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The Whisperers: The Ninth Charlie Parker Thriller [Paperback]

John Connolly
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
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Book Description

20 Jan 2011
Charlie Parker returns in the chilling new thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author of THE LOVERS. The border between Maine and Canada is porous. Anything can be smuggled across it: drugs, cash, weapons, people. Now a group of disenchanted former soldiers has begun its own smuggling operation, and what is being moved is infinitely stranger and more terrifying than anyone can imagine. Anyone, that is, except private detective Charlie Parker, who has his own intimate knowledge of the darkness in men's hearts. But the soldiers' actions have attracted the attention of the reclusive Herod, a man with a taste for the strange. And where Herod goes, so too does the shadowy figure that he calls the Captain. To defeat them, Parker must form an uneasy alliance with a man he fears more than any other, the killer known as the Collector ...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (20 Jan 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444711180
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444711189
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,635 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

When so many writers depressingly tread the same familiar territory, it's particularly invigorating when one comes across someone like John Connolly. To some degree, this immensely talented Irish writer (who, refreshingly free of parochialism, sets his books in the USA), utilises tropes and concepts that other crime/thriller novelists have used, but synthesises and transforms them in strange and quirky new ways, creating a rich panoply of literary effects that are very much his own territory.

His long-term protagonist, detective Charlie Parker, makes a welcome return in The Whisperers. The setting is the border between Canada and Maine, at which the concept of control is fairly nebulous. There is a regular traffic across the border of everything from drugs and armaments to people and money. One particular smuggling initiative is markedly different from the rest: a cadre of ex-soldiers are smuggling something very unusual indeed, and it is up to the battered but resilient private eye Charlie Parker to take on some dangerous opponents. But there is something else in the mix here: the mysterious individual known as Herod, and his equally enigmatic companion The Captain. Too much even for John Connolly's tough hero? Perhaps... and that is also why the terrifying murderer known as the Collector may be inveigled into a strange partnership with Parker.

The customary mix of Chandlerian crime-solving and minatory Gothic atmosphere is fully in evidence here, and John Connolly's instinct for this kind of material remains as unerring as ever. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


A tour de force finale in a book which will sure be a bestseller this summer. It well deserves to be. (Independent on Sunday)

This is one of Connolly's darker, scarier novels, all the more effective for the way the supernatural elements arise organically out of the realistic detail (Guardian)

Connolly subtly combines the supernatural with the traditional crime story to superb effect. And in Herod, a man being eaten by cancer, he may have created his creepiest villain yet. (Sun)

Another creepy thriller from a modern master (Daily Mirror)

Brilliant, terrifying and effortlessly seductive, I defy anyone to put this thriller down - it is sensational. (Daily Mail)

As ever with Connolly, the macabre narrative is couched in prose that is often allusive and poetic. (Barry Forshaw, Independent)

His latest plot is a clever mixture of quest and chase, written in prose that unfolds at warp speed (Observer)

Supernatural thriller by Dublin's finest. (Herald Magazine)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly his finest yet 23 May 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
With The Whisperers John Connolly continues the work he started 12 years earlier in Every Dead Thing to blur the boundaries between the crime novel and the horror novel. He has achieved that blend brilliantly in what may well be his most satisfying novel so far.

We start in the war-zone of Iraq and in particular, a museum vault, within which a treasure hoard is hidden, including one item more important but also potentially more dangerous than all the rest.

Charlie Parker, with his private investigators license recently reinstated after some "trouble" (see previous books in the series) is hired to investigate the death of a soldier. He soon finds out that this death is also linked with the deaths of several other recently returned Iraq veterans. Initially dismissed as a result of post traumatic stress, Parker begins to uncover a much deeper and darker mystery involving that mysterious box.

John Connolly's tales are always populated with some marvellous characters but here he excels himself with a huge range of interesting, diverse and downright nasty individuals. All are drawn in the same pen picture style that Stephen King uses so well are all are immediately brought to life through their actions and dialogue. So we meet Mexican drug lords, less than honest policeman, young bloods trying to make their mark and of course the soldiers and their families. Beyond these players, however, are a whole range of much darker characters. Herod, a deeply nasty individual tortured by illness and demons. The Collector, again a character from previous books, but this time given more life as he continues his mission to collect souls. And then there is The Captain, the thing behind the glass, everyone's nightmare realised.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The horror! The horror! 30 April 2010
By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER
Some old demons are revisited and some new ones unleashed in John Connolly's latest Charlie Parker investigation, and when I say demons ...well, like it or not - and it's not to everyone's taste - the darker supernatural flavour that has coloured the author's thriller novels and is evident in his alternate dark-fantasy works is even more to the fore in The Whisperers.

