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Charlie Parker #3

The Killing Kind

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When the discovery of a mass grave in northern Maine reveals the grim truth behind the disappearance of a religious community, private detective Charlie Parker is drawn into a violent conflict with a group of zealots intent on tracking down a relic that could link them to the slaughter. Haunted by the ghost of a small boy and tormented by the demonic killer known as Mr. Pudd, Parker is forced to fight for his lover, his friends...and his very soul.

436 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2001

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About the author

John Connolly

168 books7,061 followers
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 dogsbody at Harrods department store in London. He studied English in Trinity College, Dublin and journalism at Dublin City University, subsequently spending five years working as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper, to which he continues to contribute.

He is based in Dublin but divides his time between his native city and the United States.

This page is administered by John's assistant, Clair, on John's behalf. If you'd like to communicate with John directly, you can do so by writing to contact-at-johnconnollybooks.com, or by following him on Twitter at @JConnollyBooks.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See other authors with similar names.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 672 reviews
Profile Image for Meredith (Trying to catch up!).
815 reviews12.7k followers
April 15, 2020
“This is a honeycomb world. It hides a hollow heart.”

Back to the darkness with my favorite crew, Charlie Parker, Angel, and Louis.
This time around, CP is investigating the death of a former lover, while at the same time battling a nasty villain named Mr. Pudd. The investigation takes Charlie into the world of a religious cult that fell off of the grid in the 1960s.

This installment is where the series really starts to gel and offers a glimpse into what’s to come, especially concerning religion and the paranormal. As always, Connolly’s writing is top-notch. I have read this series out of order, and it is fascinating to see how the pieces have come together, as well as how Connolly has grown as a writer. What makes this installment a standout is the character of Mr. Pudd. Unfortunately, Mr. Pudd’s character has gotten in my head, and not in a good way. I don’t think I will be able to shake him for some time, even though I would really like to! I don’t know if I have encountered another villain quite like him. Thinking about him makes me cringe, and I know I am going to have nightmares about spiders for quite some time. Ugh.

I will continue catching up on this series, as I find the darkness and characters reassuring. I anxiously await book number 18!


Trigger Warning: spiders, spiders, and more spiders.
Profile Image for carol..
1,572 reviews8,224 followers
May 9, 2019
Finally Connolly lives up to the promise in The Lovers, book 8 in the Charlie Parker series. It is a mystery series that often borders on horror, a genre I prefer not to linger in, however, something about Connolly's writing is so evocative, so full of humanity that I keep returning to his writing. I think it might almost be the mirror-image of much I enjoy, perhaps because it centers around some of the most basic--but darkest--of emotions.

'There is a dark resource within all of us, a reservoir of hurt and pain and anger upon which we can draw when the need arises. Most of us rarely, if ever, have to delve too deeply into it. That is as it should be, because dipping into it costs, and you lose a little of yourself each time, a small part of all that is good and honorable and decent about you."

Charlie Parker is a haunted man. The reader was never quite sure if they are literal haunts in the first two books, but in this book it becomes clear that his visions are meaningful and real. Charlie is bumming around his grandfather's house in Maine, working out, doing white collar investigative work, when he's approached by a wealthy businessman and former senator to investigate the apparent suicide of Grace Peltier, a graduate student researching local cults. At the same time, a mass grave is uncovered in a nearby development, and Parker starts seeing a young boy in broken eyeglasses with a wooden sign hung round his neck. He attempts to meet with the leader of The Fellowship, a splinter religious group, but it seems to consist of an office front and nothing more. As he persists, he attracts the attention of the antagonistic Mr. Pudd and far, far too many spiders. Oh, by the way, this entire book is a trigger for the arachnophobic.

Narrative is thankfully linear, with intermittent interruptions from Grace's thesis as a way of giving the background on the Fellowship. Not a bad technique, mostly because it doesn't read anything like a real thesis--more like a local tale (I imagine those who have actually written a thesis in anthropology/sociology would be snerking and chortling at these sections). It serves to emphasize both the hope of people who follow a devout path, and the unscrupulousness of many of the leaders.

I enjoy Connolly's writing, a balanced combination of world-building, action and both internal/external dialogue. I thought many passages resonant with emotional truths, albeit difficult ones. Again, Connolly doesn't live in the 'happy' side of the human experience, but in the world of loss, pain, and this time, a touch of hope, and the setting reflects this focus.

"I should have felt pain, I thought. I should have felt the old agony. But instead, I experienced only a strange, desperate gratitude for this place, for the two fat old dogs and for the unsullied memories which they had left me. For some things should never be allowed to fade away... a place should be found for them in the present and the future so that they become a precious part of oneself, something to be treasured instead of something to be feared."

Oh yes--and the spiders. Those passages are horrific, and I confess to speed-reading because heaven almighty, I did not need those images seared in my brain. But they are.

Characterization feels full, if somewhat archetypal. Charlie is considering progressing his relationship with Rachel, an arc continued from the last book. There's a number of characters that amble in and out, and I thought they felt solid, even with short visits. The father of the woman, Curtis Peltier; the mobster Al Z, reflecting on a long and storied career; the former roommate, daffy Ali Wynn; and a handful of law enforcement agents; all give a nice flavor to the story and the investigation of the missing woman. Parker's best friends are a pair of killers, Angel and Louis, and the three of them account for 90% of the humorous moments in the story. Parker is notably world-weary, as well as focused on concepts of vengeance and justice, and it gives him a certain cavalier approach when dealing with others. When a client accuses Parker's work of being 'sleazy,' Parker notes:

"Mr. Hoyt had sex in the afternoon with a woman. Neither of them is married. What they did wasn't sleazy... Your company paid me to listen in on them, and that's where the sleaze part came in."

