John Connolly

  • The Sunday Times bestselling author

    John Connolly

    John Connolly is the Sunday Times bestselling author of crime novels featuring private investigator Charlie Parker. He has written sixteen books, including THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS, NOCTURNES and the Samuel Johnson books for young readers. He is the first non-American writer to win the US Shamus award. In 2007 he was awarded the Irish Post Award for Literature.
    • The 11th Charlie Parker thriller

      THE WRATH OF ANGELS

      Read all the Charlie Parker thrillers, starting with EVERY DEAD THING and finishing with the new WRATH OF ANGELS
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      Wikipedia

      John Connolly

      John Connolly (born May 31, 1968, Dublin) is an Irish writer who is best known for his series of novels starring private detective Charlie Parker. Connolly graduated with a B.A. in English from Trinity College, Dublin, and a M.A. in Journalism from Dublin City University. Before becoming a full-time novelist, Connolly worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a gofer at Harrods department store in London. After five years as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper, Connolly became frustrated with the profession, and began to write his first novel, Every Dead Thing, in his spare time. (Connolly continues to contribute articles to the paper, most notable of which have been a series of interviews with other established authors).
      John Connolly introduces his new book

      THE WRATH OF ANGELS

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      Interview

      John Connolly in Shots Crime & Thriller E-zine

      John Connolly answers questions about the Charlie Parker series and more.
      With Hollywood script writer, Will Akers

