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af John Connolly

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Serier: Charlie Parker (1)

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1,833656,703 (3.81)139
Krimi om den tidligere politimand Charlie Parker, der under arbejdet med at opspore en forvundet pige, kommer på sporet af en bestialsk seriemorder, der bruger sin ofres kroppe til makabre kunstværker - og som også har myrdet Charlie Parkers kone og lille datter.
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Viser 1-5 af 66 (næste | vis alle)
Well written but with a few flaws that gave me pause.


A good first impression

After having hung around outside, listening to other people having fun at the Charlie Parker party, I finally decided to head inside and see for myself what the appeal was Even though I'm two decades late, I started with the first Charlie Parker book, 'Every Dead Thing', published in 1999.

When I started the book, I thought - 'So this is what the fuss was about.' The writing was accomplished and vivid. The storytelling was skilfully non-linear, with past and present swirling together in Parker's mind like water from different streams hitting a river. It was effortless, vivid, and compelling. It was also gruesome, violent, seedy and soaked in despair and ripe with regret.

On first meeting, Parker struck me as a strange narrator. He was a man whose history won him some sympathy but whose feelings, motivations and values are obscure. From the start, I saw everything through his eyes, either as it happened or as a memory. I saw it up close and in detail and with, apparently, very little being hidden, although some of it is artfully revealed. Yet, even when I knew his tragic backstory, I still had no feeling for who Charlie Parker was. He seemed to keep his emotions locked in a steel box somewhere at the back of his mind. Occasionally I thought I heard something rattling back there but I didn't know if it was trying to get out or just settling in place.

A tasty meal of a story but with a taint that spoiled the after-taste.

By the time I finished 'Every Dead Thing', my opinion of the book had shifted. I felt as though I'd eaten something that I liked but which had had a background flavour that was a little off and which clung to the palette after I was done

There were some very good things here. Things good enough to make me want to read more of John Connolley's books.

I loved the quality of the writing. It's measured and careful and changes in texture to match the content.

I remain impressed by how well and how effortlessly the beginning of the book braided the two threads of current action and Parker's backstory, making both stronger.

The regular, bloody, fatal violence was vividly described and the action scenes were full of tension and suspense.

Perhaps best of all was the sparkling depiction of Parker's two 'Associates' Louie and Angel. The novel was worth reading just to meet these black gay men, one a master thief and one an assassin, who I think are one of the most believable and intriguing couples in crime fiction. The depiction of their relationship with each other felt authentic and intimate. Their relationship with Parker was unusual but plausible. Their dialogue was perfect.

So what's not to like?

Although the book was full of action and had a twisting plot that kept hiding the bad guys, I felt that it meandered too much. We reached a false climax when the first killer is disposed of about half-way through the book. That felt like reaching what you thought would be the top of a hill only to find it was a ridge and there's a bigger climb ahead.

Then we had so many gun battles. It felt like bullets had replaced interrogation as an investigative tool.

Then there is the way women were portrayed - as if they were a species Parker has admired from afar but never actually met. Yes, the main woman is bright and independent and even shoots someone but I didn't believe in her as a person. She remained a plot device.

These are things that I could imagine John Connolley getting better at in later books.

The two things that left me with a sense of reading something tainted.

The first is the fascination with vivisection as art and the serial killer as an artist. It was probably a nineties thing - Val McDermid's books did the same sort of thing - which is why I stopped reading them. I found this repulsive not because of the violence but because it seemed an invitation to voyeurism. I don't want to watch this and I resent the sly admiration for the serial killer and torturer that comes from their transformation into an artist or wannabe artist.

The second thing is Parker. And this is why I can't make my mind up. Is the fact that I dislike him so much a problem with the book or a tribute to John Connolley's writing?

Parker is a drunk and a murderer. He's a man who could only love his wife fully after she'd been killed. He pumps out testosterone, creating violence wherever he goes. He makes Reacher look like a diplomat. He's dressed as a cultured man who loves poetry and cajun food and intelligent women. He has people who are loyal to him. And yet, his first solution to any problem is violence. We know he's had suicidal thoughts and overcome them. I'm not sure that that was the right decision.

So, what next?

People whose tastes I normally share have told me that they love the Charlie Parker series that I'm going to give the next book in the series a try and see if Parker becomes someone I'm more enamoured with.
( )
  MikeFinnFiction | Nov 14, 2020 |
This will be a short review. This novel was awesome. It took my breath away at times at how good it was. I do have to say though that parts of it dragged, (why I gave it 5 stars and did not favorite it) and I totally figured out who the serial killer was at 30 percent which was a slight letdown since I like to be surprised. I also felt like Connolly shoved two separate stories together into this one novel. I'm not mad at it, but it was a lot to digest in one sitting. This book haunts you all the way through up through the ending. I loved the characters of Charlie, Angel, and Louis. Connolly does a great job of capturing New York, New Orleans, and other locations in this one. You feel the weight of the dead through the whole book and one wonders how Charlie will go on after this.

"Every Dead Thing" follows ex-detective Charlie Parker. Charlie (otherwise known as Bird) comes home one night after getting drunk to find his wife and young daughter murdered by a serial killer called "The Traveling Man." Charlie disappeared to reemerge and start chasing down jail skips. Doing one of these leads him to wind up in the middle of a mysterious case where a wealthy widow wants Charlie to look up a young woman (Catherine Demeter) that her stepson was involved with. Charlie is also getting calls from "The Traveling Man" and is hell-bent on tracking the killer down.

Charlie travels from Virginia and back to New York looking for Catherine. He feels himself pulled to her backstory and wanting to keep her safe. Charlie though finds out about a little town and the secrets that they hid. While doing that the Traveling Man taunts Charlie which has him going to New Orleans to track the killer down. He gets aided by a couple of criminals and a profiler (I guess I can call her that) that makes him wonder about a future.

I have to say the ending was wonderfully done though I guessed the serial killer. This book does feel dated at times (it was published in 1999) but it wasn't enough to ruin my enjoyment though. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
It's really hard to believe this is a first novel. It's so crammed with characters and plots, it's amazing. Charlie "Bird" Parker was an NYPD Detective when his wife and daughter were tortured, skinned and murdered. And, his life wasn't great even before that. It spins beyond out of control as he weaves his way towards finding the monster who did it. This book has it all from the gruesome to the curious to the amazing. ( )
  susandennis | Jun 5, 2020 |
Good writing but a little to much detail at times. I stubbled to keep up with who all of the characters were. ( )
  karenshann | Dec 31, 2019 |
Interesting and well-written, but a bit too gory for my tastes. ( )
  slmr4242 | Oct 16, 2019 |
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Krimi om den tidligere politimand Charlie Parker, der under arbejdet med at opspore en forvundet pige, kommer på sporet af en bestialsk seriemorder, der bruger sin ofres kroppe til makabre kunstværker - og som også har myrdet Charlie Parkers kone og lille datter.

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