Overall, solid, evocative and nice contrast to some of my more lighthearted reads that still represents a ethos I can appreciate. As it has enough balance to the characters, plot and setting I'll go on to the next. Other reviews recommend reading the two relatively closely together, so I have it waiting at the library.
Profile Image for John Culuris.
174 reviews76 followers
April 25, 2018
Once you decide to layer supernatural elements into your hardboiled detective novels, there comes a point where there’s no going back. When we first met Charlie Parker in 1999’s Every Dead Thing, a more hardcore introduction seemed impossible. Drinking himself blind in a bar after the latest argument with his wife, he stumbles home to find her and their young daughter brutally tortured and murdered. Due to the resulting grief, guilt, and frustration (he was a NYPD detective and there’s absolutely no progress in the investigation), he quits his job, alienates his friends and settles into a tormented existence. There was nothing remotely supernatural about it. It was only after tracking the killer to the swamps of Louisiana that Charlie gains his “power.” It is presented in a “you can believe it if you so choose” manner. This applies to characters and readers alike. The dying woman who transferred her abilities to Charlie obviously believed in such things. Charlie maintains that his mind was susceptible to suggestion; his life has been nothing but anguish since the day he lost his family and nightmares were nothing new to him. As for the reader, there is nothing otherworldly in how the case is solved and the book is concluded. You can believe either interpretation and the novel still works.

When we come across Charlie Parker again a year later in Dark Hollow, John Connolly still has him seeing dead people. The difference now is that Charlie is starting to believe. The reader is not quite there with him yet, a tricky balancing act for the author as these stories are told in the first person. Because Charlie didn’t escape the first book without further damage, it is possible that he is reacting to the hallucinations of a fractured mind, a position supported in part by these “ghosts” not telling him anything of use. And, again, the book is concluded with a real-world solution and confrontation.

The Killing Kind immediately eliminates any ambiguity. The novel opens with a pinch of geology and a dab of biology bathed in a dark philosophy--with perhaps a touch of Something Else. This mixture, which reads like the perfect opening to a horror novel, is immediately applied to an earlier murder that sets up the story. This part of the structure is not completely new. Connolly’s prologues to date have chronicled events preceding Charlie’s involvement, although Connolly has done this more for clarity than in an effort to maintain a consistent of point of view. Connolly has been playing with POV all along, primarily by slipping into the third person perspective when needed. He makes use of the conceit that Charlie is telling the story from some point in the future. Connolly will describe features or attributes of a character that Charlie could not possibly know at that particular time, but later Charlie will stand face to face with that person. Or he will relay unattended events, but each will invariably have witnesses or written accounts to which Charlie presumably gained access later. At least until now. With The Killing Kind, Charlie sees “ghosts” of people he never knew existed.

Charlie enters the case in the traditional hardboiled manner. As a working PI in the state of Maine, a rich client asked him to look into the death of his ex-partner’s daughter. Where Jack Mercier’s fortune has multiplied, Curtis Peltier’s has dwindled. He can no long afford the engaging of a private detective. Mercier easily can, and neither man believes Grace Pelter to be the victim of a roadside suicide. She was on her way to interview the leader of The Fellowship, a regional ministry known for latenight TV claims of minor “miracles”--and suspected of supporting extreme right wing organizations with their donations. This coincides with the discovery of a mass grave believed to contain the Aroostook Baptist, a reclusive and isolated religious community that had abandoned their settlement and completely disappeared almost forty year earlier. They were the subject of Grace Pelter’s thesis. How do these groups connect to each other and the death of Grace?

A mysterious and unsettling individual named Mr. Pudd, introduced as a representative and covert protector of The Fellowship, attempts to discourage Charlie finding the answer. That never works. After we as readers discover that there were other individual murders, we meet an assassin engaged for the purposes of revenge; he too is mysterious and unsettling but in a completely different way. What follows is a classic triangle plot: three distinctly different forces with conflicting agendas. It is a part of what makes The Killing Kind the weakest in the series so far. The basic plot is startling unoriginal. The other problem is Connolly’s failure to fully embrace the third person perspective. With three adversaries involved in maneuvers that cover the entire state, it is not possible for Charlie to be present at, or learn the details of, all the altercations. A fairly significant event--and somewhat unlikely event as well, given what we’ve learned of the characters to that point--happens off-screen. Having witnessed it would have provided the reader with a more fulfilling experience.

Ultimately it comes down to the telling. This is a 4 Star book for me because I very much like the way John Connolly writes. I like Charlie Parker, his friends, his girlfriend, his allies and acquaintances. I like following their stories. That’s why I always feel like I have to make clear the exact nature of these novels. To the unaware, The Killing Kind could be perceived as a convoluted mishmash of genres. It is billed as a detective story, and the story proper starts and resolves itself as such, so the unfamiliar must accept the supernatural aspect as elements of character and atmosphere. However, if you were intrigued by dark ideology and disturbing images in the prologue, you must be warned that those ideas will not be significantly expanded upon. And, finally, in more than just the prologue are there scenes much more appropriate to a horror novel. They are graphically described.