      John Connolly Q & A

      In this fantastic Q&A, author John Connolly chats with Hollywood script writer Will Akers, about Charlie Parker; the hero of many of John's novels: When someone asks you to describe Parker in a couple of sentences, what do you say? I say that he's a man in search of redemption, and we redeem ourselves by engaging in acts of sacrifice on behalf of others. (And that word "redemption" comes freighted with spiritual baggage, which goes part of the way toward explaining some of the supernatural elements in the books.) He is also a creature of almost pure empathy, perhaps because of his own sufferings. There are those who suffer, and then close themselves off from the world because of their pain, and then there are those who, in a way, want others to hurt like they hurt. Finally, there are those whose own experience of pain makes them want to ensure that others who are vulnerable don't have to suffer in the same way. Parker begins as the first kind in Every Dead Thing, and by the middle of the book has moved toward becoming the third. He is aware of the distinction between law and justice - a recurrent theme in mystery fiction - and acts to breach the gap. Finally, the essayist Edmund Burke wrote "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." If we stand by and don't act, we become complicit. Parker refuses to be complicit, even at the risk of harm to himself, or of chipping away at other elements of his humanity - at the risk of quote-bombing, be careful when you fight monsters lest you become a monster. When someone asks "what is the book series really about" what do you say? I try not to answer it because my answer may not be the one that the reader wants! A lot of that is covered in the earlier question, though: justice, compassion, empathy, the overcoming of grief and loss. Ultimately, though, they're setting up a larger confrontation between Parker and those who stand with him, and a significant force of evil in the world. While each book can be read as an individual mystery, a larger story becomes apparent if someone reads them in order. That's not something mystery fiction tends to do very often. It's more the preserve of fantasy or historical literature. That might help your pitch a little: on one level, what draws in readers - and, I guess, viewers - is character first and foremost, but it helps if, as in, say, The Sopranos, one can then combine that with a larger plot that reveals itself gradually over time. What do you feel Parker wants? What scares him? What does he need? He is a conflicted man, and the twin poles of that conflict are represented by Angel and Louis, and the new relationship that he forms later in the series, out of which comes a daughter. If you decide that you want to fight monsters, then you can't have a family beside you because - as Parker learns - they may well be harmed. On the other hand, the idea of domesticity appeals to him: a wife, a family, a dog. Ultimately, though, I think the appeal of fighting is greater, in part because he has such rage and hurt and pain inside him. Quite often in mystery fiction, dreadful trauma of the kind that Parker has suffered is just mentioned in passing (a bit like the dead wife of James Bond in the movies). The reality, of course, is that, if one were to lose a wife and child under the circumstances that Parker loses Susan and Jennifer, the trauma would define you for the rest of your life. You might struggle against it. Whole hours might even go by when you don't think of them. Ultimately, though, the memory, and the pain, would return with a vengeance. So what does he fear? Loss, I think: the loss of another wife, and another child. Harm coming to those close to him, friends included, because of who he is and what he is doing. Other than that, he is almost fearless: the worst that could happen has happened to him, and he has survived. He is fractured, but he is alive. Oh, he wants to avoid physical pain, but that's just common sense. But I don't think he fears death, or what lies beyond it. He's too close to it already. What he needs is fuel for his rage. What he needs is an answer to the question 'Why?': Why has this happened to me? Why do I draw these things to me? Like everyone, he wants to find out that, in the end, there was a pattern, a plan, even if the pattern ultimately leads to a confrontation with an entity he may not be able to defeat. What’s the hardest thing for Parker to forgive about himself? Not being there when Susan and Jennifer were killed. If he couldn't protect them, I think he would have preferred to die with them than endure the pain of their loss. Killing the man responsible brought him no release. What was Susan like, when she and Parker were together and happy? I think they were happy once, but he wasn't able to open up to her, to share a deep-seated hurt and confusion that went back to his childhood. I think he was probably immature when he met her, and a little selfish. She was probably attracted to some of that hardness within him, but thought that she could go beneath it and find the better man. Sometimes she could; mostly, she couldn't. He wasn't bad, or violent, or a very poor father and husband, but there was a distance between them that was growing. Had she not died, I suspect that she would have left him. And it's hard being married to a policeman, especially one who isn't ideally suited to the job. He doesn't find a second family in the force, which might have helped him a little. Why were Parker and Susan having problems? What did he do that upset his wife? What did she do that upset him? What led to his drinking? There's some of that above. I don't think she necessarily did anything to upset him: I think there was just a slow, sad breakdown in communication. One important thing: he's not an alcoholic, and never was. That's cleared up later in the series. A bar was just an escape, and a couple of drinks probably dulled the pain a bit, but he wasn't knocking back huge quantities of hard liquor. Why are Parker and Rachel so good together? Well, they are and they aren't. She understands him, basically. She's endured loss of her own - her brother, a policeman himself, was killed in the line of duty - so she finds an echo of her own rage and pain in Parker. Unfortunately, his anger is far more potent than hers. I think she thought that they might provide consolation for each other and through their daughter begin to rebuild a world for themselves. But - see above - he has other visions of world-building in mind, and a lot of them involve tearing things down first. What are you most passionate about, re: Parker? His empathy. He is a good man, but a compromised one. Also, I never have him say anything that I don't believe, although sometimes his views are a little more extreme than mine. What ultimately is Parker's true nature? If you mean in terms of the debate about him possibly being something more than human, well, there's a partial answer in the new book: he is no angel, although the person who tells him that has a vested interest, perhaps, in making him believe that he is not. But there is something in his nature that is more than human, even if he's only a channel for another power. Do you plan on Parker ever finding happiness or at least peace? He will find peace. He may have to achieve it through the ultimate act of self-sacrifice, though. Why can't Parker stop? It seems like he could actually walk away if he chose to and have his life with Rachel and Samantha, but he chooses not to. I don't think that he has a choice: he has a compulsion to act on behalf of others. He can't walk away and leave someone to suffer. He might have been able to in the past, but once you open that channel, once you allow yourself to feel the pain of others, you can't close it again. There is, I think, a kind of fatalism to him. He understands that he's on a ride and he can't get off. He just wants to see what's waiting at the end of it. What's your favorite thing about writing the book series? On a personal level, Parker is a prism: he allows me to refract experience, to see the world in a different light. On a technical level, there's a pleasure in creating the villains, who seem to strike a chord with readers. They remember them, and that's unusual in mystery novels: the villains tend to blur into one. For some reason, mine stay with the reader. They're creatures of the id: even I'm not sure where they come from. They're grotesques, but each still has a spark of humanity. They're corrupted and blighted, but to be corrupted there has to be something there to corrupt to begin with. What has made the book series popular over such a long period of time? How might that translate to television? Again, there's some of that in the previous answer. But, first off, all fiction is character-driven. Well, all good fiction, or all fiction that aspires to be good. Dumb people make the assumption that mystery is plot-driven, but plot comes out of character. Plot is the product of the actions of characters: if you get the characters right, the rest will follow. So people empathize with Parker. They understand how he has come to be the way that he is, and they like that compulsion that he has to act, even if they wouldn't want to be him. They like Angel & Louis: they're hugely important to the series. They humanize Parker, and lighten the load of the books. Get those three right, and you're already sailing when it come to TV. And then you have the supernatural element, which was never a big part of mystery fiction because mystery fiction, being rationalist in its roots, has a huge distrust of the supernatural. I never saw a conflict between the two. That supernatural element feeds into the villains too: it makes them larger than life, and more threatening.
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      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly

