's in play here, except for the troubled lead, Charlie Parker. Then there's the challenges presented by 'friends,' Angel and Louis. It always makes me a little uncomfortable to have characters who are largely referred to by their differentness, so that there's some kind of psuedo-white liberal congratulations where we can reassure ourselves that we aren't really scared of black men, or gay men, or interracial couples, except that every single time they are brought up in the story, their sexuality/color is a part of the story. It's especially clear when the dialogue references the stereotypes of that group, providing the way we can all pat ourselves on the back. The characters of Angel and Louis are very awkwardly included here.

As inexperienced as I am in the genre, I still suspect this is above average in overall writing quality. Still, it lacks the focus that Connolly brings to his later works and instead focused on details that seem to be catering to an audience raised on thriller/horror and not to a tightly focused story. Well, as long as it worked, I suppose, so that he can keep improving and getting published. It was interesting reading this after book 8, The Lovers, seeing the beginning threads of Parker's story. However, it also led me to wondering about a little bit of reconning that might be happening in book 8.

Another rare unrated for me, partly because it kept me awake--that's some skill, there--and partly because I'm not a genre fan, so any 'it was okay' type rating would need to be qualified by the "it's not you, it's me" school of excuses.
Profile Image for Francesc.
382 reviews190 followers
July 25, 2022
La historia está muy bien. Los personajes son convincentes. Las descripciones son geniales. Hasta ese punto mágico le va bien al libro. Un autor muy famoso a seguir.

The story is fine. The characters are convincing. The descriptions are great. That magical point is good for the book too. A very famous author to follow.
Profile Image for Bill.
913 reviews292 followers
February 4, 2008
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 novels to Silence of the Lambs. This novel comes nowhere close, and the comparison to it by a San Francisco Examiner reviewer is an insult to Thomas Harris. It's also false advertising.
Can I sue for this???

Anyway....As I read through the first quarter of the novel it did have
promise of being a good serial killer novel, but there were just too many plots going on to be interesting. The novel is more of an organized crime novel than anything else, lots of thinly developed characters and A-Team shoot-em-ups (I hate shootouts and chases in novels. I read novels to get into the heads of the characters. If I want brainless action, I'll rent it at the video store).
And Connolly had a very annoying habit of describing the pants, top and shoes of every character in every scene they appeared. This alone drove me nuts. Hey, if you like organized crime plots, lots of action and cheap romance, pants, tops and shoes, Every Dead Thing is definitely for you. Now, I have to admit I did stick with it to the end so it did manage to hold some interest for me, regardless of the tone of this review.
Profile Image for Emma.
970 reviews956 followers
August 24, 2018
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 imaginative expression combine to give each sentence a weight and feeling that builds and reflects upon itself until you get lost in it, totally enspelled. Written with elements of the southern gothic style, the novel blends the supernatural, scientific, and philosophical in to a modern, decayed society. He sets the scene with gritty criminality: drugs, gangs, death, perversion, and bloody violence from the outset. Each part is seamlessness integrated, so that the local, natural, and created history of the novel have equal veracity. It is this that allows the supernatural to enter the story with creeping feet, settle into its place without a sound, and then sit there with such assurance that you believe it’s always been there and has every right to be. Initially focusing these more ghostly aspects through New Orleans is effective- it’s a place where people are known to believe darker things, where the line between the real world and the other is blurred, even celebrated.

The main character is, himself, an example of faded humanity, an alcoholic who lost his family and police career to a serial killer's inventive action. The themes of the book are repeated in his character; the scientific in his investigative process, the philosophical through his inward discussions of morality and justice, the supernatural through his direct connection with his dead wife and daughter. His reflection, the Travelling Man, is pictured in a similar fashion. The killer utilises the dissected human form as a metaphysical expression of human nature and the barbaric world, with himself playing the role of demon. The nature and interconnectedness of Charlie Parker and the killers he encounters is one which is explored throughout the series, a question yet to be answered. Yet when we meet him, there is a glimmer of potential. But of what? Violence? Most definitely. Redemption? That is where the hope lies, for us and for him.
Profile Image for John Culuris.
173 reviews63 followers
August 1, 2018
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 being given a hard, real world conclusion up front because there had been a couple of mild psychic and metaphysical touches introduced along the way, and I thought perhaps these mystic influences might end up playing a role in the second finale; maybe this was a way of changing the ground rules without cheating the reader. I was wrong in that regard. We never completely left the hardboiled world.