I can understand how this might be a frustrating read for someone coming in cold. In starting at the beginning of the series I’ve been along for the ride. I’ve been indoctrinated. Connolly would have to know that many have not been. And yet he still created work where jumping aboard once under way could prove difficult. I’m glad he had the belief and the courage to do so. Because there’s no going back now.
Profile Image for Ginger.
788 reviews373 followers
November 10, 2019
The best of the series so far!!

Holy smokes, there's all kinds of evil in this one. I feel like I need to go to church after reading this one. Ha!

John Connolly you amaze me with your characters, your writing and how you write real evil in books. I always think I can handle just about anything with my love of horror and thrillers.

Connolly's writing and characters have given me more nightmares then anyone.
Uh, bravo sir?!!

The Killing Kind from start to finish is all sorts of fucked up. Evil characters, objects that gave me the shivers and bugs that caused me to itch and squirm!

From religious cults, to an VERY evil man named Mr. Pudd to what happens to a religious community from the 1960s.
It's all brilliant in this plot along with twists, turns and an intense ending that just had me flipping the pages.

I love Charlie Parker, Louis, Angel and Rachel. I love the dialogue they all have with each other. The sarcasm, the honesty and the love that this group feels for each other makes the book so much better and heartfelt.

I’ve never been more happier to start this series because it’s becoming one of my all time favorite series EVER!

Oh yeah, if you have a fear of spiders...


Uh...
Yeah...about that.
Good luck?!
Profile Image for Dirk Grobbelaar.
554 reviews1,093 followers
January 16, 2015
I think [he] saw certain acts of violence and cruelty and wondered if there were some deeds that were beyond even the potential of human beings to commit; if there were creatures both more and less than human who preyed upon us.
They were the violent ones, the dark angels.


This is the third novel in the Charlie Parker thriller series. And it’s a corker. John Connolly writes beautifully and the dark subject matter appeals to me, so I was always going to like this series, but goodness gracious it’s splendid stuff.

There are people whose eyes you must avoid, whose attention you must not draw to yourself. They are strange, parasitic creatures, lost souls seeking to stretch across the abyss and make fatal contact with the warm, constant flow of humanity. They live in pain and exist only to visit that pain on others.

The books are pretty macabre and the villains are, to the extent that the story requires it, caricatures. Connolly, however, is very adept at dealing with larger-than-life characters. Case in point: Mr Pudd.

These are mystery novels, but with a breath of that something extra that differentiates them from the pack. The “supernatural” angle that Connolly introduces is purposefully vague and subtle, so readers who normally don’t enjoy this kind of thing should have no problem here. Also, the novels absolutely have to be read in sequence to experience the character development of “Bird” Parker as the author intended. Start with Every Dead Thing.

There isn’t much more to say. Much like Charlie Parker himself, these novels should not be underestimated. They’re deceptively good.

…each night, when they returned home and tried to sleep, they would wake to imagined howls and think that they were once again standing by the shores of the lake, their hands cold and their boots thick with mud, surrounded by the bones of the dead.
Profile Image for Lisa.
782 reviews
November 13, 2015
How does one describe John Connolly's Writing AMAZING OUTSTANDING PHENOMENAL The Way he writes the Charlie Parker series is fabulous he gets the characters exact where you know where they stand in the story His faithful friends Louis & Angel are not to over the top but know how to take down the bad guys as well as Rachel.

For me The Killing Kind is the best so far i really enjoy the way Connolly gets right into detail about the Baptist Church he really looks into the history before he puts it to paper just love this series if you have not read this series yet you don't know what your missing
Profile Image for Tim.
2,183 reviews212 followers
June 27, 2020
A good beginning wasted on a story that could have been much better. This story runs out of steam. 2 of 10 stars
Profile Image for Gary .
200 reviews184 followers
December 11, 2017
This book was good. I had to take frequent breaks from it, so my experience wasn't as smooth as the other two in the series. The strength of the story is character development. Old characters from the previous stories are brought out and clearly rounded, while new villains take their place on the roster.
I am beginning to notice similar thematic elements. There is the use of the kidnap scene and the rescue to ratchet up tension. There is a cleverly developed antagonist with a unique method of killing. The tone remains as dark as ever, with overtones of gloom contributed by the setting and atmosphere. Bringing in the religious cult and mass murder added an extra enigmatic element to the overall plot.
I enjoyed the story, but certain segments of the plot felt a bit like deja vu.
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,882 reviews16.6k followers
May 21, 2023
An old and frequent compliment for a book is still an apt description of how well the story entertained:

I couldn’t put it down!

Yep, friends and neighbors, this is a page turner; I knocked it out in a couple days, just took a little break from life and binge read this tasty bit of shadow.

Author John Connolly more than earns his pint of Guinness for tying it all together for his haunted, deeply troubled investigator Charlie Parker. The occult themes and outright paranormal scenes separates this from most mystery / thriller storylines and Connolly steps it up further with some well played magical realism that gives this that little extra. It helps that I’m a horror / gothic fan and so the Bradyburesque shadows crawl right up my alley.

Our hero is tasked with learning more when a local woman is found dead. Authorities write it off as a suicide but her family believes otherwise and Parker is set in motion down a familiarly spooky path.

Truth be told I kind of got lost in the mystery side of it and just followed along, enjoying the dark fiction and thriller / adventure elements of which there was much fun to be had. This is like a carnival ghost house with a thrill ride mixed in.

The competing assassins was a VERY COOL part of this already VERY COOL book.

Connolly’s exceptionally vivid and thoughtful writing seems well suited for this genre and he kind of makes up his own rules as he goes, and that’s cool too.

