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Dark Hollow (Coronet books) Paperback – 11 Oct 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New Ed edition (11 Oct. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340729007
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340729007
  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 17.8 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 604,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Connolly was born in Dublin in 1968. His debut -EVERY DEAD THING - swiftly launched him right into the front rank of thriller writers, and all his subsequent novels have been Sunday Times bestsellers. He is the first non-American writer to win the US Shamus award. (For Every Dead Thing). In 2007 he was awarded the Irish Post Award for Literature.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Recent years have seen a flurry of horror writers crossing over to the mystery genre--Peter Straub, Dan Simmons and Kristin Kathryn Rusch are three--but little movement has occurred in the opposite direction. Mysteries are where the commercial action is. When John Connolly, an Irish journalist, burst upon the scene in Great Britain in 1999 with the bestselling Every Dead Thing (it later won the Shamus award for Best First Private Eye Novel when published in the States), it would not have been unfair to describe what he was offering as "horror". However, "shock noir" is probably a better way of describing such a grab-you-by-the-eyelashes thriller, with its high body count and inventively grisly methods of dispatching hapless victims.

Connolly--who seems unconcernedly to be trespassing on Stephen King territory in Dark Hollow, with its Maine setting and echoes of background atrocities--actually brings to mind a slightly different hybridisation of horror and mystery: you might say it's Wilkie Collins re-tooled by James Ellroy. Lurking in his pages is more than a faint whiff of the Victorian triple-decker, with all its gothic complexities, while, at the same time, punctuating the plot are grotesque and excessive acts of sadism of a wholly modern sort that will cause some readers indignantly to close the book.

The trouble is, by doing that they miss a richly ripe, closely textured tale. Connolly's series character, ex-NYPD detective Charlie "Bird" Parker, is a man with a lot of pain to surmount--his wife and child were murdered in Every Dead Thing--but he's also a dogged knight errant attuned to the pain felt by others. In Dark Hollow, his quest for the truth is a twisty one, but he stays the course, and so should you. --Otto Penzler, Amazon.com


Even richer than its predecessor in terms of plotting, character delineation and overall atmosphere . . . takes the reader on a circuitous, roller-coaster ride. Connolly is always in control, tying together incidents and characters with consummate skill - and abundant surprises. (Publishers Weekly)

Classic American detective fiction . . . and of a very high order (Bernard Cornwell, Mail on Sunday)

Connolly's evocative prose and sharp one-liners make it oddly akin to poetry (Independent)

'. . . a compelling pace, a considerable sense of humour . . . and a nastiness of detail. . . It is a dark tale of imagination that provides a disturbing read.' Michael Yates, Telegraph & Argus - Bradford

'literate, stylish, well researched, and compelling' Guardian

Despite the gore, this second novel is subtler and more complex than the best-selling EVERY DEAD THING. Connolly's lyrical language and occasional mystical passages are reminiscent of James Lee Burke. His hero . . . is developing into a credible and sympathetic personality (Sunday Telegraph)

'This is an exciting thriller and Parker is an engaging hero. Connolly writes like an angel . . . the violence is unremitting and flesh-creepingly inventive and Connolly has a good line in monstrous villains' (Sunday Times 1.10.00)

. . . a dark sense of foreboding from the opening pages should will and chill Connolly's considerable fan-base through this second novel at great pace. . . Killer imagery is his secret weapon (Sunday Business Post, Dublin)

'A highly unusual entry in the field, written in a raw, arresting style' Times Saturday (Crime supplement)

DARK HOLLOW is a frightening, disturbing and brutal tale interspersed with great moments of dark humour (Yorkshire Evening Press)

Connolly is not an easy author to pigeonhole. He is his own man: an original and exuberant story-teller, as he proves once more with this enjoyable book (Scotland on Sunday)

'A narrative of carefully orchestrated tension' The Good Book Guide

Atmospheric, compulsive and deeply upsetting, [DARK HOLLOW] mark(s) the appearance of a writer whose star is most definitely in the ascendancy (Manchester Metro)

'An intense spine-tingling thriller' Ireland on Sunday

Dark Hollow is the real deal, blending the cold-sweat chills of a classic ghost story with the caustic wit of a pulp policier. (People (USA))

Filled with tension and menace and peopled by some fascinating characters, [Dark Hollow] should confirm his reputation as one of the best in the genre. (Toronto Sun)

'honest but brutal . . . a strong stride forward' Kirkus Reviews (USA)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 4 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback
Charlie Parker isn't a lucky man. A simple job of getting child maintenance for a client turns into a hunt for a killer that's linked to an old lady's fear of a man called Caleb Kyle and pile of money that a lot of people are eager to get there hands on. It's a mess that Charlie can't avoid stepping in.

