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on 30 July 2009
It is time...yes my friends, time to rise, time to stand up and say proudly...."I like horror". Yes there will be those who mock, those who will cast you out. They will attack you with their vampire romance but you must be strong. To test your faith, I have a task for you. Go to your nearest bookshop, enter the crime section (no-one said it would be easy) and find John Connolly's books. Then you must move them, one by one and carefully place them in the horror section (if you can find it) and if anyone moves them back you must persist and return them to the horror section once again. Should you be challenged in your task, by a well meaning staff member perhaps, say only these words.."it's a horror novel".

You see, without wishing to cause civil unrest in your local Borders (although come to think of it, that might be fun) there is a serious point to be made here. John Connolly is one of my favourite authors and the reason I like him so much is that he injects his crime novels with a fair old dose of supernatural adrenalin. His writing has an edge, a darkness, it's on the borderlands but with The Lovers Connolly has crossed over to the darkside. The supernatural elements don't remain in the background here they are at the forefront, indeed without the spectre of the occult this book could not exist.

Charlie Parker is John Connolly's hero, a troubled, even broken man, his history is one filled with blood, death and loss. The previous books have detailed some of this history but have left several large boulders unturned. The Lovers fills in a few of these blanks and in particular the mystery surrounding the death of Parker's father. Why a seemingly mild mannered family man and respected police officer shot two, apparently innocent young people and then took his own life. I can't go into any detail without spoiling the book for you, suffice to say the answer explains much of the supernatural elements that have lurked in the pages of the previous books.

A word of caution though, if you are new to Charlie Parker then please start at the beginning and work your way to this book. Start at Every Dead Thing and read them chronologically, yes you could probably read them out of sequence but if you do you won't get the full sense of mystery, the subtle hints at something deeper. Without that history this book would be much weaker as it is though it is an immense achievement, tying up several loose ends in dramatic and unexpected fashion whilst at the same time unravelling a few other areas of mystery which will no doubt lead us deeper down the supernatural rabbit hole (I can't wait).

So highly recommended this is the book which finally gets to the soul of Charlie Parker and does it with style, inventiveness, vivid characterisation and beautiful prose. In my mind Connolly keeps getting better with each book and seems to be getting the rewards he deserves in terms of sales (currently No4 in Tesco Book charts just ahead of Michael Jackson: Life Of A legend!). So, on second thoughts, maybe we shouldn't upset the applecart, leave the public to appreciate the nuances and skill of a great horror writer, even if they do think they are reading a crime novel.
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on 7 July 2009
As a long time fan of John Connolly's writing I was slightly disappointed by his last book "The Reapers", as I felt that it lacked the prose style of his previous books whilst also employing a slightly tired plot scenario. I am happy to say that no such concerns can be raised over the "The Lovers".

Plot-wise, it tells the story of why Charlie Parker's father inexplicably murdered two teenagers before taking his own life when Charlie Parker was a 16 year old boy. This investigation into the past is neatly woven together with contemporary events.

Stylistically, some of the wirting is excellent and is of a standard that if the subject matter were different would place John Connollly's writing in the category of "literature". Happily such boundaries are increasingly blurred so we get to enjoy excellent prose in a contemporary crime thriller.

In summary this really was the most enjoyable read I have had for a time (and I pile through 2-3 books a week),. It is a definite return to top form for John Connolly.
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on 27 June 2015
Although each book in this series can be read as a standalone you will get so much more from them if you read them in order. Charlie Parker past is always a part of each book and you will miss some of the subtle nuances unless you start at the beginning. This episode deals with his search to make meaning out of his Fathers suicide following the killing of a young couple, an apparently motiveless action and one completely out of character. Again you are drawn into the strange world that Charlie inhabits and do not want to leave that world until the mystery finally unravels.
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VINE VOICEon 25 July 2009
... but this book fell a bit short.

Don't get me wrong, I am a massive JC fan. Read all his books, been to book signings etc. This is up to his usual high standards of style of prose and easy reading. But I just didn't get the story... it was like a character background on Parker, with a bit of the supernatural as background - but it just didn't have the impact of the Killing Kind/Dark Hollow - and felt a bit contrived as a result.

