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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2,290 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Connolly Narrator: George Guidall Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Charlie Parker Series Release Date: March 2011 ISBN: 9781442342828
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Charlie Parker is a lost soul. Deprived of his private investigator’s license and under scrutiny by the police, he has been forced to seek work in a Portland bar. But he is using his enforced retirement to begin a different kind of investigation: an examination of his own past and an inquiry into the death of his father, who took his own life after apparently shooting dead two unarmed teenagers, a search that will eventually lead Parker to question all that he believed about his beloved parents, and about himself.

But there are other forces at work: a troubled young woman who is running from an unseen threat, one that already seems to have taken the life of her boyfriend; a journalist-turned-writer named Mickey Wallace who is conducting an investigation of his own into Parker in the hope of writing a nonfiction book about his exploits. And haunting the shadows, as they have done throughout Parker’s life, are two figures: a man and a woman who appear to have only one purpose: to bring an end to Charlie Parker’s existence.

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Quotes & Awards

  • "Connolly has crafted one of the most darkly intriguing books this reviewer has encountered in more than three decades of reading crime fiction…To call this a page-turner is to damn it with faint praise. Veteran crime fans will want to savor every note-perfect word."

    Booklist (starred review) 

  • "Bestseller Connolly once again expertly melds a hard-boiled plot with the supernatural in his eighth Charlie Parker crime novel…The underlying grim sadness and Connolly's unwillingness to pull his punches will appeal to noir fans, while his effective use of understatement and evocative prose makes his alternate universe plausible."

    Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

  • "Powerful, disturbing prose."

    Omaha World-Herald

  • "It's not all crooks and spooks; Connolly is far too skilled a writer to create mere schlock-horror. He's at his best getting inside his characters' heads, from the relief of a father who discovers that his dead son had been murdered and not committed suicide to the terror of a teenage girl on the run from a destructive force. Connolly's latest novel is unashamedly gothic, but ultimately manages to be believable and moving too."

    Independent (London)

  • "Provides all the pleasures fans expect."

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Jay O. Sanders has a genius for delivering conversation. His performance of Charlie Parker’s first-person narrative is done with superb timing and thoughtful inflection. But it's the nuance of emotion he teases out of the characters’ relationships with one another through which he really shines. The listener is immediately pulled in. Parker may have lost his P.I. license this time out, but that doesn't keep him from investigating his own past demons. After taking a job tending bar in Portland, Maine, he finds he needs answers to his policeman father's suicide when Charlie was only 15 and the haunting murder of two teenagers he confessed to beforehand. There's the usual frisson of the supernatural woven into this beautifully crafted story, made all the more memorable through Sanders’s considerable talent. 

    AudioFile

  • A 2010 Barry Award Nominee for Best British Novel

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 T | 2/17/2014

    " Calling Connolly's work "crime fiction" is not entirely accurate. Sure, Charlier Parker is a lethal private eye. But, there is something much darker and, dare I say, more poetic about world of Charlie Parker and the bad guys he pursues. Connolly provides a metaphysical quality that borders on the spiritual with out becoming overly maudlin in its depiction of the supernatural. Its not fluffy crap like so much of the garbage out there. The darkness in Connolly's work has teeth and it bites your ass. Yet, it never fails to enlighten us about the potential nature of evil within us all. Damn good stuff. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 2/9/2014

    " I was not crazy about the narration style, but it's definitely a suspenseful mystery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeremy Boatwright | 2/4/2014

    " This book was pretty good. Not mu favorite, but if you are a fan of Charlie Parker, you will like it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kris | 2/2/2014

    " This is the first book that I've of Connolly's and I quite enjoyed it. I wasn't expecting the supernatural aspect and in a lesser writer I may have tossed the book aside because it's not really what I care to read. Despite that, the novel had an compelling story and an interesting and dark main character. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel D | 1/26/2014

    " Good storyline with a glimpse of the supernatural, which I wasn't expecting. I didn't realise it was part of a series, but still was able to follow the characters without knowing the back story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 1/15/2014

    " Charlie Parker is trying to solve the mystery of his father's and his past. The lethal secrets he discovers when he goes home plunge him into a struggle against evil. Normally I prefer mysteries that do not contain anything supernatural. Either there was just the right amount of spookiness in this one, or it was presented so well that it didn't detract from the story. After I started reading this, I could tell that I'd read it a couple of years ago...just vague memories of some characters and incidents. It was so compelling, though, that I read it again and enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellen | 1/7/2014

    " Yay, I just won a copy of this book via the Good Reads First Reads Giveaways. I really enjoyed this book. I would have liked to have read the previous books as well, and may have to look for them. I enjoyed the character development and the glimpses into his past. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christie | 12/3/2013

    " The book would have flowed smoother if it hadn't been fragmented with the bits of history and characters that were supposed to be giving context to the plot...it was frustrating for me to read a bit and have to try and figure out where the past gave relevance to the current events.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Xavier | 11/17/2013