We first meet New York City Police detective Charlie Parker as he stumbles home after another night of drinking, which in turn was preceded by another fight with his wife. Through a drunken haze he discovers her body, and that of his 7-year-old daughter, both brutally murdered and mutilated. Jump to about a half a year later where, after absolutely no progress in finding the killer, Parker has left the Department and now chases bail jumpers for a lowlife bondsman, mostly to keep active since he had stopped drinking out of guilt. A shootout on the street sets the book on several journeys.

Not just the obvious journey: the first case, where incidental involvement leads Parker to being asked to find a missing woman. We also learn, through some of the failed attempts at tracking down his family’s killer, how he had fallen to these depths. And how he’d arrived at the point where we initially met him, both the good times and bad. And, of course, the second half of the book with the actual tracking of the killer once some solid leads surface in New Orleans. But the overreaching journey is Charlie Parker’s climb back from despair. It starts with growing concern for the missing woman’s safety and concludes with literally facing his demon.

Two consecutive cases, two separate conclusions; one over-arching journey. It’s a journey well worth following. However . . .
Warning: There are some graphically disturbing images in this book. They are not described in gruesome detail but they are gruesome nonetheless.
Upon finishing Every Dead Thing, it felt like a 4-and-a-half Star book to me. The problem is, I can’t say why. It’s just a feeling. And yet I couldn’t stop reading. By definition that’s a 5-Star book, right? For perhaps the only time I’m grateful that Goodreads doesn’t allow half stars. It forced a decision. I feel I chose correctly.
Profile Image for David Putnam.
Author 15 books1,433 followers
October 2, 2019
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.

d.
Profile Image for Thomas.
689 reviews165 followers
October 20, 2017
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 find the killer, who is a serial killer. The killer leaves messages for Charlie, calling himself the "Travelin' Man." Charlie goes to Louisiana in search of clues. More people die, some by the Travelin' Man and others because of conflicts caused by the widening search for the killer, now involving police and FBI.
This a moderately long book, 480p and has quite a bit of violence. It is a good mystery if you can get over the violence, sometimes very gruesome.
Some quotes:
Charlie: "The past was like a snare. It allowed me to move a little, to circle, to turn, but in the end, it always dragged me back."
House description: "Two large rooms opened out at either end at either side of a hallway, filled with furniture that looked like it was used only when presidents died."
Thanks to NetGalley for sending this book
Profile Image for Ginger.
721 reviews316 followers
August 6, 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 New York City Detective, Charlie Parker is looking for revenge and redemption. He has guilt and regret for how his wife and daughter were killed and not being there the night they were murdered. Charlie Parker is a recovering alcoholic and can no longer be a detective for the NYPD. Instead, Parker is a hired private investigator.

When Parker’s ex-partner asks him to track down a missing girl, Parker embarks on a quest that will lead him to the heart of organized crime, the Louisiana swamp and to victims who are tortured and murdered in the most horrific ways. These victims are vast and include Parker’s wife and daughter.

This book or series is likely not for the faint of heart. If you have problems with gore, blood or torture, you might want to rethink about reading this series.
The writing is well done though, and I never felt like the dark material was wrote for shock factor. It just worked with the overall feel of the book and character.

This is a very complex book and felt like it was two books into one. There are two different plots going on in Every Dead Thing so it took a bit to get the backstory of both plots and all the characters. That’s why I’m not giving it all the stars.

I had no idea who the serial killer, Travelin’ Man was until the ending. I started to have some doubts about a few characters but was still shocked at how the ending all went down. The last 70+ pages were epic!

I can’t wait to continue with this series!
I’ve heard that the Charlie Parker series moving forward just gets better and less confusing. Now that I know all the main characters, I feel like I’m in for a treat!!
Profile Image for Debra .
2,125 reviews34.9k followers
January 12, 2021
3.5 stars

This book is the first in the Charlie Parker series. I have read some of the other books in this series but not the first so I decided to go back to the beginning.