Recommended.

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Profile Image for Rodrigo.
1,125 reviews476 followers
October 13, 2022
Me encanta como escribe este escritor y me gusta mucho Charlie Parker. Me gusta ese toque paranormal y los enemigos son espectaculares con también ese halo de bestia del inframundo o de monstruos.
Nota: si tienes pánico o terror por las arañas atente a las consecuencias...no te lo recomiendo o si lo lees será para superarlo, jeje.
Me ha gustado mucho la trama el caso por el que contratan a Charlie parece en principio no muy complicado pero a medida que va investigando se va agigantando la onda expansiva del mismo alcanzando cotas insospechadas.
La verdad es que también vas aprendiendo algo del tema de las órdenes religiosas, los charlatanes y de los extremistas religiosos (cuanto mal han provocado en el mundo...).
Sinopsis: El hallazgo fortuito de una fosa común, a orillas de un lago en el norte de Maine, pone al descubierto un espeluznante asesinato en masa cometido hace más de treinta años. Todos los miembros de una comunidad religiosa, los Baptistas de Aroostook, desaparecieron sin dejar rastro en 1964, y, ahora que sus cadáveres han vuelto al presente como una muda acusación, alguien parece muy interesado en que el misterio quede sin resolver. Pero el pasado regresa con inusitada brutalidad. La primera víctima es Grace Peltier, una estudiante que, al investigar sobre el fanatismo religioso en el estado de Maine, ha ahondado en la vida y el enigmático final de la comunidad de Aroostook. En apariencia, Grace se ha suicidado, pero hay indicios de asesinato más que suficientes para que la familia solicite la intervención del detective Charlie Parker, «Bird»
Valoración: 9/10 A mis favoritos....
# 40. Un libro de tu categoría favorita de los anteriores PopSugar Reading Challenge. Esta categoría del 2018 (3. El siguiente libro de una serie que ya has comenzado). Reto Popsugar 2022.
# 24. Un libro de tu genero favorito que tengas en tu lista de pendientes. Reto Literario lecturas pendientes 2022.
Profile Image for Fiona.
1,268 reviews231 followers
May 5, 2019
This is a honeycomb world.
You must be careful where you step.
And you must be ready for what you might find.


This is the book where John Connolly really hits his stride with Charlie Parker - we've had the first two books to ease us into this potentially uneasy mix of real and supernatural horror, and it's time to hit that gas pedal and really go for it. And he does! With some of the most horrifying villains the series ever sees, as well as good guys who really like to stretch the definition to the murkiest shade of grey they can, you're in for some very unsettling reading. And it's still all written in some of the most beautiful prose I've ever come across, which makes for some exceptionally vivid scenes that still have me paranoid and checking every itch. Arachnophobes beware!

At the end of the day though, John Connolly - and by proxy, Charlie Parker - still clearly believe in the best of humanity. And in my mind, that's the true heart of this series, the part that pushes it so high up on the list - no matter what horrors lie within these pages, they're always balanced by that belief, and that effort to do that right thing.

The nature of humanity, its essence, is to feel another's pain as one's own, and to act to take that pain away. There is a nobility in compassion, a beauty in empathy, a grace in forgiveness.

It's in contrasting that side of humanity with what happens when you encounter someone in which it's missing, using shadow to throw the light into brilliant relief, that John Connolly has done his best work. This book is the earliest in the series to pull it off, and if you couldn't stomach the first two, I'd highly recommend you start here.
Profile Image for aPriL does feral sometimes .
1,931 reviews439 followers
April 30, 2019
Oooooh. I am feeling it more and more that the character Charlie Parker is a bit, well, angelic. Just saying.

In American pop culture, angels have been undergoing a rewrite. I am no expert, having been raised during the Christian Biblical Old Testament morality purification era of the 1950’s, when American politicians and the religious right were determined to cleanse America of everything involving sex or communism/socialism or free speech or books for adults or anyone non-white or anything unwashed. I remember angels during the 1950’s purification of all sex in America as being either naked desexed babies with wings or heavily draped white-race blondes looking a lot like the Statue of Liberty or white female angels flew about white women with babies in their laps, everybody in nightgowns except the desexed babies. Angels generally were nice white people who encouraged folks to pray for assistance.

Lately though, angels are showing up in literature and movies as psychopathic assassins and tough brutal soldiers either killing off or saving humanity, depending on which side they’ve decided to act for.

John Connolly, who lives in Ireland, the author of the Parker series, has made his murderous private detective hero kind of a human soldier-angel, as well as a Maine native and a ghost medium with a liking for killing. He is a good person, if goodness is loosely defined as someone who loves to kill but has developed some thoughtful rules about the choice of victim. Parker’s rules about when murder is OK appear to be: 1. if they want to kill me; 2. if they want to kill my woman; 3. if they want to kill my wingmen. Luckily for the citizens of America, Parker wants to be a good soldier angel. Children are off the table for Parker.

*Ahem*

‘The Killing Kind’, book 3 in the Parker mystery series, opens with a horrific murder of a character. It involves one of the good people in MY book, an abortion provider. The murder involves spiders, lots and lots and lots of spiders. It is almost as horrific a scene as what is actually happening to birth-control doctors in real life!



A little bit later in the novel, a man in an actual cherry picker machine (the man’s religion is unknown), along with other construction workers, is clearing vegetation from the banks of an upper Maine lake in preparation for the building of a house. Shockingly, when dirt and roots have been dug out, human bones appear. Did the workers accidentally dig up a cemetery? Unfortunately, no. Records show the land is near what was a cult Baptist community which mysteriously disappeared without a trace in the 1960’s.

