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Charlie Parker #4

The White Road

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John Connolly thrilled readers with his bestselling novels, "Every Dead Thing, Dark Hollow," and "The Killing Kind." Now he delivers spellbinding suspense as Charlie Parker races to unravel a brutal crime committed in the Deep South. After years of suffering unfathomable pain and guilt over the murders of his wife and daughter, private detective Charlie Parker has finally found some measure of peace. As he and his lover, Rachel, are awaiting the birth of their first child and settling into an old farmhouse in rural Maine, Parker has found the kind of solace often lost to those who have been touched by true evil.

But darkness soon descends when Parker gets a call from Elliot Norton, an old friend from his days as a detective with the NYPD. Now practicing law in Charleston, South Carolina, Elliot is defending a young black man accused of raping and killing his white girlfriend, the daughter of a powerful Southern millionaire. Reluctantly, Parker agrees to help Elliot and by doing so ventures into a living nightmare, a bloody dreamscape haunted by the specter of a hooded woman and a black car waiting for a passenger who never arrives. Beginning as an investigation into a young woman's death, it is a fast-moving descent into an abyss where forces conspire to destroy all that Parker holds dear.

Hailed as a "master storyteller" "(The London Express)" by critics stateside and abroad, Connolly has once again delivered a riveting and suspenseful story that draws readers toward the horrifying crossroads of the past and present, of the living and the dead. "We are trapped not only by our own history but by the histories of all those with whom we choose to share our lives," he writes. As chilling as it is beautifully rendered, "The White Road" is sure to tread a frightening path for even the most world-weary crime fiction fan.

503 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published February 17, 2003

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About the author

John Connolly

205 books6,933 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 464 reviews
Profile Image for Meredith (Slowly Catching Up).
793 reviews12.3k followers
December 23, 2020
“They are coming to see the burning man.”

The White Road
explores the deep-seated history of racism in the South, with an emphasis on the secretive and horrific tradition of lynching.

Still reeling from the events of The Killing Kind, Charlie Parker receives a call for help from a friend in South Carolina. Leaving his pregnant partner behind, Parker enters into a devious world in South Carolina filled with Klansmen, murder, and a dark and unforgivable past that has made its way into the present.

At the same time, Louis and Angel seek vengeance for past wrongs. More is revealed about their pasts, and my favorite part of this book was the flashback of their first meeting.

This is an extremely uncomfortable read that focuses on racism, lynching, and rape.
Published in 2002, this book is quite relevant concerning current events. John Connolly does not shy away from exposing the horrors of slavery and lynching. He writes detailed descriptions of lynching victims, forcing the readers to live through the inhumane act and witness the burning and murder of innocent victims, all of which are justified under the guise of tradition.

“And the past was transported into each new present, and it spread through generations of lives like a virus.”

The use of the N-word flows freely from the mouths of ignorant and deplorable characters. Almost every trigger imaginable comes into play. On top of that, the spiders from book #3 make some unwelcome appearances, dark spirits taunt Parker, and a good number of crazies are in play.

In the end, justice is served in more ways than one, but the scars from the past have not faded.

“It’s the place where justice is made, where the living and the dead walk together.”
Profile Image for carol..
1,535 reviews7,867 followers
August 31, 2017
"To invite me into their lives was to admit failure and allow death its provenance, for I was the one who arrived when all hope was gone, offering nothing but the possibility of a resolution that would bring with it more grief and pain and a knowledge that perhaps would make ignorance appear like a blessing. The only consolation in all that would occur was that some small measure of justice might begin to accrue from my involvement, that lives might continue with some small degree of certainty restored: the certainty that the physical pain of a loved one was at an end, and that somebody cared enough to try to discover why that pain had been visited on them at all."

Charlie Parker is still finding his way, but he is coming to understand that his form of justice has jagged edges. Louis, one of Parker's best friends, knows even more about Charlie's form of justice than he does: "He [Parker] had chosen his own first faltering steps toward some form of salvation over the wishes, perhaps even the needs, of his friend, and Louise could not find it in him to blame Parker for this. Even Angel did not blame him: he merely wished that it were otherwise."

The beginning is a bit like following a trail of breadcrumbs, as Connolly recounts the public lynching of a black man in 1964, Louis settling up old debts, a retired guard in the Carolina swamp plotting revenge and Parker trying to bring closure on the case of Cassie Blythe. Parker is back to his normal cases, leaving white crime behind, but still trying to stay close to home with Rachael pregnant with their child. He seems almost desperate for normalcy, but can't escape the ghosts of the dead and his feeling of obligation. To make matters worse, Faulkner, the evil preacher from the last story, is about to be freed from jail, and Parker, Louis and Angel know they'll be first on his list.