The book opens as Charlie "Bird" Parker has come home to find his wife and daughter dead. They have been murdered and left for him to find by a serial killer known as "The traveling man". The traveling man has killed before and continues to kill as Parker desperately tries to hunt down and stop him. Parker is full of guilt as he was out drinking as his wife and daughter were being murdered. He has lost his job, is an alcoholic and works as a private detective hell bent on revenge.

He is hired to work a case of a missing young woman. At first he sees no similarities between this missing woman's case and his families murders but he feels like "the traveling man" is behind things. The search for the missing woman takes him to the deep south were an old woman who cannot see seems to "see" into people's pain and can sense when the traveling man is coming. Parker is aided by two career criminals who are bound to Parker and a beautiful psychologist. They find a town where terrible things have happened to children, where old murders are tied to current ones.

Connolly doesn't disappoint. It was nice to go back to the beginning. I can definitely see the character development that has taken place since the beginning. He tends to mix his stories with elements of the supernatural. He writes characters who do not always do the right thing..the law is taken into their own hands and they never seem to suffer any consequences for this. There is a lot of violence so not for the faint of heart.

See more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,845 reviews16.3k followers
August 6, 2017
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 themes, are so similar to the Lecter books (and films) that this was somewhat distracting, but Connolly adds more to his story to make it unique and entertaining (if not intrinsically disturbing).

Parker is a NYPD detective whose wife and young daughter are brutally murdered while he is at a bar drinking. This event haunts Parker and the storyline throughout the page turning, heart racing, cannot-put-it-down-thriller. As Parker works with local police, federal agents, and Louisiana police to track down the serial killer, Connolly uses the investigation as a vehicle to delve more deeply into Parker’s wounded psyche.

Another ubiquitous element to Connolly’s writing is an undercurrent of paranormal and the occult. Kept at a minimum, this keeps this from urban fantasy and lessens detraction by the reader. Still, this is creepy as hell and I was reminded again and again of similarities with Stephen King.

Parts of the action take Parker to Louisiana and Connolly demonstrates his adept ability to describe setting. The hot, muggy, overwhelmingly sensuality of the swamp atmosphere (coupled with the plot structure and themes) also reminded me of the 1987 Alan Parker film Angel Heart starring Mickey Rourke.

A good beginning to the Charlie Parker series and I’ll be back.

description
Profile Image for Zoeytron.
1,016 reviews652 followers
October 7, 2016
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.

Profile Image for Xabi1990.
1,946 reviews801 followers
December 4, 2021
Creo que no soy buen lector de novela negra, así que mejor no me hagáis mucho caso.

La novela se divide en dos partes, casi parecen dos novelas. hasta casi el 50% busca a unos asesinos y de ahí al final busca a otros.

En la primera parte me perdía casi entre nombres y en la segunda -más interesante- me ha parecido un final apresurado y forzado de narices. Por un detalle ínfimo dscubre al asesino, a uno al que no apuntaba ninguna, ninguna pista.

Y eso de este tal Connolly que partía con buenos comentarios y buenas notas. No es que sea ilegible, pero esperaba bastante mas.

Aparcado hasta no se ni cuando.
Profile Image for Justo Martiañez.
342 reviews126 followers
September 16, 2021
3.5/5 Estrellas

Tras acabar el libro, se me viene a la mente el verso de una canción de Rosendo: "Nada especial, tiras de piel" (lo de la piel lo entenderá quien haya leído el libro).

¿Porqué nada especial? Típico asesino en serie, que se carga a familia de policía y, a partir de ahí, juega con él y con el resto del equipo que le persigue, aunque no se sabe cómo, siempre va un paso por delante. Asesinatos espeluznantes, rozando casi lo escatológico, mafiosos sin escrúpulos que se llevan todo lo que se les pone por delante, polis corruptos, un protagonista que siempre está en todo el meollo de la acción, pero acaba salvandose, con alguna herida menor a lo sumo, mientras la mayoría de los demás mueren.....