Charlie Parker has become a white-collar detective. He works for corporations and married clients looking for employee and/or spouse cheaters because it is safer than looking for other kinds of ne’er-do-wells. Theoretically. He is feeling a little disrespected by his clients, but they pay his bills. He also has Rachel Wolfe, academic psychologist, back in his life, and he is living in his comfortable grandfather’s house which he inherited in Scarborough, Maine. Except for the disrespect, he is happy with being a normal middle-class individual. Sort of.

When a rich blue-blood ex-senator, Jack Mercier, contacts him to track down the killer of a business partner’s daughter, Parker actually thinks about turning down the job, at first. It is not only that he dislikes Mercier, or that Rachel would not like him to take on dangerous jobs again, but Parker is afraid of tapping a dark place inside of himself. Parker has a reservoir of hurt and hate created by the murders of his wife and child three years ago. The ghosts whom he can’t help seeing have not been around lately, either. But when Mercier tells him that the daughter who was killed was Grace Peltier, an ex-girlfriend of Parker’s many years ago, he changes his mind.

Parker had discovered when a young man he was the kind of guy who runs out on a girl, specifically Grace Peltier, if she thinks she might be pregnant to his everlasting regret and guilt. The fact that it turned out she was not pregnant after all did little to mitigate Parker’s guilt at his original feeling of RUN when Grace had told him she might be ‘with child’. So he takes the case.

Parker learns Grace was investigating a religious cult, the Aroostook Baptists. The Aroostooks had been created by a charismatic minister, Reverend Faulkner, his wife, Louise and their two children. That investigation somehow led Grace to where her body was found - the street in front of another religious organization, The Fellowship, headed by a man called Carter Paragon. While the Aroostook Baptists had mysteriously disappeared in 1963, The Fellowship are an active concern, advertising for dollars and support. But when Parker wants to make an appointment with Paragon to find out if Grace had spoken to him, all kinds of hell open up. A very terrible man, Mr. Pudd, begins to threaten Parker. Pudd seems to be a protector of The Fellowship. Parker wants to know why Paragon needs such a horrible person as Pudd for a bodyguard, especially since Pudd’s pet is a spider, which is truly quite unorthodox.

A mafioso, Al Z, contacts Parker with a different case he wants Parker to take. Parker owes Al Z a favor from a previous case, so he meets with Harvey Ragle, porn producer, as requested by Al Z. Ragle is in trouble with the law because in his movies he has allowing the killing of spiders and rats by women squashing them with high heels. Ragle has been receiving death threats from a certain odd gentleman - Mr. Pudd.

At this point, Parker starts seeing ghosts again. Not good. 😳

👻 🕷
Profile Image for Γιώργος Δάμτσιος.
Author 33 books254 followers
November 27, 2017
Το φονικό είδος είναι η τρίτη περιπέτεια του ιδιωτικού ντετέκτιβ Τσάρλι “Μπερντ” Πάρκερ. Για όσους δεν τον γνωρίζουν, είναι ο ήρωας, σήμα κατατεθέν, του Ιρλανδού συγγραφέα Τζον Κόνολι.

Αυτή τη φορά ο Πάρκερ θα αποφασίσει να εξιχνιάσει την αυτοκτονία μιας νεαρής κοπέλας, της Γκρέις Πελτιέ, καθώς υπάρχουν σοβαρές υπόνοιες ότι τη δολοφόνησαν και το έκαναν να φανεί σαν αυτοκτονία. Εν τω μεταξύ, περίπου την ίδια περίοδο, ανακαλύπτεται κι ένας ομαδικός τάφος στο βόρειο Μέιν, που σχετίζεται με μια παραθρησκευτική οργάνωση, που εξαφανίστηκε την δεκαετία του ‘60.

Ο Πάρκερ σύντομα θα ανακαλύψει ότι η Πελτιέ ερευνούσε το τι συνέβη γύρω από αυτήν την οργάνωση, την ώρα που εμπλέκεται και μια άλλη, που αποκαλείται Αδελφότητα.

Η διερεύνηση του συμβάντος από τον Πάρκερ θα είναι πολύ δύσκολη και επικίνδυνη, αφού εκτός όλων των άλλων θα βρεθεί από νωρίς αντιμέτωπος και με έναν παρανοϊκό εκτελεστή, τον κύριο Παντ· τον άνθρωπο αράχνη.

Όπως γίνεται εύκολα αντιληπτό σε ��σους έχουν ασχοληθεί έστω και μια φορά με τον συγγραφέα, εδώ έχουμε και πάλι “κλασικό Κόνολι”. Η ιστορία του ισορροπεί κατά το σύνηθες ανάμεσα στο αστυνομικό, το μυστήριο και τον τρόμο, με το συνολικό μείγμα να είναι εξαιρετικά ευχάριστο για εκείνον τον αναγνώστη που αρέσκεται να ασχολείται με όλα αυτά τα είδη. Οι χαρακτήρες εξακολουθούν να είναι εντελώς “ζωντανοί”, άνθρωποι που νομίζεις ότι έχουν σάρκα και οστά. Εξακολουθεί να υφίσταται βέβαια και η υπερβολή που τους διακατέχει, η οποία όμως για κάποιον λόγο προσωπικά δε μου κάθεται σχεδόν ποτέ άσχημα, μάλλον επειδή ο συγγραφέας έχει καταφέρει να με πείσει ότι είναι όλοι τους υπερβολικοί και προβληματικοί από τη φύση τους.

