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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 24 February 2017
If you haven't read this series of books you have missed out. The characters in this books are very well written and can make you shake with laughter.
I recently gave one of the books to a friend to read who promptly bout all the others in the series. My mum buys the newest book for me every Christmas and I start reading it on Christmas Day.
The books follow the same characters which is something that I like in books. You don't have to start at the beginning of the series but it is nice to. Highly recommend and you won't be disappointed.
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on 23 March 2017
Another John Connolly book I could not put down ,5 stars as always a right page turner .can't wait for the new book . Great read
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on 1 May 2017
Sanctuary islands history is bloody. Officer Joe Dupree, faces alone, an evil with unfinished business in its past and present.
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on 1 June 2017
John Connolly never let's you down.great read as usual.
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on 4 April 2017
Great as always
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Bad men are coming to the island of Sanctuary. Bad men, led by the vicious Moloch, are coming, to seek out and punish Rita, his wife, who before running away to hide from him on the quiet, insular island, stole two important things from Moloch: his son and a substantial amount of cash.
Sanctuary has a bloody history; in 1693 a group of settlers on the island were betrayed to their enemies and slaughtered. Since then, the island has rested in three hundred years of peace. But, now the Bad Men are coming, the Bad Men with their malintent, and strange things are starting to happen on Sanctuary. The inhabitants can sense them, sense the changes. The island is waking once more. It is restless, and it will not tolerate the shedding of blood any longer. And still, the Bad Men are coming.
Clearly, this supernatural novel is a departure from Connolly’s normal work. But is it? Well, actually, not really. His books have always been smattered with supernatural happenings among the violence, ghostly goings-on, and they have worked to brilliant atmospheric effect in his Charlie Parker novels. However, this one is a full-blown supernatural thriller. He takes the horror and mystical elements and puts them all in one book. Obviously it is a risk for any author to depart from their norm. The important question is: does it work? The answer, mostly anyway, is yes.
Without any doubt, Connolly writes with lyrical brilliance, as exemplified marvellously by the opening to this book: “Moloch dreams. In the darkness of a Virginia prison cell, he stirs like an old demon goaded by memories of its lost humanity,” and nothing can take that away from him. Bad Men is a pleasure if only for the ethereal, vivid prose which bathes the descriptions in a sunset-like glow. It is also a pleasure for the presence of Melancholy Joe Dupree, the giant policeman who guards the island. He is a masterpiece of a character: gentle, damaged by the isolation caused by his physical difference, lonely, and yet prepared to go to great lengths of violence to do his duty, he will not be forgotten easily once the book is put down. The other characters, though, are nothing really special. Adequate, oh yes.
The supernatural elements, too, are merely adequate. Personally, sometimes I felt that they actually took away from the power of the story in some instances. In others, though, the horror and supernatural influences do create a brilliant eerie atmosphere and some excellent paths for the story, and the haunting recurring image of those grey moths is not going to leave me for some distinct while.
For those that lament the fact that this isn’t a Parker book, he does make a brief appearance, even though I know that that is no real consolation. He will return. And, I am sure that as Connolly stretches his literary wings in this fashion, he will be back all the better for it. If nothing else, this book will allow Connolly to grow and develop as a writer, which can only be to the benefit of his series. In the meantime, pick up Bad Men and enjoy. It’s not excellent, but it’s adequate, and the electrifying show-down finale is undeniably thrilling reading. Bad Men is just about worth its money.
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VINE VOICEon 5 July 2004
The author has already become a best-seller with crime novels with vague supernatural tweaks (which I didn't like much - the supernatural bits) and here he departs for Stephen King Island with a fully fledged 'there's something weird, and it don't look good' out in the woods opus.
This is an engaging read, but I feel some of portentuous prose builds an expectation that the plotting and denoument do not deliver upon. The 'Bad Men' - the villains are imprecisely drawn and I had to keep checking back to see which one was which. The more interesting criminals seemed to meet unsatisfyingly dull endings and there was some sub Tarantino dialogue grafted on that jarred hugely.
The ghosties didn't do enough. There was no real interaction with them like you get in excellent horror thrillers, so, while it was atmospheric, I didn't get the sense that the supernatural elements could be 'taken on' in any way hence the subtraction of tension.
On the plus side, the book maintains a good pace and has a couple of characters who actually care about, which adds to some of the punch at the end.
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on 22 June 2007
John Connolly has become one of my favourite authors and having read his entire Charlie Parker series and Nocturnes I decided to look at this one, it took me a while to get around to buying it but didnt take long to finish.

This is one of the best books I have read in recent months and it really was gripping, having not read a Connolly book for so long the return to his superb writing was most welcome. This is his only book apart from Nocturnes (a short story collection) that does not have his usual hero playing a real part.

Connolly's plots, characters and writing in general are as good as any I have read and this latest novel is no exception. His protagonist's are well set up and easy to sympathise with drawing you into the book, even his villains which are usually mercilessly evil and well still are seem to be more human in their nature (apart from Willard). This time out the escaped convict Moloch and his team of hired goons which are all very menacing and believable are hunting down his wife so that he can have revenge against the woman that left him and the son he never knew.

Moloch's actions are not entirely his own however history seems about to repeat itself on the small Maine state Island of Sanctuary. Theres plenty of blood, death and strange goings on to interest most any reader especially returning fans of Connolly who should really love this book as much as I did, in terms of comparisons to the other books of his this is most like his masterful writing of Every Dead Thing (another book worth looking into if you havent).

A massive resounding yes to add to anyones book collection if you like a good thriller with a bit of a supernatural twist. If your only on Amazon to buy one book today make it this one and if your like me you'll be finished with it in two days and back for another anyway.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 16 December 2009
Originally published in 2003 'Bad Men' is a stand alone novel and not part of the Charlie Parker series. The plot is centered around Dutch Island a fearful, haunted place off the coast of Maine, Casco Bay, more commonly known as 'Sanctuary'. Sanctuary is a place with a brutal history and since the massacre of a group of 17th century settlers a protective presence has awakened at its heart. It falls upon Joe Dupree, chief of police, to watch out for unusual signs which might indicate the spirit of the island is disturbed because danger is on its way. In this story the danger arrives in the form of the 'Bad Men'. John Connolly creates these characters as extreme and capable of committing violence which is visceral and hard hitting. That sense of threat is nicely enhanced by a brooding sense of claustrophobia as the island environment changes into something much more surreal and the characters head deeper into the heart of a supernatural mystery with strong elements of horror. That horror emanates more from the 'Bad Men' rather than their external environment but; there are other evils here which are deftly written and hard to define. The superlative Charlie Parker makes a brief, cameo appearance and the action is carried forward by Police Chief Dupree, Melancholy Joe, and a series of clever twists linking him to the Bad Men in ways of which he has little idea. The relationships between the characters and the island are the chain to the entire story and Connolly takes his time to work the strands together into a deeply, disturbing conclusion.
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on 16 June 2003
The previous John Connolly novels have been convoluted, bloody, and yet entertaining, but the departure here from the familiarity of Charlie Parker does not work. All that Connolly is trying to achieve has been done before by other authors who are better at the mystery/ghost/horror genre than he is. The premise is creditable however you cannot help but feel as though there was a more complete story to tell and that what we are given is a rushed attempt at something different to appease the publishers. The ghostly island and the freakish characters fighting for both good and evil are unoriginal and given little scope for growth.
Don't get me wrong, I have enjoyed Connolly's previous work but this fails to emulate the trials and tribulations of Charlie Parker.
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