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The Killing Kind [Hardcover]

John Connolly
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Mar 2001

Did Grace Peltier committed suicide? When a mass grave in northern Maine reveals the final resting place of a religious community that disappeared almost forty years earlier, private detective Charlie Parker, hired to investigate the circumstances of her death, realises that their deaths and the violent passing of Grace Peltier are part of the same mystery, one that has its roots in her family history and in the origins of the shadowy organisation known as the Fellowship. Aided by the genial killers Angel and Louis, Parker must descend into the depths of a honeycomb world populated by dark angels and lost souls, a world where the ghosts of the dead wait for justice and the unwary are prey for the worst kind of creatures.

The killing kind. . .

Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; First Edition edition (1 Mar 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340771208
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340771204
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.8 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 444,932 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

Spider-bites are a nasty way to die, and there is a man out there with an unusual taste for insect venom of all kinds and for the deaths of those who disagree with or affront him. John Connolly's sleuth Charlie Parker is free of the ghosts of his slaughtered wife and child, but sooner or later new ghosts come to him demanding silently that he avenge them. In The Killing Kind, it is not Grace, the ex-girlfriend whose faked suicide he is hired to investigate, so much as the dead fanatics she was killed for writing a thesis on. The Aroostook Baptists disappeared into the gloomy woods of North Maine in the sixties and nothing more is known until road workers find a mass burial. Connolly provides his usual excellent combination of snappy one-liners (many of them from Parker's gay assassin sidekicks Angel and Louis) together with scenes of the utmost terror. Parker soon realises that the spider killer, Elmer Pudd, is only the tool of someone far worse, a sanctimonious artist in intolerance and mayhem--and it is only by carefully measured doses that we come to realise just how bad that is going to be. --Roz Kaveney


Connolly does the chill factor brilliantly, creating horror out of the sort of misguided religious fervour not seen since Waco. Mass graves, Parker's sixth sense and deadly spiders set the mind and pulse racing. (Daily Mirror)

'As John Connolly plunges ever deeper into the underworld of the damned, the reader, with eyes of slits, must cling on for this brilliantly terrifying ride.' Irish Times

'Ireland's finest export since U2 and Guinness. THE KILLING KIND is a crime thriller with real bite. Dark, menacing and moody, but with moments of wicked humour. Connolly drags you screaming to the edge of the abyss, then calmly pushes you in. If you can find a better thriller than this, let me know.' Simon Ritchie, Yorkshire Evening Press

Connolly, an Irishman, is starting to carve himself a niche in the annals of US crime writing, and his voice rings pretty true alongside true American purveyors of the twisted tale (Publishing News)

'A truly exciting thriller writer . . . the most exciting talent of the decade . . . An elegant, gripping illustration of his talents as a writer. A compelling danse macabre. Connolly proved he could write characters with more depth, style and malice than most thriller writers. A remarkable read.' Sunday Business Post, Dublin

What makes Parker intriguing is precisely that, though a crusader against evil, he has a dark side: he is haunted by the past, his capacity for violence and guilt.' (Telegraph Magazine)

Connolly's achievement is a literary thriller, charged with menace from beginning to end, taut as it is terrifying. (Live Wire)

'Dubliner John is even more successful third time round.' Ireland on Sunday

'A stunningly creepy book, with a villain who sets a new benchmark in nightmare-inducing fear. Nail-biting stuff.' Yorkshire Post

John Connolly knows how to get you to check the lock on your door before you put the lights out and again before you get into bed. (rí-ra)

Arachnophobes should give this novel a wide berth (Evening Standard)

'The unrivalled master of Maine noir. Menace has never been so seductive.' Maxim Jakubowski, The Guardian

'Ireland's answer to Harris. Connolly's painstaking research, wise-ass humour and consummate gift for crafting truly terrifying characters combines to shape a novel that's a genuine thrill.' The List, Glasgow

Connolly has become the leading commentator on Maine's morbidity (Play)

'Beautifully written and well-researched, with an attention to language and form that is self-consciously literary. Genre defying . . . uses the conventions and tropes of the thriller genre to explore larger issues and ideas. Connolly's fascination with guilt and redemption frames his story and his characters, infusing both with a moral seriousness and emotional weight. THE KILLING KIND is smart and literate, wise and tender, enthralling and compulsive. A rare thriller indeed.' Jocelyn Clarke, The Sunday Tribune

