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The Burning Soul: The Tenth Charlie Parker Thriller [Hardcover]

John Connolly
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2011

Randall 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 . . .

Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; First Atria Books Hardcover Edition edition (1 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340993537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340993538
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.6 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 168,556 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


He's compared with Stephen King because his tales have a touch of the supernatural - but crime writer John Connolly is a star in his own right. The Irishman has more than proved himself and the new Charlie Parker novel The Burning Soul is another cracking read. (Sun)

Connolly ties the plot strands together with consummate skill . . . a gripping whodunnit . . . genuinely chilling . . . Connolly delivers what his readers have come to expect: a few belly laughs, some shivers down the spine and a compelling mystery . . . few writers can compete with him. (The Sunday Times)

Vintage JC. (Express)

In THE BURNING SOUL, John Connolly has delivered a cracking good tale that seamlessly blends suspense, mystery and just the lightest touch of his signature supernatural ambience. As always, Connolly writes beautifully. He brings the backwoods of Maine alive, and the main and secondary characters are all acutely observed (Irish Independent)

A highly accomplished writer (Irish Times)

An intelligent, plausible thriller, both harrowing and memorable. (Kirkus Reviews)

Book Description

'What's the worst thing you've ever done?' The thrilling new Charlie Parker novel from bestselling author John Connolly.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Treading water... 2 Oct 2011
I've loved the Parker books since Every Dead Thing (the first). I've read most of the non-Parker books and love Connolly's writing and style. This is the first time I've ever read one of his books and not felt drawn in by the story. I agree with the reviewer who said this is Connolly just ticking over. It just felt like he has his imagination on hold for now. Don't get me wrong, its a decent and certainly not a 'bad' story, just not up to his usual high standards. It starts off well enough but I felt alot of it was needless padding and it could even have been a better shorter novella.

Connolly famously tries not to make his books too formulaic and said at one of his signing events that in Burning Soul he tried to write a suspense thriller that suggested violence rather than explicitly describing it. I can see what he means by reading it and sometimes it works well but frequently its just boring. He seems to have stripped many of the elements he is famous for right back and sadly we are left with a novel which could have been great but just never got going for me. The Fulci's appearance is so brief as to be pointless and Angel and Louis's cameo felt contrived, as if Connelly felt he should have them there to keep the readers happy but it felt like they'd been forced into the story. The ending as well feels rushed for me, almost like Connolly ran out of steam and had to tie up loose ends and put jigsaw pieces together too quickly. There was only one thing that surprised me at the end, most I found quite predictable.

Don't get me wrong, its not a bad book and definitely worth a read but I wouldn't recommend it if this is your first Connolly. There are some beautiful pieces of writing but overall it felt like just writing a 'lesser' story to 'fill a gap'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Because Randall is telling lies... 9 Dec 2011
Randall Hayes made his time in prison because of the murder of a young, black girl.
He never denied his help in the crime, but pretended that the other part of the deadly triangle, his best friend, took over and killed that poor, little girl.

Now Randall lives in a small community, where an other young girl has vanished.
Charlie Parker has to make sure that Randall is innocent of the recent abduction.
But someone writes letters, let Randall receive fotos... and other things.

So Charlie Parker once more has to dive in a swamp of relation-ships never made to be known, mobsters who go raving, FBI and local forces in the midst.

But, with the help of his yet well known friends - on the muscle side, as on the intelligence and "armed forces" side - he will be able to solve a mystery that was kept for too much time.
Those revelations will reverse the vision of this case, and, by the way, that of other cases, too.

And we all can see that John Connolly is always one of the best for us people, who respect his own kind of mixing the reality with the supernatural, balancing perfectly the different points of view.

Thanks, John, for another 5-STAR book.
I can't await the next one!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! 5 Sep 2011
Receiving a new Charlie Parker novel is always a treat. Having followed the series since its inception I can honestly say I have never been let down (the only disappointment is when you finnish...I always want more!).

I'm sure other reviews will summarise the plot. Needless to say its great...with a nice twist at the end, which although I eventually saw it coming was still deftly handled. Also worthy or merit (as always with a John Connolly novel) are the excellent well drawn characters - not just the leads, but also the supporting players - each with their own passions and rich backstories.

For me though it's the quality of the writing that is worthy of merit. Increasingly I am drawn to liken Connolly's style to James Lee Burke (and not just due to the interraction of supernatural elements in the core story. The prose echoes JLB's lyrical style and in my opinion elevates Connollys writing way beyond that of most of his contempories.

Crucially, Connolly keeps the plot moving though (and the character developing) which sometimes I feel JLB loses sight of. There's also some humour in the dialogue which helps more fully realise the key characters and the relationships between them. Whilst it's great writing, rest assured that the story will pull you in and the plot will roll along like a runaway train (my weekend just disappeared reading this - so much so i missed the John connolly booksigning in York on Sunday!).

Even if you are new to the series, there's a tremendous amount of enjoyment to be taken from this book. Take my advice and give John Connolly and Charlie Parker a go!


PS Only minor comment (not even a criticism more a wish for Parker's next outing)... can we see Parker kick some serious arse next time out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE Charlie Parker! 26 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
John Connolly is one of the most talented writers I've ever read. Thoroughly enjoy the Charlie Parker books, so much goes on in one book it's almost impossible to keep up! This is particularly tricky with kindle copies as it's not easy to flick back and forth to check stuff, but nevertheless the book is still AWESOME.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars having read most of the Charlie Parker stories I was ...
having read most of the Charlie Parker stories I was looking forward to this one and was not dissapointed. Read more
Published 8 days ago by J. Saunt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A good read
Published 18 days ago by John Shanks
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love Charlie Parker
Published 1 month ago by G. Lewis
4.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a let down
Its good because its charlie parker! However it lacks the grit and suspense of earlier Charlie parker novels. Read more
Published 1 month ago by K S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Connolly does it again!
I just love Charlie Parker books and await eagerly the next one to come out. Really well written books and such an interesting genre.
Published 2 months ago by Bettaboo
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Parker Escapade.
I have read a lot of the Charlie Parker stories and find them great reads.

This one is particularly good. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Pete.
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping
I really enjoyed reading this, so many twists and story's that don't connect at first but do towards the end. Really does get you thinking.
Published 4 months ago by Bridie Heslin
4.0 out of 5 stars just finished
This is a convoluted storyline with lots of twists and turns. The well know characters of Angel & Louis return but are on the edge of the story, a shame as they usually give an... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Spadams
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling, emotional and thoughtful.
With The Burning Soul, John Connolly once again takes us into the dark and tortured world of Charlie Parker. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Colin Leslie
3.0 out of 5 stars Review of Burning Soul
Have read a fair few of Connolly's Parker series. This one was quite a good read but in my opinion not up there with his best.
Published 6 months ago by Mr. Marc Collins
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