    " Charlie Parker investigates his father's suicide. Missed Angel and Louis on this adventure. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherry | 10/11/2013

    " this book was a little creapy for me, but it did have a good plot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 10/7/2013

    " The author went too far for me in this latest book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicole | 5/24/2013

    " The reader of this book was wonderful -- great voice. I haven't read any other books in this series, but this worked well as a stand-alone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kay | 1/2/2013

    " A great book!!! I usually enjoy his 'Charlie Parker' books but this one was outstanding. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa Hartmann Andersen | 12/17/2012

    " Good book - def. not one of the scariest ones. This kind of gave a good background to Charlie Parker and suddently some things that has happened in earlier books makes sense.. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 11/21/2012

    " I really enjoyed this, I've been following Charlie Parker since the outset and this book builds on a lot of the material from his past books and results in a multi-layered narrative that you cannot really understand without reading the whole series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terry Parker | 10/9/2012

    " A lot of back story in this. Very strongly paced and exciting. a lot of dialogue / story-telling, but I am loving it. Many ends are tied together in this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Judee | 8/23/2012

    " I was not expecting the paranormal element in this book. I am becoming a sci-fi fan slowly. This is a Charlie Parker story about his past and parentage. A well-told page turner. It was a good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Herb | 4/27/2012

    " Parker goes back to the beginning. This is great because it is all Charlie Parker- no other characters in this one. This one is a new launching point for the series. It really would help to read the prior ones in the series in order to really appreciate Connolly and Parker, "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Reynolds9686 | 3/6/2012

    " A supernatural detective story! Fun, creepy read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hrn1947 | 11/7/2011

    " more evil in the world. bad angels again "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve | 9/1/2011

    " The book was awesome until the end where it looks like the author was just in a hurry to finish up. Perhaps more will come out in a later book but I was disappointed in the way this one finished. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carolyn | 8/24/2011

    " I really enjoyed it ~ a page turner for sure!~ "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynne Elsisy | 5/21/2011

    " A little more supernatural than my normal read which made it harder for me to grade. I think I would give it 3.5. I liked the book but spooky is ultimately not really where I'm at. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky | 5/1/2011

    " I really liked this book. It caught my interest at the beginning, and carried it throughout the story. It is not the best of the Charlie Parker series, but it is well written and enjoyable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peter | 4/27/2011

    " this book is called a thriller it contains a mystery ,, a detective,, and many more thing that make it a thriller such as demons and ghosts. the characters are vwery likeable and interesting..this was a very good read and held my interest very well...... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori | 2/12/2011

    " new to connolly, but i see he has a long list of Charlie Paker novels, so I plan to delve into a few others. a little dark with enough mystery and other worldliness" to keep me intrigued. Hope the next one is as good! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 2/5/2011

    " Very good. As with all the other books in the series, the story kept me reading and interested. And his usual wordiness was not as long winded and was more informational to the story than in earlier books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rory | 1/23/2011

    " Not an overly complex plot overall, but very well written. Great character definition and scene-building. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Denise | 1/19/2011

    " I loved The Lovers. A dark tale. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Xavier | 11/9/2010

    " Charlie Parker investigates his father's suicide. Missed Angel and Louis on this adventure. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrea | 10/29/2010

    " Super spooky. Loved it! One of my favorite authors.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 9/29/2010

    " Charlie Parker has lost his private investigator's license, so he's spending his time bartending and looking into the death of his father. The grim evil that stalks him rears its ugly head, and Charlie once again gets help from Louis and Angel. Great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jordi | 9/15/2010

    " Charlie Parker segueix sent un dels meus favorits.. Després de "Els homes de la dalla", tornen els fantasmes familiars.

    Magnífic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kerri | 8/23/2010

    " I really enjoy reading this series by John Connolly. Love the mix of the supernatural and mystery. Characters are always so well written and the suspense is always taut throughout the stories. I am anxiously awaiting the next book in this series. Write faster Mr. Connolly! "

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About the Author
Author John Connolly

John Connolly studied English at Trinity College, Dublin, and journalism at Dublin City University. He is best known for his series of novels starring private detective Charlie Parker, but is also author of over fourty books and short story collections. Connolly is based in Dublin and divides his time between his native city and the United States.

About the Narrator

George Guidall, winner of eighty-eight AudioFile Earphones Awards, has twice won the prestigious Audie Award for Excellence in Audiobook Narration. In 2014 the Audio Publishers Association presented him with the Special Achievement Award for an audiobook narrator of exceptional stature and accomplishment. During his thirty-year recording career he has recorded over 1,100 audiobooks, won multiple awards, been a mentor to many narrators, and shown by example the potential of fine storytelling. Among Guidall’s narration achievements are Crime and Punishment, The Iliad, and John Irving’s A Widow for One Year, which earned him an Audie Award for best unabridged narration of a novel, an honor he captured again for his rendition of Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much Is True. Guidall’s forty-year acting career includes starring roles on Broadway, an Obie Award for best performance off Broadway, and frequent television appearances.