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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      A Book of Bones

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly
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      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly
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      The Book of Lost Things Illustrated Edition

      John Connolly
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      John Connolly
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      A Time of Torment

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly
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      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 . . .

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      The Wolf in Winter

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly

      A pulse-pounding thriller featuring Detective Charlie Parker from the bestselling author of The Wrath of Angels.'The finest crime series currently in existence' - Independent on SundayHis client is dead. But Charlie Parker will not rest . . .The community of Prosperous, Maine, has always thrived when others have suffered. Its inhabitants are wealthy, its children's future secure. It shuns outsiders. It guards its own.The death of a homeless man and the disappearance of his daughter draw the haunted, lethal private investigator Charlie Parker to Prosperous. Parker is a dangerous man, driven by compassion, by rage, and by the desire for vengeance. In him the town and its protectors sense a threat graver than any they have faced in their long history, and in the comfortable, sheltered inhabitants of a small Maine town, Parker will encounter his most vicious opponents yet.Charlie Parker has been marked to die so that Prosperous may survive.

      Hodder & Stoughton

      The Charlie Parker Collection 5-8

      John Connolly
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      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

      Winner of the 2013 Agatha, Anthony and the Macavity Awards for Best Crime Non-Fiction.With so many mystery novels to choose from and so many new titles appearing each year, where should the reader start? What are the classics of the genre? Which are the hidden gems?In the most ambitious anthology of its kind yet attempted, the world's leading mystery writers have come together to champion the greatest mystery novels ever written. In a series of personal essays that often reveal as much about themselves and their work work as they do about the books that they love, more than 120 authors from twenty countries have created a guide that will be indispensable for generations of readers and writers. From Christie to Child and Poe to PD James, from Sherlock Holmes to Hannibal Lecter and Philip Marlowe to Peter Wimsey, BOOKS TO DIE FOR brings together the cream of the mystery world for a feast of reading pleasure, a treasure trove for those new to the genre and those who believe that there is nothing new left to discover. This is the one essential book for every reader who has ever finished a mystery novel and thought . . . I want more! www.bookstodiefor.net

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      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

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      The Burning Soul

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly

      A thrilling Charlie Parker novel from bestselling author John Connolly.'Another creepy thriller from a modern master' - Daily MirrorRandall Haight has a secret: when he was a teenager, he and his friend killed a 14-year-old girl.Randall did his time and built a new life in the small Maine town of Pastor's Bay, but somebody has discovered the truth about Randall. He is being tormented by anonymous messages, haunting reminders of his past crime, and he wants private detective Charlie Parker to make it stop.But another 14-year-old girl has gone missing, this time from Pastor's Bay, and the missing girl's family has its own secrets to protect. Now Parker must unravel a web of deceit involving the police, the FBI, a doomed mobster named Tommy Morris, and Randall Haight himself.Because Randall Haight is telling lies . . .

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      The Whisperers

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly
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      The Killing Kind

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly
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      The Lovers

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly
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      The Black Angel

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly
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      Dark Hollow

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly

      Charlie Parker returns in a gruesome new thriller, not to be missed for fans of Stephen King and Michael Connelly.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.

      Hodder & Stoughton

      The White Road

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly

      A fast-paced thriller featuring Charlie Parker from the bestselling author of The Killing Kind.'A cracking read from an excellent and highly original writer.' - Sunday IndependentIn South Carolina, a young black man faces the death penalty for the rape and murder of Marianne Larousse, daughter of one of the wealthiest men in the state. It's a case that nobody wants to touch, a case with its roots in old evil, and old evil is private detective Charlie Parker's speciality. But Parker is about to make a descent into the abyss, a confrontation with dark forces that threaten all that Parker holds dear: his lover, his unborn child, even his soul. . . For in a prison cell, a fanatical preacher is about to take his revenge on Charlie Parker, its instruments the very men that Parker is hunting, and a strange, hunched creature that keeps its own secrets buried by a riverbank: the undiscovered killer Cyrus Nairn. Soon, all of these figures will face a final reckoning in southern swamps and northern forests, in distant locations linked by a single thread, a place where the paths of the living and the dead converge.A place known only as the White Road.

      Hodder & Stoughton

      Every Dead Thing

      John Connolly
      Authors:
      John Connolly
      Hodder & Stoughton

      Bad Men

      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.