      John Connolly recreates the golden age of Hollywood for an intensely compassionate study of the tension between commercial demands and artistic integrity and the human frailties behind even the greatest of artists.An extraordinary reimagining of the life of one of the greatest screen comedians the world has ever known: a man who knew both adoration and humiliation; who loved, and was loved in turn; who betrayed, and was betrayed; who never sought to cause pain to others, yet left a trail of affairs and broken marriages in his wake . . . And whose life was ultimately defined by one relationship of such tenderness and devotion that only death could sever it: his partnership with the man he knew as Babe.he is Stan Laurel.But he did not really exist. Stan Laurel was a fiction.With he, John Connolly recreates the golden age of Hollywood for an intensely compassionate study of the tension between commercial demands and artistic integrity, the human frailties behind even the greatest of artists, and one of the most enduring and beloved partnerships in cinema history: Laurel & Hardy.(P)2017 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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      The Book of Lost Things Illustrated Edition

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly

      'A brilliantly creepy coming of age novel' Daily Mirror'A moving fable, brilliantly imagined, about the agony of loss and the pain of young adulthood' The Times'This is no saccharine fairytale, but an eerie fable that's perfect for long winter nights' Daily Mail This illustrated edition includes two new short stories - Cinderella, A Version and The Rat King, the latter introducing the Crooked Man who is central to the world of The Book of Lost Things - and an afterword from the author.'Once upon a time, there was a boy who lost his mother . . .' As twelve-year-old David takes refuge from his grief in the myths and fairytales so beloved of his dead mother, he finds the real world and the fantasy world begin to blend. That is when bad things start to happen. That is when the Crooked Man comes. And David is violently propelled into a land populated by heroes, wolves and monsters in his quest to find the legendary Book of Lost Things.

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      A Time of Torment

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly
      Hodder & Stoughton

      A Song of Shadows

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly

      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 and tormented by memories of a world beyond this one, Parker has retreated to the small Maine town of Boreas to recover. There he befriends a widow named Ruth Winter and her young daughter, Amanda. But Ruth has her secrets. She is hiding from the past, and the forces that threaten her have their origins in the Second World War, in a town called Lubko and a concentration camp unlike any other. Old atrocities are about to be unearthed, and old sinners will kill to hide their sins. Now Parker is about to risk his life to defend a woman he barely knows, one who fears him almost as much as she fears those who are coming for her.His enemies believe him to be vulnerable. Fearful. Solitary.But they are wrong. Parker is far from afraid, and far from alone.For something is emerging from the shadows . . .(P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton

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      The Whisperers

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly
      Hodder & Stoughton

      The Creeps

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly

      Samuel Johnson is not in a happy place. He is dating the wrong girl, demons are occupying his spare room, and the town in which he lives appears to be cursed.But there is some good news on the horizon. After years of neglect, the grand old building that once housed Wreckit & Sons is about to reopen as the greatest toyshop that Biddlecombe has ever seen, and Samuel and his faithful dachshund Boswell are to be guests of honour at the big event. A splendid time will be had by all, as long as they can ignore the sinister statue that keeps moving around the town, the Shadows that are slowly blocking out the stars, the murderous Christmas elves, and the fact that somewhere in Biddlecombe a rotten black heart is beating a rhythm of revenge.A trap has been set. The Earth is doomed. The last hope for humanity lies with one young boy and the girl who's secretly in love with him. Oh, and a dog, two demons, four dwarfs and a very polite monster.(P)2013 Hodder & Stoughton

      Hodder & Stoughton

      The Charlie Parker Collection 5-8

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly
      Hodder & Stoughton

      The Charlie Parker Collection 1-4

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly
      Hodder & Stoughton

      Books to Die For

      John Connolly, Declan Burke
      Authors:
      John Connolly, Declan Burke
      Hodder & Stoughton

      The Burning Soul

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly
      Hodder & Stoughton

      Hell's Bells

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly

      Samuel Johnson - with a little help from his dachshund Boswell and a very unlucky demon named Nurd - has sent the demons back to Hell. But the diabolical Mrs Abernathy is not one to take defeat lying down.When she reopens the portal and sucks Samuel and Boswell down into the underworld, she brings an ice-cream van full of dwarfs as well. And two policemen. Can this eccentric gang defeat the forces of Evil? And is there life after Hell for Nurd?(P)2011 ISIS Publishing Ltd