One of the other reviewers probably put their finger on it. This is one for the fans, and is a "filler" for me before his next great story appears. After The Gates, it is "The Whispers" - hopefully that will be back to greatness!
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on 29 May 2015
John Connolly's characterisation of Charlie Parker is excellent. After reading 7 of the books in the series I feel as if I know Charlie well; Connolly's writing is consistently excellent and the plots are fascinating.
This book was supplied quickly and at an excellent price for a brand-new book - much cheaper than supermarkets.
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on 15 April 2016
An ordinary everyday story of crime and crimefighters in rural New York. What appears as a tragic case of our hero Charlie Parker (former NYPD cop and 'suspended' PI losing his wife and daughter to a sadistic killer. Will he get over his loss working as a bar manager?

Hold on to your hat, socks and everything else as the story winds up with the introduction of non-earthly beings through the generation's turn up to make this gripping yarn the good read it is.

I'd highly recommend this book to those who like me consider JC to be one of their favourite thriller writers. If you've not experienced a John Connolly thriller, this is a great book for a start - you'll become hooked. Happy Reading.
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on 26 May 2014
I find the Charlie Parker novels very readable. The lovers is one of the best I have read. As ever the story is highly entertaining, fast paced and filled with great characters.

If you like John Connolly's Parker novels you should enjoy this.
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VINE VOICEon 8 July 2009
Having taken something of a backseat role in The Reapers, it's safe to say that, in The Lovers, Charlie Parker is well and truly back! This time around the action is focused almost totally on Parker, the rest of the gang - Louis and Angel, Jackie Garner and The Fulcis, though all present and correct, barely get a look in this time around.

The Lovers is possibly the first book in the series that feels more like "one for the fans" than it does a book the casual reader could pick up and enjoy, at least to quite the same degree, on its own merits. Of course, being as well established as the series is, this is no bad thing and Charlie Parker fans will doubtlessly be fascinated by the myriad of revelations within.

And if there's one thing The Lovers isn't short on it's revelations.

Like The Reapers it's also a slighter slimmer novel than most of those preceding it and wastes little time getting down to the task in hand of telling its tale(s).
The main focus of the story concerns a restless Parker delving into his family history, primarily to discover why his policeman father shot two unarmed teenagers before taking his own life. However, as you may expect, his investigation unearths far, far more than this and the deeper he digs the more skeletons he unearths...

Then there are the eponymous Lovers, but it's best you find out about them for yourselves!

The Lovers also differs from the other books in that Parker has had his PI license and his firearm permit revoked and is working in a bar to tide himself over. Also significant, as a product of this turn of events, is that he has no "official case" to look into and obviously no client to report back to. He's very much on his own in this one which does lend a slightly different air to the proceedings! This time it's very much personal...
Fans of the supernatural bent to the series will be pleased to know that this element is very much present and correct here, having been pushed into the background somewhat for The Unquiet and The Reapers.

All in all then, The Lovers is an excellent addition to an excellent series. It answers many questions about the enigmatic Parker and poses a few besides for future books! The prose is as flowing and the dialogue as sharp as ever and, as ever with Connolly, you know all the facts have been painstakingly researched and, as a reader, you're in trustworthy hands!

Roll on The Whisperers then!
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on 16 November 2012
As ever, John Connolly has blended the practical with the supernatural into an immensely readable novel. We learn a lot more about his parents and upbringing while the protagonists are creepy and frightening, once again hinting at Charlie's possible/impossible roots.

I can't praise this enough. If you are already a Charlie Parker fan then you won't be disappointed; if you've never read the other books I urge you to start at the beginning.
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on 16 July 2009
I saw John Connolly last night (he's more like a stand up comedian than an author- an amazingly funny guy) and got quite an insight into this book:

Unlike other authors he's not on contract so there isn't a new Parker being banged out every 12 months and he stated that unlike his friend Lee Child he doesn't want to write stand alone books, but rather develop a narrative that explains much of Parkers past and those of his supporting characters. Some books matter less than others (like the Reapers) but 'The lovers' is an important one focusing on the circumstances of a double murder carried out by Parkers father (who subsequently killed himself). He hinted that he has an idea where the series will ultimately end up so it IS heading for a conclusion... sometime.

I don't know how to summarise the plot of the lovers without spoiling it.... in fact I WON'T summarise it because I WILL spoil it. All Parker fans need know is that its superb. If you've liked the previous ones you'll love this. Connnolly took a lot of advice from an ex NYPD beat cop who worked the 9th precinct from the late 60's to early 80's so much of this book is based on fact but mixed with Connolly's unique blend of horror, mystery and the supernatural.

As of 16/7/09 there's a new stand alone book 'the Gates' due out in Oct about a boy who discovers his neighbours are opening the gates of hell in their basement. The exert I heard was hilarious and as it seems Connolly is babk on top form I'll be advance ordering it.
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