Sin embargo, este libro SI que tiene algo especial, que hace que al final se lleve casi las 4 estrellas. Tiene un protagonista, Charlie Parker, muy bien perfilado, con mucho potencial, que supongo que desarrollará en las siguientes entregas. La historia está trufada de toques oníricos y casi paranormales, que enriquecen y contribuyen al desarrollo de la trama y le dan un toque especial. Por el texto circulan multitud de personajes, policías, asesinos, amigos, amantes, todos con personalidad propia y aportando su granito de arena. Libro duro, a veces casi repugnante, asesinatos descarnados y macabros. Todo lo que al principio parecía deslavazado y sin aparente conexión, va confluyendo hacia un buen final, donde lo que más me ha fallado son las motivaciones del asesino para cruzarse en el camino de Parker y ponerlo en el centro de su circo del horror....

Lo dicho, ha vuelto a parir la abuela y ya tenemos otra serie para la saca, un peldañito por debajo de Harry Bosch, pero continuaré sin duda.
Profile Image for Paul Nelson.
608 reviews137 followers
August 13, 2015
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 listened to the audio of Every Dead Thing narrated by the excellent Jeff Harding and it’s a whole new experience, the characters you love have a voice and the stories that little bit more riveting than it was before. Charlie, Angel and Louis come to life and the wry humour that slithers between the emotion and horror is just as memorable.

‘Man, you like the Peace Corps,’ whispered Louis. ‘Make friends wherever you go.’
‘Thanks,’ I replied. ‘It’s a gift.’


This is of course Charlie Parker and the hunt for two serial killers, one that takes children and one known as the Traveling Man who takes faces. While he's in a bar getting drunk his wife and daughter are murdered and presented to him in a macabre artistic pose. The details are horrific and drip feed as we go through the story. And when the Traveling Man rings Bird and speaks through voice altering software it's absolutely gripping.

'They come to me sometimes, in the margin between sleeping and waking, when the streets are silent in the dark or as dawn seeps through the gap in the curtains, bathing the room in a dim, slow-growing light. They come to me and I see their shapes in the gloom, my wife and child together, watching me silently, ensanguined in unquiet death. They come to me, their breath in the night breezes that brush my cheek and their fingers in the tree branches tapping on my window.'

The supernatural elements are merely hinted at there's much more to come, this is devastation and retribution and the start of a journey for Bird. He looks into a case pushed his way and soon enough, child killers, the mafia and phone calls come to taunt him, Death and darkness follow him and the start of something new, a relationship develops where you would least expect it and danger is significant, no one is safe.

This was John Connollys first novel and its simply astounding, told in first person, Charlie Parker is a complex character and you live the exaltation and frenzy of each revelation with him as things slowly click into place and it leaves you breathless. These are characters you come to know and associate with, look forward to reuniting with at the time of each release. There's always an intriguing little tale from the past, this time it's Daddy Helms, broken windows and fire ants. If you're waiting for the end of the series before dipping your toes, then luckily, for me anyway, it doesn't show any signs of reaching a conclusion and I hope it doesn't for a long long time.

The audio is worth 5* so I'm uprating, cause I can and if you haven't started John Connollys Charlie Parker series then you are seriously missing out. Every Dead Thing was nominated for Bram Stokers best first novel award, didn't win, were they mad.

‘He doesn’t give a damn about the next world,’ I said. ‘He’s only concerned with the damage he can do in this one.’

Also posted at http://paulnelson.booklikes.com/post/...
Profile Image for CL.
646 reviews30 followers
February 23, 2017
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 have to confront evil Charlie Parker is the man I want at my back. I would like to thank the Publisher and Net Galley for the chance to read this story again.
Profile Image for Carol.
313 reviews821 followers
December 2, 2017
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 new enough to be new or buzz-worthy. It's not literature.

And yet.

Every Dead Thing is the book that introduced readers to Charlie Parker, one damaged guy. A former cop and former drunk who lost his wife and young daughter in a serial killing staged for maximum effect on Parker. It's been a few years. He has a couple of shady friends who come in handy. There's a hookup that turns into a relationship I never bought, and EDT is at least 125 pages too long. The pacing is uneven, and the first half is stronger than the second, in part because a good editor would have given Connolly an assignment to take out 1/3 of the body count and delete a couple of unnecessary story lines that only serve to diminish the suspense and made this reader keep checking how many pages were left. The writing is serviceable but not remarkable.

