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A Song of Shadows

(Charlie Parker #13)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  4,741 ratings  ·  496 reviews

Grievously wounded, private detective Charlie Parker investigates a case that has its origins in a Nazi concentration camp during the Second World War.

Broken, but undeterred, private detective Charlie Parker faces the darkest of dark forces in a case with its roots in the second world war, and a concentration camp unlike any other . . .

Recovering from a near-fatal shooting

Kindle Edition, 449 pages
Published April 9th 2015 by Hodder & Stoughton
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4.31  · 
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 ·  4,741 ratings  ·  496 reviews

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Nicholas Sparks
Jan 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been a fan of the Charlie Parker thrillers since the beginning; John Connolly works in a genre of one. They can be very dark and explore the sometimes blurry edges of right and wrong, but I’m a fan.
Jun 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Easily the best Charlie Parker book since The Lovers (#8). It was, for me, a perfectly balanced Parker book: mystery, the supernatural, vengeance, visceral horror, intellectual horror, and, surprisingly, a nice amount of dry humor. There's a bit where the Falci Brothers pick Parker up that had me giggling. But most of it was witty asides (seriously; who makes jokes about the Reformation?):

“Pastor's here,” she said. “And Father Knowles.” Bloom turned to see the two men waiting at a polite distanc
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2015
Charlie Parker has through his lawyer Aimee Price rented a house in Boreas to spend some time away to recover from the ordeal that almost cost him his life in the last book. But soon darkness will fall upon the peaceful little town of Boreas and a dead body will wash ashore on the beach at Mason Point. The police think it's suicide, but Charlie Parker suspects something is amiss with the case. Also, his neighbor, a mother with and daughter also new to the town, seems to be hiding something. Why ...more
Now Available in the U.S.!

I loved this book!

Charlie Parker is recovering from near fatal injuries and as such, is reflecting on his life and the decisions he has made. Rehabilitating at a house in Boreas, Maine he becomes interested in a body that washes up at a nearby beach and so begins this story which I'll call Charlie and the Nazis.

The portions of the book that I loved best, (other than the always entertaining Angel, Louis and Fulci Brothers), were the parts regarding Charlie's daughters.
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have loved every book I have read by this author (okay I am a BIG fan) but this has to be the best yet. Just about every character who matters makes an appearance especially Louis and Angel who are personal favourites of mine. At number thirteen in the series you could be forgiven for thinking that Connolly might be running out of ideas but instead he has come up with a whole new scenario which promises even better things to come. And if you are a reader of this series you know I don't use the ...more
Paul Nelson
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyfcukingone
Shelves: 2015-books-read
‘You don’t have to stay,’ she told the dead daughter. ‘I’m here now. I’ll keep him safe.’

A Song of Shadows is the thirteenth in the Charlie Parker series which has long been my favourite and a new release is in my eyes a prominent day in any literary calendar.

Now the series as a whole generally comes down to two types of books, you have the ones that bounce ahead in Charlie's story arc and you have the ones that step sideways, usually a highly entertaining break but doesn't really progress towa
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: public-library
'We all trail our histories behind us. . .'

This was my first acquaintance with John Connolly's famous detective. Pleased to meet you, Charlie Parker, with your haunted eyes, and your unusual daughters with their otherness.

Great characters inhabit the shadows of 'this miasma of darkness. . .' Cambion the leper, a sadistic torturer who has the tables turned on him as the disease itself eats him alive, even as he is gently tended to by a woman who reeks of cats, mothballs, cookies, and piss. The C
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

After putting down number 12, I immediately downloaded number 13 and began to read...

The multiple POV in the beginning third of the book made me fear that I was going to be disappointed again. It was then that I realised my main issue with some of the books in this series stems from my relationship with Parker. I guard my time with him like a jealous lover, begrudging those who demand my attention when it could be with him. I want to know what he's thinking and what he's doing. He is mo
Liz Barnsley
Pretty unbelievable that Charlier Parker is on his 13th outing, seems like only yesterday I picked up “Every Dead Thing” rather randomly and became an immediate and lifelong fan of this author and of this series in particular. 13 may be unlucky for some but not in this case because “A Song of Shadows” has a beautiful quality about it, following as it does the emotional and traumatic events of “A Wolf in Winter”, a book that had me distraught for weeks. In a good way.

A bit of background for anyon
Paul Nelson
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Song of Shadows by John Connolly ‘You don’t have to stay,’ she told the dead daughter. ‘I’m here now. I’ll keep him safe.’
A Song of Shadows is the thirteenth in the Charlie Parker series which has long been my favourite and a new release is in my eyes a prominent day in any literary calendar.
Now the series as a whole generally comes down to two types of books, you have the ones that bounce ahead in Charlie's story arc and you have the ones that step sideways, usually a highly entertaining br
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After being shot at the end of the last book we re-join Parker trying to recover. This becomes difficult when a woman with deep dark secrets moves into the house next door to his new rental dwelling.

