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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "He thinks he is a demon"
I discovered John Connolly when I read "Bad Men" and the experience was extremely pleasant, so I decided that I had to read the books in the Charlie "Bird" Parker series. In this first installment I found a novel that blends the mystery and horror genders in a superb manner and that keeps you guessing on what will happen next. One of the aspects I enjoyed most was that...
Published on 14 Jun. 2005 by Sebastian Fernandez

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The core of brutality
This is not my genre of choice it has to be said, but as it was a book club choice, I had to give the book a fair chance. Charlie Parker is introduced to us in this book, which is the first of a subsequent series. It is always best to start at the beginning of such series as I feel you get a better understanding of characters and background. Charlie Parker has left the...
Published 19 months ago by Jo D'Arcy


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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "He thinks he is a demon", 14 Jun. 2005
By 
Sebastian Fernandez (Tampa, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Every Dead Thing: A Charlie Parker Thriller: 1 (Paperback)
I discovered John Connolly when I read "Bad Men" and the experience was extremely pleasant, so I decided that I had to read the books in the Charlie "Bird" Parker series. In this first installment I found a novel that blends the mystery and horror genders in a superb manner and that keeps you guessing on what will happen next. One of the aspects I enjoyed most was that the main character is not one of those good guys you see in most mystery novels, who are always working towards a good cause and have no negative feelings towards others. Charlie is more human than that, and this carries with it a desire for revenge that will not be quenched easily.
Why does he want revenge? Because his wife and three year-old daughter were brutally murdered and desecrated by a man that can only be considered a demon. Related to this event is that we see the author immerse the novel into the horror genre through the use of gory details about the murders by introducing a detail version of the police and autopsy reports. The descriptions are precise and Connolly does not pull any punches, going straight for a knockout of our endurance to take the effects of evil.
Charlie was a cop at the time of the murders and had a problem with alcohol, but after the terrible shock, he left the force, became a private eye, and quitted cold turkey. Seven months later he is working on a case involving dangerous guys, who use bullets that can go through body armor and have no qualms about killing anyone that crosses their path. Concomitantly, Charlie is in constant search of the killer of his family, and the fact that the monster contacts him, gives him greater strength to pursue his desire for revenge.
I like horror, so I have no problems with reading about the gruesome aspects of the murders described in the novel, but I understand that some people may not feel comfortable with these, so be aware of this aspect. The novel that starts this series also has a nice pace, which is helped by the constant switching back and forth between the two cases Parker is involved in. You will also get a few twists that will keep you on your toes until the conclusion. Overall, it is a book that left me eager to keep reading about this fascinating character and move along with this series.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Silence of the Lambs" meets "Exquisite Corpse". A Must!!, 22 Jan. 1999
By A Customer
This is a gut-churning read, the prose dragging you from page to page, reluctant to put it down; yet, you need to take breaks to recover from the sheer horror Connolly portrays.
This is no ordinary crime thriller. Corpses are left strewn around Connolly's landscape like pebbles on a beach; and the corpses are not ordinary. You need to read the book to understand this point.
The plotting is complex, the story lavish. Comparisons with Silence of the Lambs is inevitible, but I found that large portions of the book were redolent of Poppy Z Brite's equally gruesome thriller "Exquisite Corpse". The New Orleans setting was partly responsible for this; the author's wallowing in gore was also a contributor.
Don't read this book if you're sqeamish for you'll never sleep soundly again.
My only concern as a reader is what my enjoyment of the book says about me; or indeed about the psychopatholgy of an author who can create such horror.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping - but seems like 2 books in 1 volume?, 31 Oct. 2003
Every Dead Thing is an unusual thriller. There are 2 distinct threads in the book - one where the hero Charlie Parker is trying to find a missing person and then uncovers a case of serial child abuse/killing. The second covers the chase for a serial killer who had murdered Parkers wife and family a year or two prior to the first thread.
The link between both stories does seem a little disjointed as if the author decided that as this was his first novel he wanted to include as many storylines as possible - because both portions can really be read without referencing them against each other.
The relationships drawn between the characters and the way in which Parker moves from the side of the lawful community to working with hitmen and organised crime is well drawn and does bring you into his world. There is a subplot which has supernatural overtones - which isn't really resolved in the course or explained. I preferred this as it kept the story just in the relams of believability.
The murders and forensic reports about the bodies are quite graphic and not for the fainthearted, so be prepared for some gruesome imagery and unsettling ideas.
Don't believe the publishers hype about this book being better than Silence of the Lambs or Hannibal. Every Dead Thing is an entertaining read and doesn't need the comparisons.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A RELENTLESS THRILLER OF VIOLENCE AND SUSPENSE!!!, 10 Sept. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Every Dead Thing: A Charlie Parker Thriller: 1 (Paperback)