Άκρως ενδιαφέρουσα εξακολουθεί να μου φαίνεται και η υποπλοκή που ακολουθεί την προσωπική ζωή του Πάρκερ. Έτσι κι αλλιώς, και στα 3 πρώτα βιβλία της σειράς, αυτή έχει άμεση σχέση με την κυρίως ιστορία. Το βέβαιο είναι ότι είναι από μόνη της ένα κίνητρο για να συνεχίσω τη σειρά των βιβλίων. (Να υπενθυμίσω εδώ ότι διαβάζονται και ανεξάρτητα).

Φοβερός ήταν και πάλι ο “κακός” της ιστορίας, ο ανατριχιαστικός κύριος Παντ. Είναι πραγματικά άξιον απορίας το πώς ο Κόνολι δημιουργεί τόσο εμφανώς καρτουνίστικους ήρωες, καταφέρνοντας όμως παράλληλα να τρομάζει τον αναγνώστη του στο έπακρο.

Στα αρνητικά της ιστορίας μπορώ να παραθέσω μόνο το γνωστό “θέμα” του Κόνολι, τις εκτεταμένες και λεπτομερείς περιγραφές εκεί όπου δεν απαιτείται. Αναλύει υπερβολικά εσωτερικούς και εξωτερικούς χώρους, καθώς και διάφορα γεγονότα που πολύ λίγο ενδιαφέρουν τους αναγνώστες. Προσωπικά όμως μου αρέσουν τόσο οι ιστορίες του που του το “συγχωρώ!”
Profile Image for Terry.
366 reviews78 followers
November 10, 2019
This series is so good! If you like mysteries, or thrillers, with a twist of horror, this series is definitely worth the read. I really like Charlie Parker and his particular abilities. The supporting cast is also superb and add a lot to each story so far. And, wow does Mr. Connolly come up with some really well done and very dark antagonists! They are some of the best in any books I’ve read. I really look forward to continuing on to the next. 5.0/5.0 stars for this one!
Profile Image for Kimberly.
1,740 reviews2 followers
March 6, 2014
How do you review a book this astoundingly good? There wasn't anything here that I could say I didn't honestly love about this book. John Connolly has it all from characterization, emotional turmoil, physical trauma, and electrifying atmosphere. I've already purchased the next book in this series, and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon.

A MUST-READ--HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!
Profile Image for Debra .
2,421 reviews35.2k followers
May 29, 2023
A mass grave in Northern Maine reveals what happened to a missing religious community in The Killing Kind. Charlie Parker is called in to investigate when a woman he once knew is found dead. Was her death suicide as ruled or was it murder???? Parker is soon up against pure evil in this book and as usual, he is up for the challenge. Things are never easy for him, but he, Angel, Louis, and Rachel are in this with him as he goes up against religious zealots hunting for a religious relic.

This is one of my favorite series and I have been making time to go back and read the books that I missed. As with the other books, John Connolly's writing shines through the dark subjects he writes about.

This book was gripping, intense, and dripping in evildoers. Charlie and his team are always likeable, brave, and ready to do what needs to be done. It is always a pleasure to read a book in this series. I know it is going to be full of tension, suspense, some paranormal elements, beautiful writing, great teamwork, and themes of love.

Another great book in the series!

Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com
Profile Image for Warrengent.
134 reviews15 followers
June 13, 2020
Best in the series so far in my opinion.
Dont think I will ever forget the character mr pudd.
Profile Image for Brandon.
914 reviews235 followers
March 3, 2013
The disappearance of a religious community in Maine had long since been the subject of controversy. It wasn’t until recently that the discovery of a mass grave containing those that had vanished all those years ago that the state began to get some answers. Shortly after it’s discovery, Detective Charlie Parker reluctantly becomes involved in the search for those responsible for the slaughter. Can Charlie uncover the truth behind the murders or will his connection with the afterlife ultimately lead to his downfall?

With Every Dead Thing and Dark Hollow, Connolly spends a great deal of time getting to know Parker while also establishing a world in which his characters can live and breathe. However, with Killing Kind, Connolly takes the characters into as dark a direction as he can. Playing up the supernatural aspects that lingered in the first two books, Connolly puts it on front street for the reader to experience.

Basically, what Connolly does is infuses those supernatural elements from the first two novels and turns the volume up to eleven. In saying that, I’m not trying to convey that the story takes a turn in a direction that requires a certain level of disbelief. Connolly very much keeps the core story in the "real world". The characters develop in a natural way and you’re not left wondering what kind of world he’s trying to craft. It’s a certain uniqueness that sets it apart from your standard procedural detective novel.

Parkers main adversary this time around, Mr. Pudd is excellently well developed. He’s truly a terrifying enemy and has some excellent scenes. Using recluse spiders as a means to kill his victims, I can confidently tell you that my skin was crawling on more than a few occasions. His relationship with his girlfriend, Rachel, begins to feel the strain of his job as well as his growing connection with the spirit of his first wife and daughter. Connolly begins establishing that Parker’s life will never really be what he wants it to be.