Connolly's characters have substance beyond vehicles for horror, and this is what puts him ahead in a crowded genre race (What's On (Amazon Books))

'As the body count increases, Connolly introduces a chilling new villain and an age-old legend. Together they'll keep you on the edge of your seat. Don't read it alone! (Books)

'Darkness, violence and moral mayhem . . . exquisite repulsiveness' Sunday Independent, Dublin

'A new thriller that'll make the hair on the back of your neck rigid . . . like helplessly watching a Black Widow scuttle across your bed at the dead of night . . . a memorable flawed hero . . . New and exciting. Chilled? You will be.' Peterborough Evening Telegraph

Perhaps too rich in character, invention, and horror . . . There's poetry to this violence (Shots)

'An author ever more comfortable with the genre.' Irish Examiner

'The characters are strong and the pace, near perfect. It's not so much hard-boiled as noir boiled. The words dance to a rhythm that appears effortless.' Shots

'Gripping all the way through . . . so descriptive that you can see and feel the characters.' The Irish World

'More than capable of beating the Americans at their own game. . . Connolly's sinister, haunted woods match King for atmosphere, while his macabre set pieces would also give King a run for his money.' Inverness Courier

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Having read "Every Dead Thing" and "Dark Hollow", I eagerly awaited the third book featuring Charlie Parker. I was not disapointed! From the moment I began reading the Epilogue I was gripped. My skin was crawling and I knew I had to read on until the dramatic conclusion. This has been my favourite of the Charlie Parker novels but prepare yourself for the ending which literally sent shivers down my spine. NOT FOR THOSE SUFFERING FROM ARACHNAPHOBIA!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Since last January, when I read John Connolly's first novel, EVERY DEAD THING, I've quickly become an avid fan of his. His second book, DARK HOLLOW, confirmed my belief that here was an extremely talented writer who deserves a much larger "fan" base. Now, having read his third novel in the "Charlie 'Bird' Parker" series (since this hasn't been published in the United States yet, I had to purchase a British edition), I know that this is an author who's destined for the "bestseller" lists. He's simply that good! In THE KILLING KIND, Charlie Parker returns to investigate the death of a young college student, Grace Peltier, and her connection to a religious organization known as the Fellowship. It seems that she was writing a thesis on small group of religious zealots, the Aroostook Baptists, and their mysterious disappearance during the year of 1963. Her search for information led her to the Fellowship and its founder, Carter Paragon. Shortly there after, she was found in her car alongside a dirt road with a revolver in her hand, a bullet in her head, and a Bible at her side. Neither Grace's father, Curtis, or Jack Mercier, a friend of the family, believe that she committed suicide, and they want our New England P.I. to find the killer. As Charlie begins his investigation, however, a mass grave containing the skeletal remains of the Aroostook Baptists is accidentally discovered along a riverbank in northern Maine, and this also seems to be tied in somehow with the Fellowship. When Charlie starts to probe a little too deeply into the workings of this supposedly religious organization, Mr. Pudd (a man who's evil in every sense of the word and loves to kill his victims with deadly spiders) and his mute, female assistant are sent to warn him off the case. Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Connolly just keeps getting better 27 May 2001
After reading both Every Dead Thing and Dark Hollow, I was really keen to get my hands on this one, and was really blown away by it. Despite not being a 'horror writer', John Connolly comes up with the scariest, most dangerous characters imaginable. Pudd makes the bad guys in most other novels look lame in comparison. The development of Charlie Parker over the course of the three books so far is excellent, and the acceptance he displays of his connections with the dead is a central thread of thisbook. Being a fussy reader, I have gotten very bored/disillusioned with much of the writing out there today: Michael Connelly, James Patterson, Patricia Cornwall??? Forget them. Together with Lee Child, John Connolly is showing these authors how it should be done. Don't miss out.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SPIDERS, MASS GRAVES & MAYHEM! 31 Aug 2001
By A Customer
Connolly just gets better and better. I'd say this is his best book yet, with Charlie changing in character as the series progresses.
I LOVED this book, just as I loved MYSTIC RIVER by DENNIS LEHANE (more complex) and POWER OF ATTORNEY by Dexter Dias (more thrilling). Read them all - and forget about your beauty sleep!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent again ... 13 Jun 2001
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
... I don't tend to write reviews (well my first time actually) but would like to say that I've now read ALL of this series so far and am still loving every word. The characters are so totally well portrayed and described - and I'm hooked on Angel and Louis ... like others have said before me - they could well deserve a book of their own - and a movie would be nice as well as another book in the series too :)
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE! 15 April 2002
By A Customer
OK, maybe I have a taste for the macabre but I love this book. For some reason John Connolly has escaped my notice before now, apparently there are two more like this already so John Connolly addicts might be getting blase, but this book hit me like a chair leg applied violently to the left temple.
You've probably read the plot summary already so I'll just say that this is on the borderline between detective fiction and horror, blending the two genres seamlessly with a thread of the supernatural.
The villains are really evil, especially Elmer Fudd... sorry, Elias Pudd, who is my favourite fictional villain ever. There's plenty of gore, a real atmosphere of menace and a number of genuine shocks.
My only real complaint about the book is that it gives spiders, those most mild-mannered and inoffensive of creatures, a bad press. But to deduct a whole star for that would just be unreasonable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, I forgot my holiday 28 Sep 2006
I am quickly becoming a fan of John Connolly's writing, his books chill you enough to draw you in and at the same time are witty enough to keep most readers interested.