The story revolves around Charlie Parker investigating a case that has its origins in a Nazi concentration camp during the Second World War. Broken, but undeterred, private detective Charlie Parker faces the darkest of dark forces in a case with its roots in the second world war and a concentratio
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
After the anaemic The Wolf in Winter – where John Connolly resorted to the risible authorial gimmick of leaving the reader unsure if Charlie Parker lives or dies – A Song of Shadows hit me like a bolt out of the blue.

This is the strongest Parker novel in a long, long time, and probably the best after The Killing Kind. More importantly, it reinvigorates this long-running series. Book #13 sees Connolly hit a mother lode similar to that he mined in Every Dead Thing: a rich vein of terror, horror an
Jon Recluse
Jul 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller, mystery
After barely surviving an attempt on his life, Charlie Parker goes to ground in the small town of Boreas, Maine, to quietly recuperate off the grid. When his neighbor's young daughter Amanda comes to his aid when his strength fails him, Charlie is drawn to the girl and, even as his instincts tell him that something is troubling her mother Ruth, he befriends them both.
As always, his instincts prove correct.
When the body of an obsessed amateur Nazi hunter washes up on the beach, Charlie takes an
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the 13th Charlie Parker book, but it is only the second one that I've read. I also read "The Wolf in Winter", the 12th book in the series. I'm sure that I would have benefited from having read more of the series, but I thought that this book worked fine as a standalone. Parker has rented a beach house in a small Maine town while he recuperates from serious injuries. However the private detective can't keep from getting involved in a mystery involving a dead body on the beach, a missing b ...more
Nev Murray
Apr 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 400-500-read, 2015
A lot of my reviews recently have been of books written by people I have never heard of. I absolutely love finding new authors and being able to share what they do. Every year though, in April, I look forward to one thing happening. The next Charlie Parker instalment. A Song of Shadows is John Connolly’s 13th (some, including me, would argue 14th) book about the life of ex-cop / ex private investigator / ex loads of other things, Charlie Parker. I always look forward to it coming out. I’ve just ...more
After the brutal events at the close of The Wolf in Winter, Charlie Parker rents a property in the small beach side Maine community of Boreas, in an effort to heal his wounds in peace. However, knowing Parker, trouble seems to follow him no matter where he lays his head.

Parker’s neighbours, Ruth and Amanda Winter, are in hiding, although they refuse to admit it to Charlie. Evil men whose origins are rooted in the operation of a Nazi concentration camp during the Second World War have their eyes
SUSAN   *Nevertheless,she persisted*
I am a huge fan of this author,his writing and this series. The writing is intelligent,well paced and the characters are always in character. Parker,the Fulci brothers,Louis and amazing cast.
This book is filled with twists,turns,and things otherworldly.

Charlie's is recuperating from a near fatal attempt on his life,in a small town in Maine. A body washes ashore and the games begin. Murder,Nazis,Nazi hunters....this book will grab you and not let up until the final sentence.

A lot of th
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-reads
I fuckin' love this series. (view spoiler) Can't wait for the next one!
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of adult thrillers
received it today, strangely enough its release coincides with the New Nesbo and Kerr concerning Bernie. Which one do I read first? I feel so spoilt for choices.

Once again Connolly has delivered a dark tale in his Charlie Parker series that shows that the man does know how to deliver a story that scares you, disgusts you, amazes you and pulls you heartstrings all in the same novel.

Charlie Parker is recovering from the ordeal he went through at the end of last novel, and he turns out to be a magn
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an advance review copy of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The 13th installment in the Charlie Parker series continues to maintain not only the quality but also the compelling excitement at a level that very few other author ever reaches. When I start one of the Charlie Parker books, similar to a Stephen King novel, I have to clear the decks. Make sure that I don’t have any evening plans. Turn off the phone. Find a quiet place. Because o
aPriL does feral sometimes
I think 'A Song of Shadows' is an in-between story, so this is not a standalone book at all. It definitely is bridging the characters' personal events from previous books in the series to the new events in the next book. Readers should begin with the first book, Every Dead Thing (Charlie Parker, #1) by John Connolly.

