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The White Road [Paperback]

John Connolly
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Jan 2003

In South Carolina, a young black man faces the death penalty for the rape and murder of Marianne Larousse, daughter of one of the wealthiest men in the state. It's a case that nobody wants to touch, a case with its roots in old evil, and old evil is private detective Charlie Parker's speciality. But Parker is about to make a descent into the abyss, a confrontation with dark forces that threaten all that Parker holds dear: his lover, his unborn child, even his soul. . . For in a prison cell, a fanatical preacher is about to take his revenge on Charlie Parker, its instruments the very men that Parker is hunting, and a strange, hunched creature that keeps its own secrets buried by a riverbank: the undiscovered killer Cyrus Nairn. Soon, all of these figures will face a final reckoning in southern swamps and northern forests, in distant locations linked by a single thread, a place where the paths of the living and the dead converge.

A place known only as the White Road.

Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New Ed edition (6 Jan 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340821205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340821206
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 11 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 372,315 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

John Connolly's harrowing Charlie Parker adventures continue in The White Road, a bleak modern gothic tale detailing the tortured detective's metaphorical journey into the unthought of depths of the underworld as he follows a trail of horrors in America's deep South. Doggedly loyal to old friends and stubbornly supportive of lost causes, Parker encounters his own ghosts in a place where atmosphere alone would murder hope. The chilling preacher Faulkner is again a dark presence in the background while Parker's friends, Angel and Louis, damaged and deadly, follow their own avenging trail. There can be no greater compliment to Connolly's powers of description than to say that no US writer could improve on the Irish journalist's masterly summoning of the roots of American regional evil and sense of place. Superb storytelling that binds diverse and hypnotic strands of plot with Biblical overtones and fury. The villains are larger than life and diabolically unforgettable: from the strange and menacing Mr Kittim to deformed killer Cyrus Nairn, both of whom lead Parker down one shadowy road after another. Compelling adventures from start to finish, if the very stuff of waking nightmares. The dark side has never proven so damn seductive. --Maxim Jakubowski --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Praise for THE WHITE ROAD:

'One of the most distinguished practitioners of US crime-writing. The book synthesises literate, poetic writing with scarifying grue.'


. . . brilliantly entertaining . . . Connolly is a gifted writer who leaves you like a hungry kid begging for more. (Voyeur (Australia))

Connolly has honed the private eye's instincts into a sensibility of palpable evil that makes a strong core to this intelligent thriller. An assured, sophisticated tale . . . exciting but bittersweet. (The Times)

A thriller, from a great talent, that stands out from the crowd. (Huddersfield Daily Examiner)

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)

A thrilling read. (Lincolnshire Echo)

PI Charlie Parker is a hero of uncommon depth and compulsions. (Publishers Weekly (USA))

. . . his imagination is undeniably fertile . . . a powerful piece of American gothic with an arresting double ending.' (The Sunday Times)

One of the fastest-paced and most complex thrillers . . . A cracking read from an excellent and highly original writer. . . pacy, blackly humorous and with a nasty edge. (Sunday Independent, Dublin)

Dark, menacing, yet at times almost poetic, The White Road enthrals . . . literate, yet fast-paced (Cambridgeshire Journal)

'A wonderfully written literary work . . . A must read for Parker fans, and fans of well written prose. (Deadly Pleasures)

Consummate crime writing and chilling suspense (Crime File)

Another masterpiece (Belfast Telegraph)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poetic prose and relentless murder 1 Nov 2006
It has taken four attempts, but now I am convinced that John Connolly is the real thing, a writer of extraordinary talent and one who will have you humming the tunes to his metaphysical imagery. Well, almost. This is the fourth in the Charlie `Bird' Parker series (following Every Dead Thing, Dark Hollow and The Killing Kind) and he just gets better and better with each offering, so much so that I have elevated Connolly to one of my most enjoyable authors in my own little library of personal favourites.

If only there wasn't so much killing! Just as in the three previous outings, we have central character and private investigator Parker, his wonderful back-up crew Louis and Angel, and his girlfriend Rachel. Apart from them, almost everyone else dies - and there are a lot of others! Parker's not very often directly responsible, but as seems to be the trend in this series, death follows him around every single corner and although the majority of the victims are baddies, I am beginning to find this widespread carnage just a little wearisome. But there are so many pleasures within the pages of this book that many readers won't mind the violence at all, for Connolly's writing is for the most part wonderfully stylish, his sense of imagery masterful and his research into his given subjects - be they people, locations or wildlife - is simply awesome.