A lawyer friend from NYPD days calls from South Carolina, wanting Parker to find information exonerating his client, Artys Jones, a poor black man, from the rape and murder of a white woman. The woman, Marianne Larousse, is the daughter of a man who virtually owns the the area with tobacco, oil wells, mining and factories, so despite Marianne and Artys seeing each other, no one is inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

"The history of these two families, the Larousses and the Joneses, the blood spilled and lives destroyed, meant that it could never be anything as pure as luck or coincidence that drew them together. Over more than two centuries they had bound themselves, each to the other, in a pact of mutual destructiveness only partly acknowledged on either side, fueled by a past that allowed one man to own and abuse another."

Wrapped around and threaded through the case in Carolina of the dead woman is the history of racism in the south. It was chilling coincidence that I read this as #45 talked about 'both sides doing wrong' at a white supremacist rally where a peaceful counter-protestor was killed. It was clear that Connolly did a lot of research about hate groups in the Southern U.S. as a connection develops between the Neo-Nazi movements, the white supremacists and the fringe. It is rare to learn so much from a thriller, but it gave a horrifying feel of realness about the story, that different kinds of crazy might align themselves together to consolidate a power base.

Much more would run the risk of spoiling. I thought that this was a much stronger book than the previous ones for me, with better balance between the evil and the philosophy. The setting was extremely well done, from an endless swampy wilderness, to a run down industrial area. The mystery had a couple of solid twists, making it satisfactory on that level as well. If anything, this reminded me of a more horrific Tana French (these Irish!). Definitely not one I read before bedtime, at the risk of adrenaline twitches. There's even a tiny bit of humor mixed in, as one of Parker's contacts is looking for help finding a date in return for a professional favor. My only complaint would be that the resolution to all the threads (but not the mystery) felt rushed and over convenient, with an odd switch into third person omniscient that contrasted uncomfortably with the Parker's first person and the occasional cut of third person limited used in the rest of the story. Overall, though, that was a minor complaint that only stood out because the rest of it was so interesting and full. I'll definitely move on to the next.
Profile Image for Dirk Grobbelaar.
550 reviews1,064 followers
January 16, 2015

“You lead a charmed life, Parker, you know that?”

This is the fourth Charlie Parker book. At this stage the series isn’t showing any sign of running out of momentum or atmosphere.

Yes, the Charlie Parker novels are violent and macabre, but they’re also singularly lyrical. Connolly has a remarkable writing style.

In his eyes I could see the night shapes reflected so clearly that it was as if they were a part of him, the elements of a darker world that had somehow entered and colonized his soul.

These are mystery novels. There is a supernatural undercurrent that is becoming a little more prominent with each outing. It’s not intrusive, but there’s certainly no denying that it’s not quite as subtle, ambiguous or easy to dismiss here as it is in the first few novels. It’s still fairly open to interpretation, though, so even if the fantastical does not appeal to you, you can easily still enjoy these novels.

I was still unsure myself about the nature of the gift that I had. I did not like to think that something in me drew these lost souls to me.

Connolly definitely has a flair for this kind of thing: these novels are pretty unnerving. They are also compelling reading and saturated with ambience. The White Road kept me enthralled right to the satisfying climax.

Now I will try to retrace your steps, to understand what led you to this place, to rest at last among crushed lilies, the night insects drowning in your blood.

There really isn’t much point in starting the series here. There is a very distinctive and definitive pattern to Charlie Parker’s character development and the story progression in general. You really need to start with Every Dead Thing. The novels get darker with each installment, and it’s a truly fascinating journey…

The sorrow of it; the terrible, crushing sorrow of it.

… even if there is a fair amount of tragedy to be found between these pages. If you are a fan of horror-tinged mystery-thrillers, and not averse to a severe case of gooseflesh, you owe it to yourself to read this series!

Where are you?
What can you see?
Profile Image for Ginger.
753 reviews371 followers
December 29, 2019
I was planning on going with 4 stars with The White Road but that ending brought this all the way to 4.5 stars for me!

This book was a slow burn and then went out with a bang! 💥💥
There were lots of characters in this one and the plot was getting more complicated as it went but John Connolly does what he does best, and brings it all together in a satisfying conclusion.

The White Road starts off with Charlie Parker getting a phone call from an old friend, Elliot Norton.
Norton is defending a young black man on trial for killing a white woman from a rich family. The family has deep ties in the South and Norton needs help to defend this young man on trial.
Charlie Parker decides to head to South Carolina and help Norton. When Parker gets to Charleston to help Norton, the case and circumstances get more complicated, racist and deadly.
With the help of Louis and Angel, Charlie Parker must deal with past atrocious deeds and present threats to love ones.

