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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 31 July 2001
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. Since Charlie has never been one to heed the warnings of other people, he continues to plow ahead and soon people start dropping dead like flies around him. Even when Louis and Angel arrive to offer their help, they prove to be barely a match for our illusive Mr. Pudd and his mute partner in death. THE KILLING KIND delivers in much the same manner as Mr. Connolly's first two novels did. It has several plot lines coming from different directions that joined together into a very smoothly written, utterly satisfying ending. Both the familiar and new characters in the book ring true to the ear, especially the evil Mr. Pudd and the Jewish assassin known only as the Golem. Mr. Connolly has a remarkable skill in being able to create killers that stand out in ways other authors can only dream about. That's one the things that make this series so much fun to read. Another aspect is the main character of Charlie Parker. This is a unique individual trying to make amends for the life he's lived by righting the wrongs done to other people. It also helps that he has friends like Louis and Angel who aren't afraid of a little killing, if the situation calls for it. As the series continues to develop, Charlie and the love of his life, Rachel, are drawn closer and closer to each other, and there's a wonderful surprise on the last page of this novel that makes me eager to read THE WHITE ROAD when it's finally published. All in all, the three novels in the "Charlie Parker" series are fabulous reads that leave you wanting more. I suspect that like THE KILLING KIND, I will purchase his next book in a British edition, rather than wait one-to-two years for it to be published in the United States. The superb quality of his writing makes it well worth the trouble.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 10 March 2002
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 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
on 31 August 2001
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
on 13 June 2001
... 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 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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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2002
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2001
Of all Connolly's books this is the one least rooted in conventional thriller staples, existing as it does somewhere between a supernatural thriller and a good old-fashioned detective story. The mystery central to the plot does lend it an air of hollowness which is slowly filled as the various pieces fall into place, and while it does lack the bite and drive of EDT before it, it is still an outstanding novel in its own right. Connolly cements his writing credentials beyond measure, with the kind of rich prose you could happily pore over for hours ("I saw the veils tear and fall from his eyes in flames"), and a growing sense of uneasiness tempered with the violence that we now know his characters are capable of. Once again, he fixes a realistic face to the kind of evil you don't want to believe could exist and peppers the text with some fantastic characters (The Golem among them), crucially remaining true to his central characters, moving the plot in the directions he wants it to go while also acknowledging that some changes will have occurred since the end of "Dark Hollow". This is, all told, a fantastic, moving book which will gain much when re-read, and the reasons behind what happens are known from the outset. When the series becomes a series (as opposed to a trilogy) with the next book, Connolly will be able to take his place alongside other such "series" greats as Robert Crais, Michael Connelly, James Lee Burke and Ian Rankin with pride. And he deserves it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I came across John Connolly through other peoples recommendations and am very glad I did. He is a fine writer indeed and has created a truly fantastic character in Charlie Parker.
There are few books that have the ability to chill me and this was one of them. Its the subtilty of his writing that creates such tension and atmosphere. It is well paced and finely crafted.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2001
Another story about the troubled Charlie "Bird" Parker. This is another deeply involving tale of fear and murder seen through the eyes of "Bird" Parker, private detective. This time he is drawn into a strange mystery involving death, destruction and religion, by the death of someone from his past. Parker's character has mellowed by this third installment, he is no longer the avenging angel of Every Dead Thing or Dark Hollow, but more concerened with the thought of justice, not just for himself but for others who have been wronged. Again he is aided in his task by the sinister but comic Angel and Louis and the incredibly patient Rachel Wolfe. Another fine story just as hard to put down as the other two, but perhaps a little lacking in bite. Great story but don't expect to be drawn in quite as much as with Every Dead Thing.
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