on 13 May 2007
This is John Connollys latest addition to his best selling Charlie Parker series. For those unfamiliar with the books Charlie Parker is a Private Detective with a dark past who frequently gets into cases which have chilling often supernatural edges to them.
This latest book greets the return of the mysterious Collector who readers of Nocturnes may remember from the short story The Reflecting Eye.
This time Charlie Parker along with various friends and other characters are trying to track down a group of paedophiles guilty of various disturbing acts who have gone to ground for years following the killing of one of their victims, this story has alot less of the supernatural in it than some of the other Parker books and is more thriller based.
All around it is a good book and readers of past Parker books can expect the usual great writing, fast moving plot and intriguing characters. This book may not be so much suited to first time readers of the Charlie Parker series as there is alot of references to past books which may seem confusing or irrelevant to those who havent read the series or at least part of it.
Really is a good book for returning readers of the series but if your a first time reader try some of his other books first and see if theyre too your taste if so you'll enjoy this one all the more.
on 21 June 2007
Charlie Parker the haunted private detective fron John Connolly's previous tales is back in what can only be described as the darkest novel in the series to date.
This is a big read and I polished this book of in two sittings such was force of the storyline. Bringing back charecters from the previous books, villans and hero's alike it does help to have read the earlier Parker novels first.
This book book covers the issues of child abuse and the horror and darkness that surrounds it with a fine touch that does not go into to much detail but at same time will have you thinking for days after, there are people like that out there, we know they are, but there are not enough Charlie Parkers to make things right.
John Connolly has created in Charlie Parker a dark and troubled person, say unlike ( Robert Crais's Elvis Cole), that you can always feel for him and understand why and what he does to solve cases.
A very violent book, crammed with awfull villans that you want them all dead by the last page, but so well written that when you have finished it you are wanting more. Long may Charlie Parker, Angel and Lewis stay with us.
on 11 May 2007
This latest in the Parker series is of a much different tone and pace to the other books. He takes the time to stop and take toll of where all the characters are in their lives, and he confronts some issues that have been going unresolved for Parker in the previous books. I cant say that he exactly gets "closure" or any "answers", as this doesnt really follow on from the storyline of The Black Angel, in terms of whether or not they really were angels or whether he is one himself. But it stops to make you realise that Parker isnt really over the death of his wife and child, that maybe (even though they bring a comic element to the books) you shouldnt really *like* louis, and it delves more into the reason why he let Rachel leave him and how he copes with that. Parker also see's himself empathising with Merrick who is obsessed with finding out what happened to his daughter who disappeared, remembering back to his reaction to his daughters death and the consequent hunt for the Travelling Man.
It is beautifully written, in parts very emotionally touching and in content it tackles a very complicated and sensitive issue. That being of child abuse. As the blurb says, there is the return of a character from one of the previous Parker stories, and as always, Parkers "villians" can make your skin crawl and your stomach ache.
This isnt a book where you will find a dead body every chapter, it is much more personal and I think that it is a refreshing change for Parker and the series. Great work Connolly! Keep it coming!
ohh... and PS. His next novel will be called "The Reaping" and will have Angel and Louis as its main characters.
Charlie Parker always seems to find the cases which turn out to haunt him even more - or is it that the cases find him? The Collector is back, his friends in low places, Louis and Angel are back and so are Charlie's daemons.
Yet again John Connolly brings darkness and tragedy to the page. Hunting the killer of an abused young girl, CP almost bites off more than he can handle in the harrowing search for the men who systematically found their prey and carried out their gross acts of horror.
The book moves along with pace and, although Parker never fires a shot in anger, others do and the body count mounts. New readers may not appreciate how The Collector fits into Charlie's life but this shouldn't spoil the storyline. And perhaps, Charlie does, at last, discover and deal with his own problems. Maybe we'll find out for sure in the next book.
on 14 August 2007
I can't convince myself that I enjoyed THE UNQUIET as much as one or two of Connolly's earlier works, my personal favourite remaining THE WHITE ROAD. I have to admit though that he seems to have addressed one of my most consistent complaints over the past few years, that being the excessive and often gratuitous levels of violence displayed by all characters past, be they on the right or wrong side of the law. In this latest episode in the life of Charlie `Bird' Parker, you will find yourself deep into the second half before so much as a bullet is fired, and I certainly welcomed this. This relatively mellow tone doesn't last forever of course, because normal service is eventually resumed even if the triggers of Parker and his associates Louis and Angel remain in place from start to finish. This might suggest that there are many lighter moments that give Louis an opportunity to display his super-cool wit, but this isn't the case, as there is little in the way of humour at any time and certainly less than in many of the preceding Parker tales.