Connolly provides a clue to the identity of the killer at the half-way point and surrounds it with flashing neon lights so it would be quite difficult to miss. I assume that this premature, intentional reveal was a rooker-writer mistake he won't repeat. It didn't lessen my enjoyment because I read suspense/police procedurals for the ride not the answer, but other readers who are more mystery-solving/surprise-oriented might find it frustrating.

Somehow -- notwithstanding all of the above -- Connolly succeeds with Every Dead Thing - in large part by making Charlie an everyman I want to join for another novel. There's nothing in the components of his backstory that I or the average reader identifies with, but his personality is congenial enough. He comes across as a good friend, a good man; tough enough to be the friend you want with you as you head into a potential parking lot fight you can't avoid, and smart enough to work the system of obtaining information from, and then avoiding, competing law enforcement organizations, but he's not a jerk unless that's the right play in a given context. Parker fits the Jack Reacher mold of balance and perseverance without all of the quirkiness and super-powers. (He's not, however, Dave Robicheaux. I can't tell you why, but he's just not. Yet.)

The dialogue generally rings true. The male characters were types, generally, but Louis was a Connolly gem. I'm likely over-rating this first installment in the Parker series, but I'm taking the bet that the next novel of his that I read will be at least a solid 4- if not a 5-star, and this one's the appropriate on-ramp to that reading experience.
Profile Image for Dirk Grobbelaar.
550 reviews1,045 followers
April 26, 2011
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 nominated for the Bram Stoker Award and won the Shamus award for best first Private Eye Novel. The novel drips atmosphere and has more than a few twists to keep things interesting. The multiple plots are a joy to work through and the way Connolly holds everything together is remarkable. It really feels like you're getting more than you've paid for. The use of multiple locations is another bonus. Some readers will no doubt compare the use of Orleans in the second part of the novel to the works of James Lee Burke. Connolly cites Burke as an influence, unsurprisingly. I don't want to say too much about the plot, because the very nature of the reading experience hinges on the reader not knowing too much beforehand. I will simply say that the novel centers around an ex-cop looking for the killer of his wife and daughter, which is a bit like saying the Bible is about Good & Evil. Read this novel!
Profile Image for Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede.
1,910 reviews763 followers
April 9, 2020
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 read about Charlie Parker from the very start, and once again be introduced to Louis and Angel.

I recommend this series warmly!
Profile Image for Michael || TheNeverendingTBR.
426 reviews139 followers
December 20, 2020
Well I absolutely loved this first book in the Charlie Parker series, Connolly is such a great author, especially writing dark and mysterious material - can't believe this was my first ever read of his - I guess you've got to start somewhere though.

This book was so brutal so I'd recommend to mature readers only because it contains a lot of torture, killing and worse. 🔪

I kept forgetting who was who though, because there's so many characters; the main character though is very likeable.

If you're into psychological crime thrillers that are full of suspense, gore and keep you guessing what's going to happen next and Whodunnit...then this is for you.

I'll definitely be reading book two. ✅
Profile Image for Kay ❦.
1,879 reviews582 followers
December 13, 2020
Yes! Found a new series for my to read list. The mystery was good and personal as it frames Charlie Parker's character. There are some explicit crime scenes. Overall, a great intro book!
Profile Image for Kimberly.
1,656 reviews2 followers
December 30, 2013
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 needs to find closure for this tragedy on his own terms. The only thing that caused me to take off one star, was the tendency of the author to "backtrack" and go off on tangents in the middle of heightened action. IMO, that took a little of the momentum away from the main storyline, and it would take me a while to refocus on the plot afterwards.

I can't wait to delve into the next book in the series!

Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Rose.
250 reviews103 followers
January 1, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Mark.
1,293 reviews50 followers
August 18, 2018
A somewhat changed review due to a second reading of this impressive first installment of the Charlie Parker series.

