Saturday, 15 January 2011

John Connolly: Every Dead Thing

john connolly every dead thing review The first full-length novel featuring Charlie Parker, alcoholic homicide detective -- he stumbles home from a bar to find the bloody corpses of his wife and daughter. The Travelling Man, serial killer, has slaughtered Parker's family; fate and malice will eventually bring the two of them together in a scene that would delight Hitchcock and Tarantino.

Parker knows that he takes blame - he was swilling liquor when the killer struck. In rage and despair he lashes out, beating to death a child-molesting pimp. That gives no respite, it merely adds to his burden of guilt. Partly to distract him his friends involve him in the search for a missing girl. The hunt takes him to the bayous of Louisiana, where he meets Tante Marie - her second sight tells of a body deep in the swamps, another victim of the Travelling Man.

Back in New York Parker is again involved in a search for a missing person before being called back to Louisiana where Tante Marie has seen the return of the Travelling Man. Neither her second sight nor her family can save Tante Marie from the killer and Parker believes himself no closer to the murderer of his family. He enlists the help of Rachel, a forensic psychologist, who begins to analyse the killer through the spectacular nature of the killing scenes.

Along the way we meet Louis, gay hitman, and his partner Angel - a memorable couple who will feature ever more strongly in Connolly's future novels. They are actually the physical side of the dichotomy that increasingly concerns Parker: the age old question of doing bad for good reasons. In a similar way Tante Marie is the forerunner of a spirit world that will prey on Parker, As the novels come out you'll find that the spirit world increasingly features - don't let that concern you - Connolly handles the writing of real and unreal with a deftness of touch and an eye for descriptive detail that mark him out as a very good writer indeed.

The other story lines could have made a novel in themselves; they entertain and appal, yet all are honing Parker in his search for the Travelling Man. When the two finally meet we have one of the great endings for a book of this genre - I won't give any details lest I spoil it. I will just say that Connolly's ability to quicken the blood and build suspense are first class.

If you like well-written, bloody thrillers, this is one for you. You will, like me, end up buying everything that Connolly produces.

The definitive JC reference site


Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

Hi Paul, I got your comment about referencing my blog and my referencing yours and I would be thrilled to do so. I could put up a post entry about your blog. If you know of a better way to do this let me know either on my blog or at RedGage. And I am thrilled that you like my work!


You can find me at

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