It’s essential that you read this book before picking up the follow up, The White Road. Aside from The Reapers (the seventh book in the Parker saga), The Killing Kind and The White Road are his best work. Outside of where we find Parker in the outset of Every Dead Thing, Killing Kind and The White Road take Parker to his absolute limit so we truly get to understand what a gripping character he is.
Profile Image for Mark.
1,372 reviews91 followers
August 25, 2018
The one book in the series I had up till now only owned in paperback, and now upgraded to a Hardcover version that fitted well with the whole series in hardcover. Some books will be kept and reread and I prefer them in the best way possible, this is one of those series. This book has now been reread once more and made darn sure that I will not watch the movie "Arachnophobia" anytime soon.

An early Charlie Parker novel that sets him on the road for future installments, religion, faith are the strong undertones in this novel. And yet they are not about the faith but the people living their faith and obsessions.

The story really starts with Charlie being hired to look into a suicide of which the employer is really not sure that is the cause of death. The lady in question was examining a certain Christian cult in the sixties that happened to vanish of the earth. Well as the story shows into the earth as the story goes their final resting place has been found and the evidence shows murder.

While Parker continues his investigation he meets some people he would rather not have met and these characters prove to be lethal to even the most hardened of criminals. As Parker and his friends discover more and more they find that it is all more than they had wished for. Even the late Travelling Man does make an unwanted appearance in this story which gives a clue how awefull all will be for Charlie and his friends.

His friends being Angel a master burglar and Louis a assassin, both retired! And of course his girlfriend Rachel who once again gets dragged into the affairs of her boyfriend. This time with her eyes open.

This book offers an insight in the new motivations of Charlie Parker when confronted with evil, it will scare you if you have a problem with spiders. While this story does touch the religious movement of an early 20th century in Maine it is not so much about religion but about good vs bad. And the story begins with the finding of a mass grave...

It is no longer Stephen King that shows us the evil parts from Maine, John Connolly does a brilliant job too. I guess it says something if my current three favorite writers have a lot of Maine in their books (John Irving, John Connolly & Stephen King). Perhaps It is sign that I have to visit that state one day only to assure me of the other face of Maine, namely the good one.
Profile Image for Heidi.
1,235 reviews145 followers
March 29, 2019
Another well-written thriller featuring my favorite tortured hero— Charlie “Bird” Parker — and his pistol-packing compatriots.

A truly creepy storyline is populated with evil dudes, ghoulish end of days books, poisonous spiders galore and ghosts of the past. This multi-layer story is a page turner from start to finish.

I’m still creeped out... definitely sleeping with the night light on.
November 8, 2019
Audiobook - 13:05 Hours - Narrator: Jeff Harding
4Stars - I really liked it

I have been motivated to write these comments because of an 'update review' by Albert Riehle on my feed today. Albert first read the novel in 2010 and recently listened to an audiobook, narrated by Holten Graham, and in his re-review Albert was particularly critical of this narrator, and, it would seem, for good reasons. I thought I would check who narrated my version of "The Killing Kind" and discovered that the narrator was the ever reliable Jeff Harding.

I acquired a copy of "The Killing Kind" in late 2010 and read (i.e., listened to) this novel sometime in 2014 (I think), and shelved it as "read, will-read-again". After various hard drive crashes, recoveries from back-ups, and updating my computers at least three times since 2010, I cannot be sure when I actually read listened to it, but whatever, I cannot remember much about it! What I do know is that I was as tough on awarding rating stars then as I am now, so 4Stars was a good rating from me at the time.

I have listened to all the Charlie Parker books from #1 to #14, I am missing #15, and I have #16 "Woman in the Woods" & #17 "A Book of Bones" to be listened to some time soon. However, Albert's review of the audiobook and my being unable to remember much about it, has prompted me to start again on this series and I have loaded #1, "Every Dead Thing", narrated by Jeff Harding, to get me back into the "Charlie Parker" groove🤩! Thank you, Albert Riehle.
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,324 reviews2,145 followers
January 22, 2014
Charlie Parker kills the evil baddies again aided by his faithful sidekicks, Angel, Louis and Rachel. I really enjoy the way John Connolly writes these books with just the right balance of description, spookiness and violence to keep the story rolling along at a fast pace and never letting up until the end. In fact not even then because he finishes this book with a line which makes the read want to move straight into the next one! I actually went to the shelf to make sure the sequel is ready for me! Fantastic!
Profile Image for Kristina.
291 reviews29 followers
October 2, 2021
This being my first foray into the world of Charlie Parker, I don’t have enough compliments for this outstanding mystery. Mr. Connolly is always excellent but this book kept me glued to its pages and forced me to neglect my lawn-mowing and cleaning duties this weekend. The villain(s) were terrifyingly dastardly and the heroes real and flawed. And Maine is always the best place for mysteries! I can’t wait to explore the dark roads of the rest of the series!
Profile Image for Jessica Westwood.
100 reviews14 followers
June 18, 2020
4.5*

*Let me just catch my breath!!!!*

... Man this guy knows how to create a villain! I swear they get more sinister with each that are brought to life ... talk about creepy!

The build up of these characters with their evil ways and traits get right under your skin. It grabs a fearful cold hold of you, making you read faster and faster, all the while holding your breath and knowing that by the end of it all, you will be done of the darkness and evil that has managed to seep deep inside you with every bit of this psychotic thriller!

'We could hunt them, but the honeycomb world is deep and intricate and rich with darkness.'

Once again the touch of supernatural gives it extra top marks for me, along with the little light hearted jovial moments of friendships and the blossoming of romance... see there are some rays of light inbetween those dark, dark shadows!

Connolly is a master of darkness and evil. These series are well worth the read.