The duskjacket reads the quote: "The most terrifying thriller since The Silence of the lambs". In the back of the novel there is an offer in which you can send in the receipt for buying this book and if you found TSOTL more scary and you will get your money back. Which makes for a great marketing trick, made me wonder how many folks have tried to get their money back.

This being the first tale about Charlie Parker and it generally two tales in one book with Charlie solving two crimes and brings two horrible killers to justice.
This debut did deliver surprises galore. It was two different cases in one book and yet they have their links. The road traveled there did not fail to thrill me. The first part showed the change the main character experiences after his daughter and wife have been killed in a horrific manner. He gets pulled into another case and when he solves that you know that the road chosen by Parker will be the hard and violent one. In the second part he gets called by the killer of his family to New Orleans where he will come face to face with the 'Traveling Man" a killer that is seemingly one step ahead of the police-forces trailing him. When the dust settles Parker knows that his life never will be the samen

I would recommend folks on reading this book, ignore the reference to Harris' book. They share a similarity in that it is about monsters of men/women. Some of the background given by the writer offers some chilling food for thought and makes me glad I do not live in the US.

As always the writer gives plenty of food for thought and some of the stuff he writes about is rather chilling, makes me glad that the weather is great so I can go out and clear my head a little occasionally. Which was hard since this is one of those books you do not want to put down before the ending.

Even with the second reading and knowing the story already this books kicks like a mule. And of course the writing of Mr Connolly is excellent.

Start reading this series with this book and follow the series, you will be caught in the river called Charlie Parker that will take you through some serious rapids and some impressive sights as well as really horrible sights but it will be a great and you'll find yourself addicted like many of his readers.
Profile Image for Kirsty Hendry.
57 reviews66 followers
October 18, 2020
NYPD detective Charlie Parker's life is turned upside down when he comes home to find his wife and young daughter brutally murdered. Consumed with grief and guilt, Charlie leaves the force.

When his former partner contacts him asking him to hunt down a missing girl, Charlie finds himself mixed up in a much larger plot - a murder spree spanning 3 decades. Spurred on by his involvement in this murder case, Parker also sets out to find the vicious murderer who killed his family, in order to finally get his revenge.

What I liked about this book

This book is really we written. John Connolly sets the scene perfectly, describing each detail in such a way that they stick in your mind.

There aren't really any characters who are completely 'good'. Most of the characters are morally grey at best.

Flash backs into Charlie's past really helps the reader to understand his relationship with his wife and the experiences which have brought him to where he is today.

What I didn't like

There are a lot of small characters who are introduced throughout the story. Although they did each bring something to the plot, I kept forgetting who some of them were.

My friend recommended that I read this book and I'm glad I listened. Every Dead Thing is a dark tale of murder and betrayal which will grab your attention and hold it throughout the book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys thrillers or murder mystery novels.

4 Stars
✮✮✮✮

Find this review and others on my blog


Profile Image for Panagiotis.
297 reviews102 followers
February 5, 2018
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 α��τυνομική λογοτεχνία. Τα Μεσογειακά και εξ Λατινικής Αμερικής ορμώμενα παρακλάδια όταν δε αναλώνονται στα κατάλοιπα των απολυταρχικών καθεστώτων, αποδίδουν μια πολλή ζεστή, οικεία ατμόσφαιρα που μ' αρέσει. Δυστυχώς, στην προσπάθειά τους να κάνουν κοινωνικό σχολιασμό πολύ εύκολα παραστρατούν σε ατραπούς συναισθηματισμού και, φυσικά, πολλών και φτηνών κλισέ, που μάλλον το κοινό αγκαλιάζει, αλλά που στην δική μου άσπλαχνη ιδιοσυγκρασία ανεβάζουν το ζάχαρο κατακόρυφα. Χαρακτηριστικότερο των παραδειγμάτων το περσινό, υπερ-επιτυχημένο, πολυακουσμένο Μαπούτσε του Κάριλ Φέρεϊ. Ο πρωταγωνιστής είναι μόνος, τραυματισμένος. Τον γουστάρουν όλες. Είναι ευγενής γκόμενος αλλά και πνευματώδης. Τα βράδια πίνει κρασί στο δωμάτιό του και ακούει Mogwai και Godspeed You! Black Emperor - μια χαρακτηριστική, δηλαδή, φιγούρα ενός ντετέκτιβ σε μια παλιογειτονιά του Μπουένος Άιρες και καθόλου κοντά σε αυτό που θα ήθελε να είναι ο συγγραφέας αν μπορούσε να ζήσει το όνειρό του. Υπάρχει και μια γκόμενα, ρέπλικα της Λίζμπεθ Σαλάντερ, αλάνι μαυροντυμένο, κι αυτή πληγωμένη, θεριό ανήμερο, βγαλμένο από γκοθ ονειρώξεις. Συναντά τον πρωταγωνιστή και γουστάρονται αμέσως και βάζουν μπουρλότο στο σάπιο σύστημα. Το βιβλίο ήταν ένας δαίδαλος από πράγματα που θα έπρεπε να είναι μιας χρήσης αλλά καταλήγουν να μεταδίδονται σαν ιός από συγγραφέα σε συγγραφέα.