There are murders in this story, and Charlie Parker is involved in solving them, but without knowing the backstory, it is not very comprehensible. Parker almost died in the previous novel in the Parker detective series, so this book o
Rob Twinem
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The 13th book in the long running Charlie "bird" Parker dark crime series. The great concern about reading the latest offering from John Connolly is to ask the this a step too far? is it not time that Charlie Parker was put into retirement? does the author not run the risk of simply boring the reader with a character, indeed list of characters that quite simply have no more to say or offer? However let it be said here now that "bird" is alive and tweeting! and A Song of Shadows is ...more
Mar 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Within 20 minutes of digging into A Song of Shadows, John Connolly’s 13th Charlie Parker detective mystery I realized there were no words or expressions currently in the English language to convey this reading experience. By cracky, I realized, I must create from scratch an expression to communicate my thoughts on this book!

For me, however, this would not be too daunting. After all, I was the man who ushered the exclamation by cracky back into popular English usage, and I did coin the widesprea
Song of Shadows by John Connelly is a 2015 Atria publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I kept putting this one off until I was more in the mood for a little supernatural tone with my detective stories, and there's no better time than in the month of October for a good ghost story. So, I settled in on a dark and stormy night, hoping Charlie was still the guy I have come to know and love.

I have to say, this story was abso
I don't like starting series in the middle, but my libraries only had this one in audio, so I thought I'd give it a try. There's obviously a lot of back story, but it was filled in well enough that I never felt lost. I was surprised by the paranormal element. This read as a normal mystery most of the time, but the paranormal thread couldn't be ignored. I didn't care for it much at first & still don't think it was needed, but it didn't harm the book. Made it a bit more interesting & certa ...more
Jul 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another brilliant entry in the Charlie Parker series, this one involving Charlie's recovery from the prior attempt on his life and his involvement in the search for Nazi war criminals who may be killing to protect their American freedom. The writing is so good you forget it's fiction and get caught up in the story as if it's actually happening. All of the familiar series characters make an appearance in this one to the delight of this reader. Connolly is, by far, the best thriller writer alive t ...more
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Our investigator, Mr Parker, is recuperating from exhaustive injuries incurred in the last novel. He has relocated to a small town in Maine where he can be a semi-recluse, close to a rehabilitation facility.

A young single mother has moved in to the only house close to him, with a daughter close to his daughter Sam's age. A body has washed up on the beach close to them,with the victim a man who had relatives in an experimental WW2 concentration camp.

We have an appearance of old favorites: Walsh
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! Loved it! Loved it!

OMG, such characters, from little girls who are really little girls - and yet a little more? - to weird villains - one has Hansen's disease, another is totally tatooed from the neck down, another is just so sick he oozes disease, as well as Nazis, or former Nazis, hiding out in the US in their extreme old age ...

And heroes from Louis and Angel to 'new' heroes in the Maine State Police, of all places.

And poor old Charlie Parker limping around, badly injured from what
Michael Hicks
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
[This review is based on an advanced copy received from the publisher through NetGalley.]

I can only imagine how difficult it must be to keep a long-running series feeling so fresh and vibrant, but after thirteen books John Connolly is still, somehow, plugging along and not only providing a satisfying series read, but continuing to grow and improve. Readers, like me, who have been following Connolly from the very beginning and have invested now more than a decade in the cast of characters circula
John Wiltshire
I've been a little preoccupied recently and forgot to follow some of my absolutely must-read series. I didn't even know John Connolly had a new Charlie Parker out in April. How remiss is that? I might have to save this for another trip back to the UK in May. This series gripped me from the first novel Every Dead Thing. It's had its ups and down and some of the books have gone a little off course, but I'm still a huge fan. I've recently read The Wanderer in Unknown Realms which was an absolute ge ...more
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John Connolly: Just released in Uk 1 19 Apr 13, 2015 05:57AM  

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John Connolly was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1968 and has, at various points in his life, worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a dogsbody at Harrods department store in London. He studied English in Trinity College, Dublin and journalism at Dublin City University, subsequently spending five years working as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper ...more

Other books in the series

Charlie Parker (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Every Dead Thing (Charlie Parker, #1)
  • Dark Hollow (Charlie Parker, #2)
  • The Killing Kind (Charlie Parker, #3)
  • The White Road (Charlie Parker, #4)
  • The Black Angel (Charlie Parker, #5)
  • The Unquiet (Charlie Parker, #6)
  • The Reapers (Charlie Parker, #7)
  • The Lovers (Charlie Parker, #8)
  • The Whisperers (Charlie Parker, #9)
  • The Burning Soul (Charlie Parker, #10)
“You want to know what’s on the other side?’
Walsh eyed the detective carefully, as if gauging the seriousness of the question.
‘Is it seventy-two virgins, like the Muslims believe?’
‘That’s the good news. The bad news is that they’re all guys. It’s like being at a boarding school.’
‘I knew there had to be a catch.”
“In any given situation, the most difficult step is to reach a decision. Once a decision is made, control can be asserted.” 3 likes
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