John Connolly's debut novel, EVERY DEAD THING, is the story of former NYPD detective Charlie "Bird" Parker, a man who has experienced tragedy as few other people have. While still a homicide detective and an alcoholic, he had a fight with his wife one night and left the house in anger. He stopped in at the local pub, got drunk, and then returned home several hours late to find that his wife and young daughter had been skinned alive by a madman. At first a suspect for the killing of his own family, Parker's alibi holds up, but in time he is nevertheless forced to leave the police department. He stops drinking and makes it his life ambition to track down the man who slaughtered his wife and daughter. Clues lead him to New Orleans where an old voodoo woman tells him about a serial killer known as the Traveling Man. This is the person Parker has been searching for. The Traveling Man has killed countless times and will certainly kill again, unless someone puts a stake through his evil heart. In the meantime, Parker is asked by a former colleague to track down a missing person...a woman who's younger sister was murdered by a serial killer years before. The case leads Parker to Haven, Virginia and puts him on the trail of an atrocious murderer who's been killing children for over thirty years. Parker will soon discover that this animal knows the identity of the person who killed his family. Eventually, Parker will head back to Louisiana and-caught in the middle of a bloodbath between two rivaling mobsters-face the Traveling Man in final confrontation of life and death. EVERY DEAD THING is a thick novel of intricate structure, combining three plots that are interconnected with each other. The first deals with Parker's quest for revenge as he hunts down the Traveling Man, while the second branches off into a journey of utter darkness and abomination, beginning with the disappearance of Catherine Demeter and leading to a monster who gains unimaginable pleasure by torturing and killing little children. The third plot deals with Parker's eventual involvement with the New Orleans' mob and how it ties in with his search for the Traveling Man. Complex in scope and underlying subplots, EVERY DEAD THING will not only shock and surprise you, but will also ask you to think about the very nature of evil and its place in our society. This is definitely not a novel for the lighthearted or squeamish. It's filled with an abundance of violence and death as well as an array of richly drawn characters that reek of unadulterated evil and will terrify you with their utter believability. Even the heroes (Charlie Parker and his friends, Angel and Louis) are touched by a certain degree of darkness. They're not saints fighting for the goodness of mankind, but are rather killers who are more than willing to do whatever it takes to rid the world of these soulless individuals. John Connolly has written a powerful novel that is entertaining, thought provoking, and truly frightening. It will leave you wondering about the hundreds of human monsters that hide within our midst, hoping that there are men like Charlie Parker who aren't afraid to take these creatures down the hard way. For those of you who enjoy the works of Thomas Harris and James Patterson, pick up a copy of EVERY DEAD THING. After you finish reading it, I guarantee that you'll rush to get the other two books (DARK HOLLOW & THE KILLING KIND) in the "Charlie Parker" series. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Serial murders most foul, 5 Feb. 2004
By 
Mr. Joe (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Every Dead Thing: A Charlie Parker Thriller: 1 (Paperback)
Once upon a time, Charlie "Bird" Parker was an NYPD cop with a drinking problem. One night, while out on a binge, his wife and daughter are butchered in a manner so horrific that it defies description here. (This is, after all, a family website.) Leaving the force, Charlie's obsession is to track down the killer, since identified as The Traveling Man.
This crime novel is actually a two-for-one deal. A large part of the book's first half is devoted to Parker's investigation of a missing person incident, taken on at the request of an old pal on the NYPD. It bears no relation to his search for his family's executioner, but mainly serves to acquaint the reader with the larger concept of "serial killer", and introduce several players that remain in the plot to the novel's end, including Bird's disheveled FBI pal, Woolrich. (I didn't know "disheveled" was in the FBI dress code. Where's J. Edgar when you need him?)
This is a hard-boiled, gritty book - a triumph of a first novel by author John Connolly. He introduces us to villains that are truly nasty in the scariest sense, and who make Vlad the Impaler look like a kindly grandfather in comparison. In any case, the identity of The Traveling Man is not resolved until twenty pages from the end, and involves an eye-popping plot twist that will have you looking forward to Connolly's next offering. However, if his subsequent thrillers continue to cast such monsters, I don't know if my imagination can take it. I'm getting to be a sissy in my old age.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great thriller you won't want to put down, 27 Jan. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Every Dead Thing: A Charlie Parker Thriller: 1 (Paperback)
I can't believe what people are saying here about this book. Normally I agree with reviewers but now I have to disagree. This is a great book and keeps you glued to the action. The author has a unique way of describing people, scenes and situations. OK, sometimes he goes a little overboard, but on the whole he gets his desired effect. The author gets so deep into the characters and especially Charlie Parker's, that sometimes you think that Connelly _is_ Parker. A must read ... I recommend this book wholeheartedly as does the friend who gave it to me.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, brooding and metaphysically savage, 13 Aug. 2006
By 
O E J - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Every Dead Thing: A Charlie Parker Thriller: 1 (Paperback)
My copy of this novel is festooned with critical acclaims spread across the first four pages together with the front and back covers, just one example of which is "the most terrifying thriller since Hannibal". Several other professional reviewers mention the parallels between this and the work of Thomas Harris, so it was hugely hyped up before I read the first line of the novel itself, and expectations were accordingly sky-high. If anything, all these extracts - designed, no doubt, to attract the passing eye of the potential buyer in the bookstore or airport - serve to disadvantage the author, especially for a debut novel such as this is. Now, as I cast my mind back over the past few days as I completed my reading, I can at last confirm that the universal acclaim is vindicated, and for anyone who reads these reviews on Amazon as a means of assisting in their decision whether or not to buy a particular book, then let me simply say this : Buy it, you will be more than glad you did.