These books are just amazing with writing, characters and plot. The mystery of the plot was well done. I was trying to guess on the who killed who and how this was all going to end!

I’ve been highly impressed with every Charlie Parker book that I’ve read so far! Definitely recommend this to fans of thrillers and mysteries.
Profile Image for Heidi.
1,211 reviews133 followers
July 27, 2019
It took me a lot longer than usual to write this review, which is odd for me. Mostly because, despite this book being more than 10 years old, the sad fact was that some of the old South conflicts are just as fresh (and disturbing) as what’s been playing on CNN nightly.

Yes, this is a dark thriller. Yes, it is always colored with the supernatural, but unfortunately, psycho criminals aside— the real ugly characters turn out to look just like you and I. That may be the real terror for our anti-heroes.

There were several storylines that collided in this book. As usual, Connelly does a great (albeit violent) job of righting old wrongs, seeking vengeance and laying unhappy spirts to rest.

That last bit about that ride to the White Road at the end was utter genius— justice certainly was served. And this reader cheered loudly!!
Profile Image for Terry.
344 reviews74 followers
December 28, 2019
This book got a fist pump from me at one point - I love getting caught up in a story like this! Charlie Parker continues to be a great character, one I enjoy to get behind and pull for. I would say 4.5/5.0 stars for me. Another dark and thrilling addition to a great series, one I’m grateful to have so many books in to look forward to!
Profile Image for John Culuris.
173 reviews71 followers
December 17, 2022
[Read July 2018; Reviewed Oct 2022]

In my copy of The White Road [Emily Bester Books, 2015] John Connolly states in his Author’s Introduction that this entry is “the closest thing to a sequel in the [Charlie] Parker series.” He also writes: “You can still read this book, but you'll probably get more out of it if you read The Killing Kind first.” Both are true. The previous novel is a complete story. Even in fictional worlds, apparently, life continues after you turn your attention elsewhere. Things are no longer as tidy as we left them and forgone conclusions are now in doubt, all without invalidating any part of The Killing Kind. Connolly also keeps The White Road from being a true sequel by making the characters and situations from the previous work the “B” story. The main story involves Charlie Parker temporarily leaving behind in Maine Rachel, his pregnant partner, to help a friend in South Carolina.

Before Parker becomes directly involved, the tone of the book is established in a prologue split between the hanging and burning of a black man in 1964 and the present day (2003), where Parker’s friends Louis and Angel coincidentally chose this exact time to take revenge on three of the most vicious participants in the hanging. Of course, in a hardboiled series laced with supernatural elements, nothing is coincidental. The case that beckons Parker southward also involves a black man, in this case accused (and automatically presumed guilty) of killing the daughter of an extremely rich local family. Only his lawyer, Parker’s friend, believes him innocent. Even then, it takes the firebombing of the lawyer’s home for Parker to agree to come help him.

As often happens with books like this the two stories come together near the end, although they are not necessarily connected. One thing that does connect them, though, is that while the guilty do pay, there are many others who also pay, in some cases a high price, for that to come to pass. Or as the author states in that same introduction referenced above: “I'm always surprised when a reader cites The White Road as a particular favorite among my novels . . . it's dark and pretty relentless.” Again, I agree with Connolly. Not just with his assessment of his own work but also in questioning its popularity. I hesitate to say that it is my least favorite in the series so far; it implies that I did not like it. Least favorite does not mean dislike. I enjoy Connolly’s prose too much and I love each time he expands and explores this world he’s created. I seriously doubt he could produce a book I’d not like. At least as long it involves “The Charlie Parker Universe.”

And to be clear, the unrelenting darkness is not the reason for my slight disconnect. The novel felt not as tight, its focus more diffused. So, yes, I liked the previous three novels better. But I can still recommend The White Road without hesitation. Just be warned, despite some supernatural elements, the evil here is very real. And very unsettling, particularly as we can currently see it stepping boldly out of the shadows in the real world. In our world. At least in The White Road you count on evil eventually being defeated.
Profile Image for Γιώργος Δάμτσιος.
Author 30 books243 followers
April 2, 2018
Θα ξεκινήσω με μια διευκρίνιση. Όταν είχα διαβάσει το “Κάθε νεκρό πράγμα”, το πρώτο βιβλίο του Κόνολι στο οποίο πρωταγωνιστεί ο Τσάρλι Πάρκερ, είχα γράψει ότι το να διαβάσει κανείς τα βιβλία αυτά με τη σειρά είναι μεν προτιμότερο, αλλά και από την άλλη δεν είναι και τόσο αναγκαίο.