The underlying theme of this tale is the sexual abuse of children, and somewhat inevitably Connolly, in his own style, makes it clear that in the pecking order of evil, paedophiles rank below (i.e. worse than) the likes of violent criminals, contract killers and characters who might represent the Devil himself. Few would disagree, I guess, but apart from that classification the reader gains little in the way of insight into what makes such monsters do what they do, indeed in the closing pages Parker raises numerous questions but neither he nor the writer offers much in the way of answers. Furthermore, as all the despicable acts have taken place in years past, the reader is not really caught up in what might otherwise have been the emotional trauma that, in reality, parents and children suffer while it is taking place. Although there were many emotionally troubling moments throughout this tale, they sometimes related more to the supernatural experiences that Parker continues to endure and to the introspective nature of his life and character that the reader gets a closer look at here than in novels past. The bottom line is that while it is at all times interesting it never really raises the heartbeat in quite the same way as Connolly's earlier works succeeded in doing. I couldn't really call it a thriller, at least not my own interpretation of what a real thriller is supposed to do. All I can say about the end was that it was `quiet' and mostly devoid of violence; an anti-climax in a sense. That's not to say that it was an unsatisfying end, but for anyone familiar with the other five Parker escapades, it's safe to say that it's really rather different from any of them. Just faintly disappointing, then, but expectations were sky-high and it's possible that the author's recent excursions into non-Parker territory have taken the edge of his writing a little, even if the finished product is his most authentic and well-rounded to date. I liked it a lot, it's an intelligent piece of writing throughout but it didn't thrill me in the way I know Connolly can.
John Connolly was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1968 and has, at various points in his life, worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a general gofer at Harrods department store in London. He studied English in Trinity College, Dublin and journalism at Dublin City University, and spent several years working as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper, to which he continues to contribute.
Daniel Clay, a once-respected psychologist, has been missing for years following revelations about harm done to the children in his care. His daughter Rebecca believes that he is dead and has tried to come to terms with the legacy left by her father. But there is someone who does not believe that her father is dead and they are starting to ask awkward questions. The man is a father and a killer who is obsessed with finding out the truth about his own daughter's disappearance.
A private detective Charlie Parker is taken on board to make Merrick go away but he will not be stopped. Parker soon finds himself trapped between those who want to know the truth and those who are desperate for it to remain hidden . . .
I found the book both moving and chilling at the same time. An unusual combination to say the least, but the author is a master of his craft and certainly knows how to keep his reader's in suspense throughout the book until the final pages.
on 16 May 2007
This book really has it all. It is wonderfully well written, it is superbly sad, magnificently moving, very, very violent, and shockingly sharp. Connolly's protagonist is once again the tortured private eye Charlie Parker, who this time is drawn into a mystery concerning a disappeared child psychologist, who might have known something about systematic child abuse at the hands of a group of men in bird masks. Various unsavoury characters enter the scene, and things become more entangled and deadly and mysterious by the minute.
Compared to Connolly's previous books, this seems, if not downright subdued, then at least somewhat slower-paced. Readers really acquire insight into the characters' psychological constitution, and all of them seem to be fully formed, even if they only have small walk-on parts. Especially Parker is amazingly thoroughly described - we learn a lot about him as a person, and he appears very much alive, which is to say that he has much more depth than is usually found in thriller characters. So if you are in the mood for a creepy, brutal, splendidly written mystery, which at the same time takes care to make its characters into something much more than two-dimensional cardboard figures, this book is highly recommended. In fact, it is one of the most satisfying thrillers I have read in recent years - and I have read a lot.
on 22 July 2016
I am a John Connolly/Charlie Parker fan so am not perhaps the best person to review this book. So yes, I enjoyed every minute of it and was sorry when it ended. It has all the usual characters and is as dark as his other books. Would recommend, who would have expected otherwise?
on 11 July 2015
A good example of the Charlie Parker series, with John Connolly's usual expressive writing, although I am finding the plot moves a little slowly in this case (I'm still reading it). But that's the nature of this series - the stories evolve rather than hitting you like an avalanche. The development of the character of Merrick is fascinating, and it's this meticulous attention to character development that makes the series so engrossing.
"The Unquiet" is both chilling and emotive conveyed through Connolly's fantastic writing ability. I did find that the plot moved at a slower pace but this allows you to learn more about Charlie Parker, really bringing his character alive.
The plot is a dark one involving child abuse that occurred in the past. You feel yourself urging the villians to be found and dealt with - and feeling disappointed when it seems that one may get away with it.
Connolly does not go into detail with what terrible acts are committed on the children and in fact much is left unsaid. He doesn't need to because he conveys the message through piercing and perceptive writing.