'Truth exists, only lies are invented'
Profile Image for RM(Alwaysdaddygirl).
456 reviews68 followers
March 6, 2021
5 stars:


- This is one of the most vicious villains I have read. His evilness made me feel he has to be the son of Satan(or whoever you call him).
-I give it five stars for I like the ending, the twists, and a certain form of karma.


🇺🇸🐼💀🦋
Profile Image for Obsidian.
2,791 reviews961 followers
March 14, 2020
Wow. This was ridiculously good. We have more of the supernatural elements I like. I have to say though this book is hard to get through if you don’t like spiders.

“The Killing Kind” has Charlie taking up a case from an ex Senator. A daughter of a long ago friend ended up dead, but though the police think it’s suicide, no one believes it. When Charlie goes digging he finds a connection between the woman’s death and a Baptist sect that went missing in the 60s. Charlie also meets one of the most relentless killers he has ever gone toe to toe with.

I like how Connolly doesn’t ever let you know if what Charlie sees or feels is real or what. I like to think it is though. Charlie though in this one is pressing his luck. I loved having Rachel, Louis, and Angel in this one. All of the parties above are forever changed by the end of this one though.

The writing was lyrical and top notch. I also now hate spiders even more than I thought possible. Some of the descriptions definitely made me reach up and brush imaginary webs off of me. I liked how Connolly went from different POVs to excerpts from the thesis of the missing woman about the Baptists that went missing.

The book ends on a hopeful note but one wonders what is next for Charlie.
Profile Image for Mike.
1,138 reviews151 followers
July 6, 2015
Dark, dark, and dark...with a side of cruelty and multiple orders of creepy, deadly spiders. Mr. Connolly has some serious issues with religion on full display here. A small religious community disappears in the early '60's and a girl researching the cult is found dead present day, apparently a suicide. Charlie "Bird" Parker is hired to find out what happened. Charlie sees and talks to dead people, which is unusual but is not a distraction to the flow. Always amazing writing and enjoyable repartee between Bird, Rachel, Angel and Louis. But I did not find the plot as tightly woven as other Parker novels. Still, you can't go wrong picking this one up, just don't read it at night. BTW, what does Connolly have against Maine? You will not find it an appealing place to visit. He must really hate the place. 3 Stars
Profile Image for Μαρία Γεωργοπούλου.
Author 4 books85 followers
November 14, 2019
Δεύτερη ανάγνωση και η άποψή μου παραμένει η ίδια...

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Συγκλονιστικό! Για μια ακόμα φορά εντυπωσιάστηκα με τον εξαιρετικό τρόπο γραφής του John Connolly! Το τρίτο βιβλίο της σειράς με πρωταγωνιστή τον Τσάρλι Πάρκερ είναι ένα υπέροχο δείγμα αστυνομικού μυθιστορήματος με μεταφυσικά στοιχεία.

Αυτό που είναι εντυπωσιακό σε κάθε βιβλίο του Connolly, είναι οι περιγραφές του. Μέσα από αυτές καταφέρνει να κάνει τον αναγνώστη μέρος του τρομαχτικού κλίματος που επικρατεί στις ιστορίες του. Προσωπικά με έκανε να βλέπω τον κόσμο γύρω μου με άλλο μάτι και να αναρωτιέμαι αν υπάρχει κάτι πέρα από αυτό που αντιλαμβάνομαι με τις βασικές μου αισθήσεις.

Ο Τσάρλι Πάρκερ είναι ένας πολύ ενδιαφέρων ήρωας, καθώς έχει μεγάλη εξέλιξη και σε κάνει να θες να δεις που θα καταλήξει. Επίσης, λατρεύω το μαύρο χιούμορ που φαίνεται πως βελτιώνεται σε κάθε ιστορία!

Μεγάλη αδυναμία έχω στον Λουις και τον Έηντζελ, οι οποίοι είναι πολύ καλή προσθήκη σε κάθε ιστορία. Μου αρέσει ο τρόπος που πειράζουν τον Τσάρλι και πως εκείνος ανταποκρίνεται. Όσο για τη Ρέιτσελ, αρκετά συμπαθητική αλλά ακόμα δεν έχω σχηματίσει ολοκληρωμένη άποψη για αυτή.

Τέλος, για μια ακόμη φορά ο Connolly παρουσιάζει έναν εξαιρετικό κακό, έναν άνθρωπο που σε κάνει να ανατριχιάζεις και μόνο με την αναφορά του ονόματός του!

Σίγουρα ένα βιβλίο που όλοι οι φαν των αστυνομικών βιβλίων πρέπει να διαβάσουν!
Profile Image for Zornitsa Rasim.
284 reviews9 followers
May 21, 2020
Много добра! Не останах разочарована нито за секунда,голямо удоволствие е да четеш такива романи майсторски написани,които да те държат под напрежение до последната страница.
Profile Image for Bandit.
4,607 reviews464 followers
February 13, 2012
I believe that the true definition of courage is being afraid of something and doing it anyway. Charlie Parker feels fear and compassion and anger and remorse and goes forward anyway and it sets him apart and above any other private investigator/detective/etc. I've ever read about. He's more like a superhero, a dark avenger who refuses to stand by and let others suffer, who will do all within his power to right the wrongs and bring the guilty to justice. I love this character and immensely enjoy watching him change and grow as a person from one book to the next and Connolly's writing is just excellent, hauntingly lyrical and incredibly vivid. The book is riveting enough for thriller fans, terrifying enough for any horror fans and well written enough for any book lover out there. I highly recommend it.
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