Διαβάζοντας για δεύτερη φορά τον “Λευκό δρόμο”, το τέταρτο βιβλίο του Τσάρλι Πάρκερ, και γνωρίζοντας πλέον επακριβώς τι προϋπάρχει, διορθώνω τον εαυτό μου και λέω ότι τελικά είναι αρκετά αναγκαίο να τα πιάσει κανείς με τη σειρά. Οι συνδέσεις του “Λευκού δρόμου” ειδικά με το “Φονικό είδος” είναι τόσο έντονες που σχεδόν αποτελεί μια συνέχειά του. Θα έλεγα μάλιστα ότι ο Κόνολι εδώ αποφάσισε να ενώσει γενικότερα τα βιβλία του, στοχεύοντας ίσως εμπορικά. Και πάλι όμως, λέω αρκετά αναγκαίο αλλά όχι και εντελώς.

Από εκεί και πέρα, τα πράγματα κυλούν ως συνήθως. Ο Τσάρλι Πάρκερ έχει να επιλύσει μια ακόμη πολύ δύσκολη υπόθεση, στην οποία οι εχθροί και οι σύμμαχοι συχνά διαχωρίζονται από μια λεπτή γραμμή. Για την ακρίβεια, πρέπει να προστατέψει έναν έγχρωμο νεαρό, ο οποίος κατηγορείται για τον φόνο και τον βιασμό της λευκής φίλης του. Ακόμα χειρότερα, τις δύο οικογένειες τις συνδέει και μια βεντέτα που κρατάει από πάρα πολύ παλιά, ενώ τα τεκταινόμενα λαμβάνουν χώρα στη Νότια Καρολίνα, όπου ο φυλετικός ρατσισμός παραμένει έντονος ακόμα και στις μέρες μας.

Πρόκειται για μια ιστορία που είναι και πάλι πρωτίστως αστυνομικού μυστηρίου. Για πρώτη φορά, πάντως, οι υπόνοιες υπερφυσικών γεγονότων που υπήρχαν προηγούμενα βιβλία, γίνονται βεβαιότητες και καθορίζουν με τον δικό τους τρόπο την πλοκή, κάνοντας το βιβλίο να έρθει ένα βήμα κοντύτερα στον τρόμο. Στον αντίποδα, όμως, υπάρχει και η γνώριμη αίσθηση των αστυνομικών κλισέ. Εκτός αυτού, η πορεία της ζωής του Τσάρλι Πάρκερ, η οποία και συνεχίζεται κανονικότατα κι εδώ, διακατέχεται και από στοιχεία κοινωνικού δράματος. (Είναι ένας άντρας που προσπαθεί να χτίσει και πάλι τη ζωή του πάνω στα συντρίμμια της παλιάς, εκείνη που γνωρίσαμε ως δεδομένη στο πρώτο βιβλίο της σειράς). Έτσι, το βιβλίο είναι και πάλι “λίγο απ’ όλα”.

Η αίσθηση που μου άφησε η μίξη όλων αυτών των ειδών ήταν για μια ακόμα φορά πολύ καλή. Ίσως να είναι βέβαια το βιβλίο που μου άρεσε λιγότερο από τα τέσσερα, αλλά αυτό κολλάει μόνο στην αναμεταξύ τους σύγκριση. Το βέβαιο είναι ότι υπάρχει και πάλι μπόλικη δράση, μπόλικη ανατριχίλα, αλλά και μπόλικο χιούμορ. Όσο για τα αρνητικά του, εξακολουθώ και πιστεύω ότι σε μερικά σημεία οι περιγραφές του Κόνολι είναι εκτενέστερες από το απαιτούμενο, αν και μου έχει γίνει πια συνήθεια.

Δεν τίθεται θέμα για το αν θα συνεχίσω να ακολουθώ τη σειρά, το κάνω ήδη, έχοντας διαβάσει δύο ακόμη, μεταγενέστερα βιβλία. Και όχι, δεν το έχω μετανιώσει στιγμή.
Profile Image for Fiona.
1,220 reviews224 followers
May 11, 2019
That honeycomb world John Connolly introduced us to in The Killing Kind is back - and the one thing you can rely on when the past decides to pay a visit to the present is that ghosts might be sad, or lonely, or forgotten; but they're also angry.

This book links closely to the last, though (as it should be) you can read each book as a standalone. There's enough here to clue you in to the last without spoilers, but this series is starting to build its own honeycomb foundation, and there's major events in here that carry more weight when you know the past that they link to.