Υπάρχει, όμως, ένα σκληροτράχηλο είδος, το hard-boiled, που αν κι αυτό κλισέ, έχει μια γλώσσα που ταιριάζει στο καυστικό λόγο που μ' αρέσει. Ο Τζον Κόνολι πατάει με το ένα παίδι σε αυτήν την νουάρ, βίαιη αστυνομική λογοτεχνία των Τσάντλερ, Σπιλέιν κι άλλων ωραίων. Με το άλλο πατάει σε ένα παρακλάδι της λογοτεχνίας τρόμου, το θρίλερ το αστυνομικό, το οποίο συγκλίνει με την αστυνομική λογοτεχνία, αλλά είναι κάτι άλλο, κάτι που είναι κοντά στα δικά μου αναγνωστικά χνώτα, γιατί είναι νοσηρό, σκοτεινό και μπορεί εύκολα να γειτνιάσει με το φρικιαστικό και το απάνθρωπο. Όταν είναι καλογραμμένο μου αρέσει πάρα πολύ. Ο Τζον Κόνολι επιλέγει μια λογοτεχνική κατεύθυνση που είχε τα εχέγγυα να με διασκεδάσει. Τελικά όχι μόνο με διασκέδασε, αλλά με ενθουσίασε. Με αυτό του το πρώτο βιβλίο με κέρδισε από την πρώτη σελίδα, από τις πρώτες κιόλας γραμμές.

Αν κάτι ξεχωρίζει στο βιβλίο είναι η γραφή του. Ο Κόνελι πρέπει να είναι ένα σπάνιο ταλέντο αν στην πρώτη προσπάθεια να γράψει για κατά συρροή δολοφόνους απέφυγε όχι μόνο τα κλισέ, αλλά έβγαλε αβίαστα στο γραπτό του μια γλώσσα τόσο προσεγμένη, με χαρακτήρα, αστεία, καυστική και άλλες στιγμές στοιχειωτική, υπαινικτική. Η μεγάλη του αρετή είναι η εγκράτεια: πετυχαίνει μια εξαιρετική ισορροπία, δεν ξεχνάει πως το βιβλίο είναι κατ εξοχήν μια περιπέτεια. Το ξέρει και έτσι κάνει χρήση των ατού του, όπως η οξυ��έρκειά του, οι έξυπνοι λεκτικοί διαξιφισμοί αλλά και μερικές νότες αλλόκοτου που υπεισέρχονται σχεδόν ποιητικά στις περιγραφές του. Όλα αυτά με αξιοθαύμαστη γνώση σκηνοθετικής εγκράτειας, εκεί που χρειάζεται, όσο χρειάζεται, ώστε να μην παρασυρθεί στην επικράτεια της κατάχρησης.  Αν και ήθελα να καταβροχθίσω το βιβλίο, να δω τι θα γίνει στην επόμενη σελίδα, στην επόμενη παράγραφο, επιβράδυνα τον ρυθμό μου για να χωνέψω κάθε τι που έγραφε. Δεν θυμάμαι να έχω συναντήσει άλλες φορές τον συνδυασμό πυκνής, μελετημένης γραφής σε μια ιστορία που είναι τόσο συναρπαστικά δομημένη.