      Hodder & Stoughton

      The Killing Kind

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly

      Did Grace Peltier commit suicide? When a mass grave in northern Maine reveals the final resting place of a religious community that disappeared almost forty years earlier, private detective Charlie Parker, hired to investigate the circumstances of her death, realises that their deaths and the violent passing of Grace Peltier are part of the same mystery, one that has its roots in her family history and in the origins of the shadowy organisation known as the Fellowship. Aided by the genial killers Angel and Louis, Parker must descend into the depths of a honeycomb world populated by dark angels and lost souls, a world where the ghosts of the dead wait for justice and the unwary are prey for the worst kind of creatures.The killing kind. . .(P)2004 ISIS Publishing Ltd

      Hodder & Stoughton

      Dark Hollow

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly

      Still raw from the brutal slayings of his wife and daughter, and the events surrounding the capture of their killer, The Travelling Man, Charlie Parker retreats to the wintry Maine landscape of his childhood. By following in the steps of his beloved grandfather, Parker hopes to heal his spirit and get through the bitter anniversary of Jennifer and Susan's murder. But the echoes of the past that await him are not all benign. In a gruesome re-enactment of Parker's own nightmares, another young woman is killed with her child and his brief involvement in their lives impels Parker to hunt their vicious murderer. As the death toll mounts, Parker comes to realise that the true answer to the puzzle lies thirty years in the past, in a tree with strange fruit, in his own grandfather's history, and in the perverted desires of a monster incarnate - Caleb Kyle.(P)2004 ISIS Publishing Ltd

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      Bad Men

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly
      Hodder & Stoughton

      Every Dead Thing

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly

      Tormented and racked with guilt over the brutal slaying of his wife and daughter, Charlie Parker, ex-cop with the NYPD, agrees to track down a missing girl. It is a search that will lead him into an abyss of evil. At the same time, he is warned by an old black woman in Louisiana that 'The Travelling Man' is about to strike again. Multiple strands converge with a horrific confrontation in which hunter and hunted are intimately connected by guilt.(P)2003 ISIS Publishing Ltd

      Hodder & Stoughton

      The Gates

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly

      A strange novel for strange young people.Young Samuel Johnson and his dachshund Boswell are trying to show initiative by trick-or-treating a full three days before Hallowe'en. Which is how they come to witness strange goings-on at 666 Crowley Avenue. The Abernathys don't mean any harm by their flirtation with Satanism. But it just happens to coincide with a malfunction in the Large Hadron Collider that creates a gap in the universe. A gap in which there is a pair of enormous gates. The gates to Hell. And there are some pretty terrifying beings just itching to get out . . .Can Samuel persuade anyone to take this seriously? Can he harness the power of science to save the world as we know it? (P)2010 ISIS Publishing Ltd

      Hodder & Stoughton

      The Lovers

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly
      Hodder Paperbacks

      The Unquiet

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly

      The sixth haunting Charlie Parker thriller not to be missed by fans of Stephen King and Michael Connelly.'This man's so good, it's terrifying.' - The TimesDaniel Clay, a once-respected psychiatrist, has been missing for years following revelations about harm done to the children in his care. Believing him dead, his daughter Rebecca has tried to come to terms with her father's legacy, but her fragile peace is about to be shattered. Someone is asking questions about Daniel Clay, someone who does not believe that he is dead: the revenger Merrick, a father and a killer obsessed with discovering the truth about his own daughter's disappearance. Private detective Charlie Parker is hired to make Merrick go away, but Merrick will not be stopped. Soon Parker finds himself trapped between those who want the truth about Daniel Clay to be revealed, and those who want it to remain hidden at all costs. But there are other forces at work here. Someone is funding Merrick's hunt, a ghost from Parker's past. And Merrick's actions have drawn others from the shadows, half-glimpsed figures intent upon their own form of revenge, pale wraiths drifting through the ranks of the unquiet dead. The Hollow Men have come . . .

      Hodder Paperbacks

      The Reapers

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly

      John Connolly

      John Connolly is author of the Charlie Parker mysteries, The Book of Lost Things, the Samuel Johnson novels for young adults and, with his partner, Jennifer Ridyard, co-author of the Chronicles of the Invaders. John Connolly's debut - EVERY DEAD THING - introduced the character of Private Investigator Charlie Parker, and swiftly launched him right into the front rank of thriller writers. All his subsequent novels have been Sunday Times bestsellers. He was the winner of the 2016 CWA Short Story Dagger for On the Anatomization of an Unknown Man (1637) by Frans Mier from NIGHT MUSIC: Nocturnes Vol 2.In 2007 he was awarded the Irish Post Award for Literature. He was the first non-American writer to win the US Shamus award and the first Irish writer to win an Edgar award. BOOKS TO DIE FOR, which he edited with Declan Burke, was the winner of the 2013 Anthony, Agatha and Macavity awards for Best Non-Fiction work.