John Connolly has turned his attention to the South US in this instalment, and when you're talking ghosts of the past, the South has plenty. There's a scene at the beginning, where folks are on their way out for an afternoon of wholesome entertainment, picnicking, wives scolding their husbands for what's now considered mild bad language. And then they hang and burn a black man for breaking a window. It's jarring, and it's shocking, and the history of white supremacist groups, as well as their modern incarnations, runs all throughout this book to keep you aware that there are people out there who'd like to return to those wholesome days of the past. There's an added dimension, too, of reading this in 2019, 15 years after publication, and feeling like humanity has taken a recent step backwards. Still, look for the helpers, right? And they're here in plenty - the Charlie Parker books usually at least attempt to balance the dark and the light, and with the dark in this book you need one hell of a balance.
Profile Image for Chris.
526 reviews82 followers
October 3, 2014
I have to start this off with a word of caution. To truly enjoy this absolutely amazing series, you have to start at the beginning. Starting anywhere other than Book 1---All The Dead Things and reading each book in order---should be punishable by public flogging. Would you recommend watching the Star Wars Trilogy in reverse order? Didn’t think so. This series is thought out in the big picture and each book builds on and relates back to the ones that precede it. It would be a crime to read them out of order.

I am only on episode 4 in this series and am deliberately spacing out the books to prolong the enjoyment. I am glad that I came to this series late because I have quite a few volumes before I have to wait for Mr. Connolly to write new installments.

The White Road is a place. Well, maybe a location is a better word. A metaphysical highway leading to….not sure yet, that is probably a few books ahead. The White Road is traveled by the dead, some of the living with special talents, and others that were never alive, or at least never fully human. The supernatural elements that were only hinted at in Every Dead Thing and Dark Hollow and started to gather in the wings in The Killing Kind are making their presence known as we begin to travel down the White Road.

What sets this already amazing weird detective series apart from all others is Connolly’s skill. The man can write circles around 99% of the writers today. Alternating between poetic dark mysticism and savage crime fiction this series is spellbinding in the true sense. Every time I open one of these books I pretty much am no good to anyone for the couple of days it takes to read the story. You are under its spell and will think about it pretty much every minute until you finish. These are realistic detective stories with a dark undercurrent that whispers of demonic origins.

Add to this Connolly’s characters. A cast of villains that are so over the top, so savage and hateful, so downright creepy, that you feel their presence as you read. Each book brings a set of flawed characters that you will root for or despise, but never forget. And then there are Charlie Parker, Louis and Angel. Louis, a semi-retired assassin so deadly that the mob has decided to leave him alone because it is just too dangerous to try to kill him and risk pissing him off; Louis’ significant other Angel, a non-apologetic thief who will follow Parker to the end of the earth and beyond because, as he says, some debts can never be paid. Louis and Angel are the muscle, and at times the laugh out loud humor, behind Parker’s brains and passion for justice as he travels down the White Road, seeking out the Dark Angels who bring horror and devastation to the world and, hopefully, not losing all that he loves in the process.
Profile Image for Jessica Westwood.
97 reviews14 followers
September 23, 2020
Another 4.5 stars for Connolly!

I'm finding myself getting right tucked into these Parker series. They are full of a twisted darkness that creeps into your bones and shudders down your spine! Another great plot revealing shocking twists that Connolly sets so perfectly.

A thrill of a thriller.

'The darkness around me was less an absence of light than a felt presence: shadows with substance.'

Possibly my favourite of the series so far.
Profile Image for Obsidian.
2,734 reviews938 followers
March 14, 2020
Loved it! This book really sets the stage for me for this series. At this point the supernatural parts become much louder in my head. The link back to other cases here’s great too. We have a changed Angel (I can see why) and Charlie realizing that sometimes certain people just don’t deserve to live. I was at the seat of my pants during the ending, but it surprised me and makes me wonder what is next for Charlie and Rachel.

“The White Road” has Charlie being asked by an old friend to help him with a case involving a black boy being accused of the rape and murder of his white girlfriend. We find out that this case also links two families (one white and one black) that have had dark encounters with each other for centuries.

The Reverend is back in this one hell bent on making Charlie pay for the deaths of his two children. A new player is on the board and one wonders how this person can cause harm to Charlie.

Angel is forever changed by what happened to him in the last book. He and Louis seem to be finding their footing, but still love each other.

Charlie is preparing for the birth of his unborn child with Rachel, but still being called to that honeycomb world. The things he sees and feels definitely sit with you.

The writing per usual is pitch perfect. The flow works. I was on the edge of my seat towards the end. Once everything is revealed I went wow.