Το βιβλίο δεν είναι τέλειο. Είναι πάρα πολύ μεγάλο και αποτελείται από δύο ενότητες που άνετα θα μπορούσαν σχηματίσουν δύο ξεχωριστά βιβλία. Η γραφή του, η οποία καθηλώνει στην πρώτη επαφή, ύστερα από τόσες σελίδες θόλωνε στα μάτια μου που άρχισαν να επιταχύνουν, να προσπερνούν περιγραφές, για να φτάσουν στο τέλος. Το οποίο, όπως πάντα συμβαίνει με εμένα και τα αστυνομικά δράματα, είναι κατώτερο των προσδοκιών. Ωστόσο το παρελθόν του πρωταγωνιστεί κατατρύχει και στοιχειώνει όλες τις σελίδες. Η φωνή του γίνεται μια συντροφιά του αναγνώστη. Έχει μια εξαιρετικά ισορροπημένη ψυχοσύνθεση μάτσο αλλά και πνευματώδους, ανθρώπινου ντετέκτιβ - είναι ρεαλιστικός και την ίδια στιγμή πολύ ενδιαφέρον τύπος να τον βλέπεις να κινείται, να μιλάει και να ανοίγει τον δρόμο του μέσα στο σκοτάδι που έχει χαθεί. Με το τέχνασμα της νοερής σύνδεσης των δύο διαφορετικών υποθέσεων -δολοφόνοι που κατακρεουργούν παιδιά-, συγχωρώ αυτή την μάλλον λοξή σύνθεση του βιβλίου και του βάζω ένα ενθουσιώδες 4άρι. Δεν είναι το 4αρι του πάρα πολύ καλού βιβλίου, αλλά της θριαμβευτικής απαγκίστρωσης από την συμβατική γραφή του είδους και της υπόσχεσης για κάτι πιο ισορροπημένο στα βιβλία που ακολουθούν.

Ένα τέτοιο βιβλίο είναι το πρώτο μια μακροσκελούς σειράς. Κάθε τόμος βλέπω να αποσπά εξαιρετικά σχόλια, η ποιότητα είναι σε ανιούσα πορεία. Αν μη τι άλλο αυτό είναι ένα συγγραφικό κατόρθωμα. Εγώ έχω βάλει πλώρη για τους επόμενους 13 τόμους που περιμένουν.
Profile Image for Sue.
1,216 reviews511 followers
May 29, 2017
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 difficult to deal with, for the characters and readers. But Charlie Parker has a mission of a sort. He is an avenger, seeking the devil that took his family. And will take others.

There are pros and cons to this book. It had me spellbound, kept me reading when I should have been doing other things. The writing is excellent. Connolly is such a skilled writer and I have enjoyed so many things from him. He is able to delineate black and white and so many shades of gray in our world...nothing is easy. And he also kept me guessing.

One major con with this book (that was not present to the same degree in A Time of Torment) was the degree and type of violence, the graphic nature of it. It is actually a part of the plot of Every Dead Thing so nothing more to be said here about it. Needless to say, this book is not for those who do not wish to or can't tolerate graphic violence to people. I have been on the fence with this book but have decided that I will give it a good rating because of the other factors I've mentioned. I have, over the past few years, given up some series due to their violence so I risk seeming a hypocrite here. My plan going forward is to read the later Charlie Parker books as my experience with the later book was a heavier dose of the paranormal atmosphere as well as Charlie's continuing quest to find and extinguish deep-seated evil wherever he finds it. He has good friends to help him, but it is a lonely task. There was much less graphic violence in the newer book, though by its nature of good fighting evil, there is violence.

Well, that is my long-winded apologia/review. I think you will know if this book is for you or if, perhaps the later Charlie Parker books might be a place to start. I definitely recommend you read Connolly's short stories, no matter what. If you are a fan of mystery/thrillers with a touch of horror and a pinch of the paranormal, this series is for you.

A copy of this re-release edition was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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