The Killing Kind was the first book I read by Connolly and I wasnt dissapointed. I bought it before going on holiday and had finished it by the time I got back three days later, most of my holiday was spent with my nose in it.

Connolly's writing is suspenseful and at the end of every chapter something else, something new is hinted at. The Killing Kind is no different, the bad guy Mr Pudd is revealed to you early in the book leaving his threat hanging over the detective, Charlie Parker till the end.

Mr Pudd is apparently in league with a cult of known as the Fellowship, an organisation linked with many murders and with likely knowledge of the murders of another cult the Aristook Baptists. During his investigation into the Fellowship, Parker makes new dangerous enemies which want rid of the threat he brings to their operation.

A brilliant book worth a look for anyone new to Connolly or if youve read any of his other books this one wont dissapoint you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars maMayo fan
As usual Charlie Parker Angel and Louis end up in a dark place though you might see them as far from innocent they all have a dark past suggest that books a read in order of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Philly
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant Book
this is really chilling and i loved every page. Charlie again with his side kicks Angel and Louis the
assassin are along for the ride and what a ride it is. Read more
Published 1 month ago by eileen.d.
5.0 out of 5 stars Just love Charlie Parker
Discovered Charlie in book 8, so had to go back and buy all 12 (including the new one in Hard Back), love them, mainly Angel & Louis.
Published 2 months ago by MR. SHAUN. K. DAVIS
3.0 out of 5 stars slow starter
Found it a bit slow to start with, but once the speed picked up I couldn't put it down.
Good read.
Published 2 months ago by brad
5.0 out of 5 stars craig
Superb , another great Charlie Parker Story , if you don't like spiders then this is not the book for you .
Published 3 months ago by Craig Watts
5.0 out of 5 stars The Killing Kind
I'm now hooked on the Charlie Parker series and this book didn't disappoint. You really get to know and feel for the characters. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Maria Ransom
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling
I haven't read loads of books so I'm still pretty ignorant, but for what it's worth, this book was so difficult to put down. I loved every page. Read more
Published 5 months ago by JamesTheCat
5.0 out of 5 stars Another cracking good read
I've gushed enough about John Connolly's skill in other reviews of the Charlie Parker series. Start at Every Dead Thing and work your way through the series - but be warned these... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Julie Riseborough
4.0 out of 5 stars John Connolly - The Killing Kind
This is the third book featuring Connolly's no nonsense NYPD cop cum private eye Charlie Parker. This time around Parker is investigating the apparent suicide of a young local... Read more
Published 7 months ago by molko
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
I am in the midst of reading the Charlie Parker series and am never dissappointed! I will re-surface at the end! MORE PLEASE!
Published 7 months ago by P. Mills
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