One know wonders what’s up next for Charlie.
Profile Image for Μαρία Γεωργοπούλου.
Author 4 books82 followers
November 14, 2019
Δεύτερη ανάγνωση και η άποψή μου παραμένει η ίδια...


Πραγματικά υπέροχο όπως και τα προηγούμενα βιβλία της σειράς του John Connolly! Ο συγγραφέας καταφέρνει να δημιουργήσει ένα βιβλίο κάνοντας εξαιρετικό συνδυασμό του αστυνομικού και του μεταφυσικού είδους. Εντυπωσιάστηκα με το βάθος της έρευνας που έχει κάνει ο Connolly για την αμερικανική κοινωνία και ιστορία.

Αυτό που μου αρέσει ιδιαίτερα είναι ο τρόπος που μελετάει την ανθρώπινη ψυχή. Είναι φανερό πως τον συγγραφέα τον απασχολεί η φύση του κακού και ο τρόπος που το δείχνει έχει κάτι το ποιητικό.

Ο Τσάρλι Πάρκερ είναι πλέον ένας αγαπημένος μου ήρωας και μου αρέσει αυτό το μεταφυσικό που έχει ο χαρακτήρας του και ο τρόπος που κάνει την έρευνά του για κάθε υπόθεση. Φυσικά, μου αρέσει η επιλογή φίλων του, καθώς ο Λούις και ο Έιντζελ είναι πολύ διαφορετικοί από εκείνον αλλά τα έχουν βρει με έναν μοναδικό τρόπο.

Όσο για την Ρέητσελ… Μόνο σε μένα φάνηκε περίεργη η σκηνή που τρίβει την κοιλιά της ενώ ο επίδοξος δολοφόνος της πνίγετ��ι; Πραγματικά μου φάνηκε ότι κάτι δεν πάει καλά με αυτό το σκηνικό!
Profile Image for Kimberly.
1,698 reviews2 followers
June 2, 2014
THE WHITE ROAD is book #4 in John Connolly's "Charlie Parker" series. Personally, I feel that you get the most out of these books by reading them in order, as each builds off of the one's before it in terms of character growth/development, and understanding about the nature of Charlie's unique gifts. That being said, THE WHITE ROAD is the first one that I think *should* be read AFTER its predecessor, THE KILLING KIND; this is simply because some of the characters/situations introduced continue right where book 3 left off.

As with the other John Connolly books I've read, there is not a whole lot to add without spoiling the storyline. His characterization, atmosphere, and scenes all blend together to give the reader that priceless "rush" when reading a really great book. I can honestly say that there isn't anything I have to criticize about this novel, and consider it a superb addition to the Charlie Parker series.

Book 5, up next... :)

Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,221 reviews2,051 followers
January 24, 2014
I am loving this series. In this book Connolly expands on the characterisation of Charlie Parker, Angel, Louis and Rachel and we begin to understand them better. Rachel in fact has an amazing moment at the end of the book which shows she is a force to be reckoned with in her own right. I had to check quickly that there are still many more in the series for me to read. There are so I can sleep easy tonight!
Profile Image for Kevin.
1,365 reviews61 followers
August 17, 2018
John Connolly continues his excellent mystery series. Literary but violent. Serious with some nice smart assery.

Charlie Parker is asked to help save an accused murderer from himself. Ties in with the rest in the series. I would recommend you definitely read this series in order or you will ruin some of the other books.

The audio narrator was truly brilliant in bringing the story to life!
Profile Image for Ellis.
1,210 reviews136 followers
April 11, 2015
I gotta say, I love these books. They are formulaic, follow the same basic plotline every time, and somehow elevate the main characters to almost omniscient status; I mean, how many times can Charlie be about to bite it and Louis comes out of the shadows & blows someone's head off? But they're still so great, either in spite of or because of it! The creepiest, worst characters get awesome comeuppances (I particularly love that in this one, ) & even though evil still exists in the world by the end of the book, the morally ambiguous good of Bird, Louis & Angel always triumphs. And, hey, when the awfully descriptive brutality gets to me, I've got a stack of Jeeves books to take my mind off of it.
Profile Image for Bandit.
4,511 reviews454 followers
February 20, 2012
This series has become so reliably excellent, I don't know if I should even bother praising the writing or the suspense or the character development, all of which were in fact excellent. I would say that out of all Charlie Parker books so far this one is the least easily read as a stand alone, since it follows the same antagonist as Killing Kind. One of my favorite things about this book was the fact that we finally get a background on Angel and Louis, my favorite homicidal couple. More supernatural aspects in this book, seems to be this way as the series progresses. Very hauntingly done, The ending alone was an image one is not soon to forget. I highly recommend this series, it's quite possibly the best of its kind out there.
Profile Image for Ms. Nikki.
1,054 reviews285 followers
May 31, 2015
John Connolly does bad guys so good.