As others here have suggested, Every Dead Thing, at 160,000 words or more, could have been a little shorter and might have been the better for it. I am of the understanding that John Connolly wrote this on a part-time basis and took many months (possibly years) to complete it, and in a way this is shown in the occasional changes of direction and cutting-off of characters and events long before the halfway stage of the book. In essence its storyline is simple : good guy hunts bad guy, although it could equally be said that it is a story of a bad guy tracking down a good guy and you want the baddie to win. The only thing missing from the tale and which, in my view, leaves it falling short of being worthy of comparison to The Silence of the Lambs, is a central character with the unprecedented charisma of Hannibal Lecter. With all the prominent references to Thomas Harris' creation in and around the sleeves of Every Dead Thing, this is something that will possibly disappoint you. On the other hand, there is compensation in the form of beautiful prose throughout, which despite the subject matter manages to sound poetic and strangely uplifting. "The Travelling Man" everyone wants to find (especially the hero Charlie "Bird" Parker) may lack the magnetic personality of Lecter but he may be his intellectual superior, such is his obsession with centuries-old history of anatomical dissection and his attempts to display his victims in keeping with (for example) Renaissance works of art.

Not blessed with a photographic memory, I found myself forgetting about the significance of one or two characters who only earn occasional mention; I could not begin to guess at the number of characters in this story but in hindsight I would have benefited from writing their names down on a piece of paper together with the role they play and their relevance to the story-line. Some characters, such as the organised crime 'dons', are crafted with a dedication to detail that is refreshing and most welcome, yet curiously their importance in the story as a whole is relatively minor. It is perhaps these details that could have been scaled down, sad to say, in the interests of keeping the pace of the story more consistent.

There are many colourful characters throughout the tale, not all of them survive of course because this is a novel of serial murder and if I were to guess at the number of victims I would surely underestimate the actual figure. It is a tale of gruesome and psychopathic violence although relatively few of the killings are described 'as they happen' - for the majority it is a case of discovering their bodies. Part of the story takes place in and around New York, but the bulk of it is dedicated to New Orleans and the state of Louisiana, of which I learned quite a bit thanks to Mr Connolly. I wonder if this tale could have been told in the wake of Hurricane Katrina...