Here Parker is called upon to investigate an ex-soldier, Joel Tobias, who served in Iraq and came back pretty beat-up and tormented by the experience. Bennett Patchett, an influential figure around Portland, Maine, the owner of a well-known diner, doesn't believe however that this is any excuse for his mistreatment of one of his waitresses who lives with Tobias. That's the story anyway, but what Bennett really wants to find out is if Tobias's cross-border transportation trips to Canada might have anything to do with the suicide of his son, Damian Patchett, also an ex-Iraq veteran who served in the same unit with Tobias, but who had seemed, up until his untimely death, to have come through it unscathed. Dealing with a lot of tough ex-military types, well rehearsed in torture techniques, who don't want a private detective probing too deeply into their business of smuggling precious ancient treasures looted from the Museum of Baghdad, Parker has to call on the service of two old friends, Louis and Angel, to look after his back.

There are a few other characters, collectors, some old and some new with Biblical names, who have an interest in the trade of valuable, ancient Mesopotamian, Sumerian and Babylonian antiquities, all of them inevitably quite scary and ruthless in their business dealings and the artifacts themselves are supposed to have certain arcane occult qualities that they are eager to possess.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bordering on 3* 22 Jun 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Don't get me wrong, I have all John Connolly's books, and have been to a couple of book signings. JC is by far my favourite author.

But I just couldn't get The Whisperers. I wonder whether the Parker-era has run its course. Anyone familiar with JC's earlier books will understand my sentiments when compared to Dark Hollow or the Killing Kind.

I thought the concept of the plot was good - demonic spirits inside a antique stolen from an Iraqi museum by US soldiers. I failed to connect to any of the characters this time - Parker seemed a bit on the edge of the story many times; Angel and Louis seemed to make up the numbers; and the darkness of previous stories wasn't there. The only 'flashback' was Jimmy Jewel - that showed promise until he met a untimely end.

John - if you read this, apologies for my review of your first book I didn't 'get'. Back to grass roots for the next please!!

3* if it was anyone else. 4* as JC is still my favourite author.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars slow burner 7 Jun 2010
I've read all the Parker books and confess I found this one harder to get through than the rest. Alot of people seem to think this is the best yet. Afraid I found it a bit too fragmented and 'bitty' until maybe half way through and I did put it down a few times, although always intended to go back to it. Not until three quarters of the way through did I really find myself compelled to keep turning the pages. Don't get me wrong, its well worth a read, though it is pretty dark and could do with more humour in places to lighten it. It certainly takes Parker's story much further into some pretty dark realms than Connolly has taken him before and there's certainly continuity with the villainous characters. Connolly is expert at creating nasty characters. The ending is very well done, although goodness knows what kind of dark places Parker will have to go next, gonna need a very strong torch for that! I would add one note of caution though. From the advertising blurb from the book jacket, I was expecting interaction between Parker and the Collector alot earlier in the book. We meet them separately fairly early but not together. When they finally meet, it is well written but all I'll say is don't expect, as I did, early, or even 'mid-book' interaction. Their meeting does come but it takes its time. To sum up, I felt it a bit too fragmented and even a bit 'plodding' for a long time, but from about three quarters of the way through, it really picks up. I've given it four stars but to be honest if there was a three and a half option I'd have gone for that. It definitely leaves you wanting to next book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking read
Blows you away so much that I had forgotten how good Connolly's books are. I went back and reread them all again.
Published 29 days ago by SuperAnge
5.0 out of 5 stars whisperers positively shouted
This is the book that ties together all the previous ones. At last we are given explanations for the troubled existence of Charlie Parker. Read more
Published 2 months ago by M Hyde
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thriller and then some.
Any one buying these books is in for a real roller coaster ride. I love every one of them and have read some twice. The White Road is one of my all time favourites. Read more
Published 2 months ago by eileen.d.
4.0 out of 5 stars Charlie Parker series
Another in the series involving Connolly's detective Charlie Parker. Combines Parker's investigation with the paranormal and makes for a great read.
Published 3 months ago by Longarm
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I have been reading the Charlie Parker series for a while now and have found every book to be excellent and well written. If you like the other books then this is a must.
Published 6 months ago by Johnny88
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
Purchased this for my father. He said it was an excellent read. It was a very reasonable price and arrived on time as indicated.
Published 7 months ago by Mrs K A Rees
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE Charlie Parker!
John Connolly is AMAZING!!!! He has an amazing writing style which captures characters and places brilliantly, making you feel as if you're there. AWESOME!
Published 7 months ago by Mrs. R. H. Chance
5.0 out of 5 stars The Whisperers by John Connolly
Excellent, well packaged and superb delivery from the time/date it was ordered. Many thanks and I would certainly buy from this source again.
Published 8 months ago by Lorraine Eagles
5.0 out of 5 stars my favourite author
i just love all his books . They keep me enthralled from start to finish . He is one of my favourites along with Lee child
Published 8 months ago by linda dawes
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