In the fourth book we get a better glimpse into Charlie's roll as he deals with the paranormal aspect of his visions and ghosts. This book picks up right where book 3 left off so I'd not wait too long in between or you'll most likely forget certain details.

I don't know what Charlie would do without his companions as Louis seems to always be at the right place at the right time. Although his partner was missing, dealing with issues of his own, Louis can definitely handle things on his own. I hope to see Angel in the next one.

Another winning read.

Profile Image for Mark.
1,325 reviews65 followers
May 20, 2012
This time NO spooky style story in Maine but Parker feels obliged to fly down south in order to help out a "friend" who is defending a coloured murder suspect of a white girl whose family is rather influencial. All cliches get their moment in the light and yet mr. Connelly manages to wordsmith a rather decent tale of woe and mystery to a satisfying conclusion. This tale is a somewhat sequel to "the killing kind", and while it is nice to have read that one first it is not really a problem if you did not.
A satisfying read that is well worth its spend time imho.
Profile Image for aPriL does feral sometimes .
1,889 reviews428 followers
November 17, 2015
'The White Road' is actually a sequel to the previous book in the Charlie Parker series, 'The Killing Kind'. These two are books 3 and 4 in the series, and they should be read in sequence, but the earlier books are also referenced in the story quite frequently as well. Given these circumstances, gentle reader, before reading 'The White Road', I must insist the the previous books be read, in order, before this one, beginning with Every Dead Thing. Ignoring my advice may cause a severe lack of enjoyment in reading this book due to confusion.

Rachel and Charlie Parker are expecting their first child. They have bought a Scarborough, Maine farmhouse near ancient salt marshes and they are happy! Yes, happy! Oh, the misery of Parker's clients continues to keep Parker busy, but the presence of Rachel along with the expectation of the birth of his baby has partially insulated him from the dark nature of his work as a private detective. He seems to draw clients with the bleakest problems!

Perhaps Elliot Norton, attorney and old friend from the days when Parker was a police detective, has a reason to be calling from Charleston, South Carolina for Charlie's help which does not involve torture, rape and violent death! Gentle reader, as much as I hate to disturb your tranquility, I'm afraid such hopes are in vain.

Oh well. Charlie was feeling a bit tense. Solving murders takes the edge off. Perhaps a little trip to South Carolina will help ease his mind over the still incomplete case of the fanatical Baptists. The monstrous murderer from the previous story, Reverend Faulkner, is only temporarily incarcerated while waiting trial for his crimes. He has a good chance at making bail since the evidence against him is distressingly thin. If Charlie can arrange protection for Rachel, which he can, then he and his good friends Louis and Angel, assassin and thief respectively, can accompany him down to South Carolina and help Elliot.

Parker finds himself in the center of many deaths trying to uncover the truth behind a horrible killing in which racism appears to be the cause. But the question is, whose racism? Did Norton's client, Atys Jones, an impoverished black man, kill his white girlfriend, Marianne Larouse, daughter of rich industrialist Earl Larouse? Did the remnants of the KKK, members of whom still are in residence around the swamps and towns of South Carolina, decide to frame Atys after killing Marianne? Or was the death connected somehow to the ongoing feud of generations between the Jones and Larouse families, created by 'the peculiar institution' of slavery in the previous century?

Parker, who inexplicably can see dead people since the murders of his wife and three-year-old daughter a few years ago, finds his new ability may be expanding into seeing evil beings flying about. He really doesn't care to know any more about this ability, so he ignores it as much as possible. Unfortunately, the land of South Carolina is drenched in the blood of dead slaves....
Profile Image for Mike.
766 reviews8 followers
November 8, 2018
2nd reading - Our investigator Parker is asked by an old friend, S.C. lawyer Elliot, to investigate his client, a black man accused of killing his white girlfriend. The girl's family has money, and would like nothing better than bypass the justice system and deal justice themselves. That begins the unfolding of decades of racism and the lies told to cover it up.

Connolly does his usual awesome job researching the history and geography of his novels, giving us white supremacists and the ancestors of the black families in the area. Parker's bad buddies, Louis and Angel, help our hero, and we see the origin of their 1st meeting, and some of their back-stories.

1st reading - Outstanding 4th in the Charlie Parker series. We find Parker and his lady expecting. Also, interesting side story of how Angel and Louis meet. The Reverend Faulkner may be released on bail, finding friends in a white supremacist group. A wealthy young woman has been killed in South Carolina and Charlie is asked by an old friend to investigate the case. Didn't want to put this book down.
Profile Image for Jaksen.
1,329 reviews57 followers
June 28, 2017
This one took me a while to read, though I did enjoy it. When Connolly wants to write 'creepy detective/thriller/mystery' he's about the best I know.