Five stars, then, for a darkly violent yet vividly detailed masterpiece of love, loss, regret and retribution.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 29 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Every Dead Thing: A Charlie Parker Thriller: 1 (Paperback)
This guy really knows how to capture your imagination. I used to have to leave the book outside the bedroom door to get to sleep!! This is the sort of book that you wish you hadn't read yet so that you could have that experience all over again (if that makes sense).

This guy is from Ireland, but he has obviously done some serious research, as he sets his novels in america with the ease of someone who has spent his whole life there.

You have to buy this book..seriously.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The core of brutality, 26 Dec. 2013
By 
Jo D'Arcy (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is not my genre of choice it has to be said, but as it was a book club choice, I had to give the book a fair chance. Charlie Parker is introduced to us in this book, which is the first of a subsequent series. It is always best to start at the beginning of such series as I feel you get a better understanding of characters and background. Charlie Parker has left the police force, his drinking had taken over his life and he loses his wife and child in horrific circumstances. he wants justice for what has happened and when he is asked to investigate the case of a missing girl it brings him in very close contact with information that could help solve the death of his wife and child.

Parker becomes involved in the other side of the law and has to befriend people he would have normally arrested in his previous role as he investigates the missing person case. But as that is solved, he finds the path he is going down is taking him to the person who killed his wife and daughter; someone known as The Travelling Man.

Parker is a loner, but despite grieving for his wife he finds himself attracted to a female pathologist who becomes embroiled in the world that Parker is now inhabiting and strives to find the answers to the questions that everyone is asking - who is the Travelling Man and when will this killing spree end.

This is not a novel for the faint heart, the body count is into double figures well before half way through the book and I did get rather confused with the number of characters and how they all related when they then turn up dead some few pages later. This book is divided into four parts and the story for me was wrapped up after part one and I could not see where else this was going and how anything that had happened could possibly be related.

I admit to struggling with the book and was rather confused at times, I think this was down to the sheer number of characters, their names and the American setting. However, I persevered and actually had an inkling about the conclusion and whilst I was not spot on I was certainly far off and for that I applaud myself as it means something of the book must have got under my skin.

If you are a thriller lover and you like the thrills of your reading to be somewhat graphic and gruesome then you will enjoy this book. It is clear that the writer has done his research and has applied it correctly throughout the book, especially for a first novel. This is a book where you enter a world which is very different from British Crime Fiction and is something quite unbelievable but you keep reading to try to understand everything in this dark and evil world where every couple of pages there seems to be a dead thing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gruesome but gripping read!, 11 July 2008
This review is from: Every Dead Thing: A Charlie Parker Thriller: 1 (Paperback)
John Connolly is a new author to me but one that I am adding to my reading list. After reading the first in the Charlie 'Bird' Parker series I am impressed enough to seek out the rest.

I really don't know what took me so long to pick up on this author (EDT was copyrighted in 1999) but now that I have survived the first novel there's nothing to stop me.

You get the feeling of being slightly overwhelmed at first by the number of characters being introduced into the tale, but this becomes easier as the book continues. All the characters have their own tale in which they make part of the whole, slotting in quite neatly. Once they have had their moment, they do tend to only be mentioned periodically depending on the link in the general storyline. The novel seems to be a mix of tales that bind together to form a background canvas, so it's not a straight forward 'he said, she said' read. I had to read slightly slower than usual to make sure that I got all the threads in my head and didn't miss any small clues.

Connolly seems to have researched the area of New Orleans (as was) but I couldn't help but make comparisions about the NO of then, 1999, and how it could have changed now in the present day. My geography of the area is non-existant and I had to rely on Connolly's descriptions entirely. These were comprehensive without becoming boring and laboured.

What also seemed complete and very descriptive were the mutilation of the characters in the novel! Gruesome, but totally believable. Again I would have said very well researched, cleverly executed (excuse the pun) but not for the faint hearted or easily disturbed.
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Every Dead Thing: A Charlie Parker Thriller: 1
Every Dead Thing: A Charlie Parker Thriller: 1 by John Connolly (Paperback - 10 Oct. 1999)
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