Related to: 'The Wolf in Winter'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

Hodder & Stoughton

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John Connolly
Authors:
John Connolly
Hodder & Stoughton

The Book of Lost Things 10th Anniversary Edition

John Connolly
Authors:
John Connolly

This tenth anniversary 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.

Hodder & Stoughton

A Time of Torment

John Connolly
Authors:
John Connolly

Jerome Burnel was once a hero. He intervened to prevent multiple killings and in doing so damned himself. His life was torn apart. He was imprisoned, brutalized.But in his final days, with the hunters circling, he tells his story to private detective Charlie Parker. He speaks of the girl who was marked for death but was saved, of the ones who tormented him, and an entity that hides in a ruined stockade.Parker is not like other men. He died, and was reborn. He is ready to wage war.Now he will descend upon a strange, isolated community called the Cut, and face down a force of men who rule by terror, intimidation, and murder.All in the name of the being they serve.All in the name of the Dead King.

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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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Books to Die For

John Connolly, Declan Burke
Authors:
John Connolly, Declan Burke
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.

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The Wrath of Angels

John Connolly
Authors:
John Connolly
Hodder & Stoughton

The Charlie Parker Collection 1-4

John Connolly
Authors:
John Connolly

The first four novels in the Charlie Parker series, available together as a digital-only package. Former NYPD Charlie Parker first appears in EVERY DEAD THING on a quest for the killer of his wife and daughter. He is a man consumed by violence, guilt and the desire for revenge. When his ex-partner asks him to track down a missing girl, Parker embarks on a grim odyssey through the bowels of organised crime to a unique serial killer: The Travelling Man.In DARK HOLLOW, Private detective Charlie Parker embarks on a nerve-shredding manhunt and closes in on his prime suspect. But someone else is tracking them both.Parker's empathy with the powerless victims of crime is growing ever stronger. It makes him a natural choice to investigate the death of Grace Peltier in THE KILLING KIND - a death that appears to be a suicide. Genial killers Angel and Louis join Parker again as he descends into a honeycomb world populated by dark angels and lost souls.In THE WHITE ROAD, a black youth faces the death penalty for rape and murder; his victim, the daughter of one of the wealthiest men in South Carolina. It is a case with its roots in old evil, and old evil is Charlie Parker's speciality. Evil men from his past unite to exact a terrible revenge on the private detective.

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The Charlie Parker Collection 5-8

John Connolly
Authors:
John Connolly

Books 5-8 in the Charlie Parker series, available together as a digital-only package. Charlie Parker's latest case in THE BLACK ANGEL starts with the disappearance of a young woman in New York. His hunt turns into an epic quest and marks a dawning realisation in Parker that there is another dimension to his crusade, a dangerous dimension that affects his personal life.In THE UNQUIET, Daniel Clay, a once-respected psychiatrist, has been missing for years following revelations about harm done to the children in his care. As Parker's investigation progresses, he 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.Angel and Louis take centre stage in THE REAPERS, where the elite killers themselves become targets. A wealthy recluse sends them north to a town that no longer exists on a map. There they find themselves trapped, isolated and at the mercy of a killer feared above all others: the assassin of assassins, Bliss. Thanks to Parker, help is on its way. THE LOVERS shows Parker engaged on his most personal case yet: an investigation into his own origins and the circumstances surrounding the death of his father. Parker's quest for that explanation reveals lies, secrets and betrayal.

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The Burning Soul

John Connolly
Authors:
John Connolly
Hodder & Stoughton

The Whisperers

John Connolly
Authors:
John Connolly

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The Reapers

John Connolly
Authors:
John Connolly

They are the Reapers, the elite among killers. Men so terrifying that their names are mentioned only in whispers. The assassin Louis is one of them. But now Louis, and his partner, Angel, are themselves targets. And there is no shortage of suspects. A wealthy recluse sends them north to a town that no longer exists on a map. A town ruled by a man with very personal reasons for wanting Louis's blood spilt. There they find themselves trapped, isolated, and at the mercy of a killer feared above all others: the assassin of assassins, Bliss. Thanks to former detective Charlie Parker, help is on its way. But can Angel and Louis stay alive long enough for it to reach them?(P)2008 ISIS Publishing Ltd

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The Gates

John Connolly
Authors:
John Connolly
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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?

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Every Dead Thing

John Connolly
Authors:
John Connolly
Hodder Paperbacks

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.

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The Killing Kind

John Connolly
Authors:
John Connolly
Hodder Paperbacks

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 Paperbacks

The Lovers

John Connolly
Authors:
John Connolly
Hodder & Stoughton

Bad Men

John Connolly
Authors:
John Connolly

In 1693, the settlers on the small Maine island of Sanctuary were betrayed to their enemies and slaughtered. Since then, the island has known three hundred years of peace. Until now. For men are descending on Sanctuary, their purpose to hunt down and kill the wife of their leader and retrieve the money that she stole from him. All that stands in their way are a young rookie officer, Sharon Macy, and the island's strange, troubled policeman, the giant known as Melancholy Joe Dupree. But Joe Dupree is no ordinary policeman. He is the guardian of the island's secrets, the repository of its memories. He knows that Sanctuary has been steeped in blood once; it will tolerate the shedding of blood no longer. Now a band of killers is set to desecrate Sanctuary and unleash the fury of its ghosts upon themselves and all who stand by them. On Sanctuary, evil is about to meet its match.