In this one former police officer, now PI, Charlie Parker, living in Maine with his pregnant girlfriend, gets a call from a friend in Charleston, S. Carolina. Said friend is a lawyer, determined to protect a young black man who's been accused of killing his (white, wealthy) girlfriend. With some reluctance Charlie goes south...

Now, I'd just finished 'The Invention of Wings' by Sue Monk Kidd, an absolutely great book, but it was also set in Charleston, S. Carolina; thus I knew some of the background with re. to slavery, the history of the location, etc. Subjects that Mr. Connolly mentioned, for example the slave rebellion of Denmark Vesey, were brought up in both books. Kind of coincidental that - but the two books were strangely complementary in places.

Anyhow, Charlie goes south, gets involved in all sorts of ugliness, meets a host of grotesque villains, and some ordinary-everyday folk carrying horrible secrets. There are twists and turns and yes, I was surprised by the outcome. Loved it...

Four stars.
Profile Image for Deborah.
288 reviews12 followers
June 9, 2015
Fantastic!! I am absolutely mesmerised by John Connolly's writing style. Despite the subjects he writes about his writing is beautiful. He is definitely my current favourite thriller author and I would say I'll be hard pushed to find another series as spellbinding.

The White Road is a follow on from The Killing Kind. I personally need to read book series' in order anyway, but if you don't I would recommend these two be read in order. Looking forward starting the next one tonight!
Charlie Parker is everything you would love in a protagonist, but will never find all his qualities in just one. He's like 5 great characters all in1 !!!

Profile Image for Latasha.
1,282 reviews369 followers
December 17, 2019
Not sure if it is due to the great flu pandemic that caught me but this one didn't seem as strong as the previous. i read half the book, got sick, was out of commission for about a week then finished it. I blame the lower rating on that right there. The writing is brilliant as always. The imagery, haunting. I did get some of the characters confused or forgot about them. however, that isn't going to stop me from reading the next one! i really like this series so far.
Profile Image for Scott Brook.
53 reviews36 followers
August 15, 2016
I ended up breezing through this book because I could not put it down. This series is starting to become one of my favorites with the combination of thriller along with supernatural elements. Not so much supernatural that it would turn off the hardcore thriller enthusiasts.

This book continues the story of Charlie "Bird" Parker from the ending of The Killing Kind. Tying into the story of the "Preacher", an investigation into a South Carolina murder in which Parker investigates the murder of a white female of a prominent Southern family. Racial tensions arise as the accused is the black boyfriend of the female. Without giving spoilers, all of this ties back into the continued story of the "Preacher" and his pending trial.

I highly recommend this series and especially these last two books: The Killing Kind and The White Road. A very engrossing story with a multitude of action and tension abounding. Please read this!!

PS: I absolutely love this ending...
Profile Image for Glen.
41 reviews9 followers
July 25, 2021
Well that was the 4th Charlie Parker book that I’ve read in a row and probably the best of the lot. Mr. Connolly certainly knows how to create horrific characters. I actually had to read some of this book from behind my pillow, it was nasty…..but a late twist and a satisfying ending made it all worthwhile. Excellent!!!
Profile Image for Brooke.
537 reviews290 followers
November 3, 2009
One of the things I'm discovering about John Connolly's Charlie Parker private detective series is that his cases aren't confined to one book. The White Road is a follow-up to The Killing Kind and it deals with the aftermath of Reverend Faulkner's bloodbath. We're also reminded that The Traveling Man, the man who killed Parker's wife and daughter, is somehow connected to Faulkner. It definitely feels like something is slowly building up.

Although I didn't enjoy the mystery in this book as much as I did in previous ones, Connolly's writing style is just a joy to read. It's dark and atmospheric and it just really feels both alive and oppressive. He's just damn good. I enjoyed getting to learn more about Louis and Angel this time around. They're very unique, I don't think I've come across characters like them before.

446 reviews
May 2, 2018
Murky, hard to follow, too many characters and settings with which to keep up...not as good a read as I'm used to from Connolly....3.5 stars at best.

I hope that the depths of the darkness and strangeness of these books lightens a bit going forward. I really go bogged down in this one...it had its moments, but there were stretches where it was like slogging through the muddy swamps that were a large part of the setting.

Also, the over arching story is getting too long to follow and I'm losing my place after four novels now. We need a reboot. When there's action, its usually fast and sufficiently real...however, all the brooding in between is getting to be a bit too much.
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