Connolly puts you in the action from the very first page as he sets up the events that snowball throughout Dark Hollow. The plotting is tighter than a washing line on a windy day. Just when you think you know what is going on the action snaps in another direction.

Added to that, Connolly is a well read and intelligent writer who doesn't shy away from the details and doesn't dumb down for the reader. This can make for a challenging read, not because it's complicated in anyway, it's more the depths of darkness he descends as he explores the more disturbing parts of human nature.

Parker's world isn't one you'd see on your average cop show on TV. It's one where you kill or be killed and that's another thing that is different about Connolly's detective. He isn't pure and greater than the criminals. He's only just about on the right moral side.

This first person-tale is well worth reading. I'd suggest reading Every Dead Thing first as it explains why Parker is so haunted by the dead and what fuels his actions.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Dec. 2005
Format: Paperback
With an opening line signaling devilish doings, "I dream dark dreams," Irish thrillersmith John Connolly launches his second suspenseful tale featuring New York policeman turned private investigator Charlie Parker. Connolly copped the 2000 Shamus Award for his debut, "Every Dead Thing." "Dark Hollow" assures readers that he deserved it.
Unable to set aside the murders of his wife and daughter, a haunted Parker returns to his hometown of Scarborough, Maine. Rather than finding solace in the northeast woods Parker is faced with a series of seemingly unrelated mysteries and a terrifying sociopathic mobster, Tony Celli.
Oddly enough the current series of murders are remarkably akin to 40-year-old killings - crimes that Parker's grandfather spent most of his life trying to solve. What is the connection between today's violence and killings almost half a century old?
Author Connolly pulls out all the stops with this highly readable, almost surreal tale involving mysterious forces lurking in the wilderness, and a long buried past seemingly rising from the grave. Connolly's an ace at creating menacing characters and shiver producing climes.
- Gail Cooke
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Glen1975 on 11 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
This book has much going for it - atmosphere, a fairly good plot, gruesomeness, characterisations, good writing. The pacing is quite good and were it not for this, I would have abandoned the book half-way. The book needs to be heavily edited, there are numerous self-indulgent cul-de-sacs in areas where Parker, the hero, has loved and lost and thus we are regaled with this annoying wallowing in regret which is not related to the plot - needless focus on the love interest - two paragraphs would have sufficed, but there areas where about ten pages go into exhaustive detail of a failed love affair.

The rest of the book, well; what can I say, it's a great thriller.

Let me make things really clear, I enjoyed the book; but there were points when I felt like throwing out of the window of the bus on which I was travelling.

Another point worthy of note is that this book predates Wallander by almost twenty years; another detective plagued by personal demons and who only finds relief in unravelling a gruesome crime. I am hooked on Wallander and I guess that is the reason why, at the end of the day, I like this book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By hherron@lineone.net on 17 Jun. 2001
Format: Paperback
I actually stumbled on to this book and author by mistake as I was looking for Michael Connolly and picked this up in haste. Boy, am I glad I did!!! I was immediately hooked by John Connolly's style of writing and the interwoven humour reminded me of one of my favourite author's, Sue Grafton. His content is much darker but still has a great style to it and an ease of reading that I look for. I'm now half-way through "The Killing Kind" which has my heart racing as I read it. I must go back and read his first novel "Every Dead Thing" as I am now completely hooked. I simply don't know how I'm going to wait until the release of his fourth novel!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ruby on 15 July 2011
Format: Paperback
"I dream of a figure moving through the forest, of children flying from his path, of young women crying at his coming. I dream of snow and ice, of bare branches and moon-cast shadows. I dream of dancers floating in the air, stepping lightly even in death, and my own pain is but a faint echo of their suffering as I run. My blood is black on the snow, and the edges of the world are silvered with moonlight. I run into the darkness, and he is waiting.

I dream in black and white, and I dream of him.

I dream of Caleb, who does not exist, and I am afraid."

Charlie Parker, almost a year after the murder of his family, is trying to find peace. He has returned to Maine where he spent his youth and has moved into his Grandfathers old house in Scarborough with the intention of doing it up. Unfortunately he doesn't get very much done as before long he is drawn into the hunt for the killer of another mother and child. The obvious suspect is the woman's violent estranged husband.

But there is another possibility - his grandfather (a policeman) was haunted by a shocking series of unsolved murders in the area, the perpetrator was meant to be the monster known as Caleb Kyle. As the decades past Kyle sank into the mythology of Dark Hollow only to be resurrected by tired mothers as the bogey man used to scare errant children. "Caleb Kyle, Caleb Kyle, when you see him run a mile"

Far to the north an elderly lady, from a nursing home, is found wandering in the snowy woods saying she has seen Caleb Kyle...

There is a whole different atmosphere to this book, from EDT, it feels sinister, forbidding and very gothic! The intensely visual descriptions of a freezing winter in Maine, drip with a dark, brooding menace.
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