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Every Dead Thing: A Charlie Parker Thriller: 1 Paperback – 10 Oct 1999

4.2 out of 5 stars 192 customer reviews

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Paperback, 10 Oct 1999
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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New Ed edition (10 Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340728981
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340728987
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 17.7 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (192 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 741,784 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Homicide cop Charlie "Bird" Parker was drunk when the killer known as the Travelling Man dissected his wife and his daughter. Parker's guilt and obsession with revenge have taken him well beyond the law, causing him to beat a pimp to death and accept the friendship of a notable hitman. Yet his old colleagues know that any one of them might have gone down the same path, in the same circumstances, and they and FBI man Woolrich still find him and his obsessions useful. Leaving mayhem and destruction in his wake, Parker finds every private investigation he takes leading him back to his family's killer--is this an obsession, or is he treading a maze of murder built just for him? And can the obsessed Parker accept the love of a bright woman pathologist without wrecking her life as well? Small Virginia towns with guilty secrets, the drugs deals that unite smart New York society with the madness of a decadent Mafia dynasty, the very different gang wars of New Orleans and the mysteries of the Louisiana swampland--this is an intelligent book packed with puzzles, characters and brilliantly visualised locations that most thriller-writers would have spun out for a series. --Roz Kaveney


A genuine, gripping page-turner which shreds the nerves. (Daily Telegraph)

An ambitious, moral, disturbing tale with a stunning climax. (The Times)

A stunning debut . . . EVERY DEAD THING ensnares us in its very first pages and speeds us through a harrowing plot to a riveting climax. (Jeffery Deaver)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Hardcover
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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By Mr. Joe HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 5 Feb. 2004
Format: 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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