This is Connolly's tightest and most coherent novel yet, with an unwavering plot-line that for once does not include any mafia figures - possibly because he killed them all off in the previous three novels, I guess. We learn, at last, of the makings of Louis and Angel many years before, the better to understand what makes them who they are today.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking. Literally. 23 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This is the best of the four. Every Dead Thing was a good read, but overcomplicated with too many characters and plots. Dark Hollow was much better. ANd even that warranted five stars. Then came The Killing Kind which was stupendously excellent. The best thriller of 2001. Even better than Dark Hollow. But now comes The White Road. And it's even better.
John Connolly's prose is simply wonderful. It is superbly lyrical, and his descriptions are superbs. I was in awe when he described a world as being "painted on glass". He has many sentences like that, which stop you in your tracks and make you realise how truly [darkly] beautiful his writing is.
Charlie Parker is back, and fighting for his life, and taht of his wife. the demonic preacher Faulkner is out for revenge, at the same as Parker is investigating the rape of the young daughter of the wealthy Earl Larousse. Accused is her black boyfriend, Atys Jones. But deep in the swamps something lurks...something connected to a long ago crime, and it wants vengeance...
This is a stunning novel. The darkness of it is haunting, and its complexity astounding, but JOhn COnnolly manages to tell you the tale in an easy to undderstand way.
It is truly chilling. The way Connolly blends subtle elements of horror in with a crime novel is awe-inspiring. And with this book he has created his most dark plot yet, yet it seems to contain a tiny snub of light shining through at points. At times the darkness becomes too much, and the light disappears as if gone forever, but at others, it reappears, burning brightly anew, and you can hold out some hope for Charlie Parker and his quest.
I cannot praise this novel highly enough. The resolution, and the way in which it is all brough together is brilliant, and the final solution shocking.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
If you enjoyed EVERY DEAD THING, DARK HOLLOW, and THE KILLING KIND, then you’re going to love John Connolly’s newest Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker novel, THE WHITE ROAD. It begins a few months following where THE KILLING KIND left off. Charlie and a pregnant, Rachel, are still together, living in a new home and contemplating the birth of their child. The Reverend Aaron Faulkner is soon to be tried for the murders of his congregation, as well as the deaths of several other people. When Charlie gets a phone call from an old friend, Elliot Norton, who’s now a lawyer in South Carolina and is representing a black man who has been wrongfully accused of murdering his white girlfriend, he finds himself hesitant on leaving Rachel alone while he goes to help. The word is that there isn’t enough evidence to convict Faulkner and that he may be released from prison in the immediate future. If so, neither Charlie nor Rachel will be safe. The good reverend believes in payback, and he intends to achieve revenge for the death of his murderous son and daughter by having the detective and his woman killed in the most vicious manner. Still, Charlie can’t ignore the plea for help from his friend in South Carolina. Arranging for Rachel to be watched, he flies down to the southern state and step into a boiling caldron filled with hate, racism, death, the Dixie Mafia, the Klan, and an evil force that wants retribution against him for the deaths of its many followers. As Charlie puts his life on the line by investigating the murder of Marianne Larousse and the long, dark history that has existed between her wealthy family and the family of her boyfriend, Atys Jones, he sets in motion a series of events that will lead to a blood bath on the grandest scale. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Mayo fan
I am glad to say that this author John Connolly writes original tales with Charlie Parker at the main character strongly supported by Angel and Louise not a book to put down easily
Published 23 days ago by Philly
4.0 out of 5 stars The White Road
I am a total follower of the Charlie Parker books , and I have to say I was a bit disappointed with this one . The plot was predictable and strung out with lots of fillers . Read more
Published 28 days ago by Craig Watts
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab
Another fab Charlie Parker book. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Already on next one in series. Addicted to it. Love Angel & Louis. Fabulous.
Published 1 month ago by Samantha
5.0 out of 5 stars Another well written page turner
John Connolly consistently writes with a unique blend of eloquence and immediacy. I like the way he develops each character and the waeving of the themes between each book. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Julie Riseborough
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Brilliant book! Couldn't put it down, gripping from the very first page. The Charlie parker series are by far the best books I have read!
Published 6 months ago by Em98
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down.
As with the previous Charlie Parker Books "The White Road" was so gripping I just couldn't put it down. Connolly is on to a winner with this series. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
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
4.0 out of 5 stars great read
I love John Connelly novels. This was in his usual style, eerie, descriptive, chilling. Not my favourite Charlie Parker story but still fantastic.
Published 7 months ago by Alison
5.0 out of 5 stars scary
very good series of books with a believable hero. the plot gets thicker and thicker with every page. can be a bit scary though
Published 8 months ago by Mr. W. J. D. Murphy
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the book,
I had read two of the other books and this one brought the whole series together, a really good story with a twist as always to make me wonder. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Judy
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