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Every Dead Thing by John Connolly
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Every Dead Thing (edition 2000)

by John Connolly

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1,495514,957 (3.8)100
Member:southerntang
Title:Every Dead Thing
Authors:John Connolly
Info:Pocket Books (2000), Mass Market Paperback, 467 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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Every Dead Thing by John Connolly

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Every Dead Thing is the first in John Connolly’s Charlie (Bird) Parker series. Bird is a former New York cop whose wife and daughter were brutally murdered while he was at the local getting drunk. He quit the force and without getting a license or anything official, starts doing a few investigative jobs. One for a bail bondsman gets him into a huge shootout with the mob. This gets him hired to find a Catherine Demeter who, like Bird, lost family to a monster–a serial killer who preyed on children.

Of course, all the time he is also thinking about and looking for the monster who murdered his family. The trail leads him to New Orleans, called their by the daughter of a woman who told him of another victim, a victim she has never seen, but whose ghost haunts the swamps. When he goes, she and son are murdered–clearly by the man who killed Bird’s family.

There is much for a mystery reader to love about Every Dead Thing. The mysteries are complex and fair. You can connect the dots with the information available to you, the readers. Connolly has an eye for detail and paints a picture with his prose so you can see it in your mind’s eye whether describing the trees and wildlife of the bayou or the bars and the people of New Orleans. The story is rich with complex and interesting characters, particularly Louis and Angel, his friends on the wrong side of the law.

However, and this is huge however, this is some grim and gruesome stuff. It took me far longer than usual to read Every Dead Thing as I would have to put it aside and read something else. I read four books while reading it because I could not take the unrelenting violence that was far too detailed. Our serial killer likes to flay people and pose them in a tableaux. It’s gross. The killer of Demeter’s sister like to torture children. It’s gross. It’s hard to take.

There is also the need to suspend disbelief that goes too far, expecting too much of us. No, I am not talking about the psychic swamp woman or the ghostly visions that Bird has. I am talking about Bird shooting people here and there and never getting arrested for it. Oh, he gets questioned but someone always vouches for him and he’s released. He leaves the scene of multiple murders and would in any normal course of events be a prime suspect…and it’s all okay. It beggars belief far more than the paranormal elements of the story.

There’s also a bit of wallowing in the gore. Connolly will never “fade to black.” Instead he goes too far the other direction, to the point of prurience. There’s a chapter describing an autopsy juxtaposed with memories of his family. There’s just too much loving detail of the unlovely elements of murder.

So here’s the thing, it’s a good, complex mystery. The writing is excellent in terms of character development and sense of place. The plot is complex. These are all great. But I don’t know if I have any yen to read another in this series. The murders and murderers are just too gruesome for me.

I received an e-galley of Every Dead Thing from the publisher through NetGalley.

★★★
http://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpress.com/2017/03/18/9781501122620/ ( )
  Tonstant.Weader | Mar 18, 2017 |
Charlie Parker
  RogerG700 | Feb 28, 2017 |
I am a latecomer to the long-running series Charlie Parker and I confess I don’t care for them much. This is the third I've read, although chronologically it is the first.

My main complaint is that these books are too long for this class of story; too many episodes throw off the pace. And I can't take in the need to bring the supernatural into what are basically detective thrillers. Why?

I received a review copy of "Every Dead Thing: A Charlie Parker Thriller" by John Connolly (Atria) through NetGalley.com. ( )
  Dokfintong | Feb 25, 2017 |
I'm glad that this wasn't the first John Connolly's book about Charles Parker that I read. It was good, but the books that I have read, "The Killing Kind", "The White Road" and "The Reapers" was much better. ( )
  MaraBlaise | Feb 25, 2017 |
Definitely the most gory and grotesque beginning to any book I have ever read. Do not start reading this while you are eating. I seriously thought it was going to be a DNF.

There were a few moments when my eyes started to cross and my mind started to wander. Thankfully, those were very few. For the most part, I found this book to be very edge of my seat. The suspects for the "Traveling Man" were many and my finger pointed at a lot of them. Some of the time when I was reading the book, I was wondering, "how the heck does this tie in?". Then at the end when the author put in the red arrows and the blinking lights along with the sirens, I was like I would have never figured that out.

The story took me from New York, up to the East Coast, to Virginia and down to the Big Easy. Charlie Parker provided many chuckles as well as his friends, Louis and Angel. So basically, the author added everything. Entertainment, mystery, suspense, gore, action scenes, scenery, high speed chases, the "don't go into the basement scenes", a few swampland scenes and some good ole Bayou voodoo. Not to mention the Cajun delicacies enjoyed by the characters.

This was a great story and definitely held my interest. This was one serial killer you did not want to meet in a dark alley.

Thanks to Atria Books for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  debkrenzer | Feb 21, 2017 |
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Connolly, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bortolussi, StefanoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It is cold in the car, cold as the grave.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 067102731X, Mass Market Paperback)

It's a good idea to avoid reading John Connolly's debut novel on a full stomach. His descriptions of mutilated murder victims give him honorary membership in the gore wars club. Every Dead Thing is a fast-paced piece of fiction from an author whose regular stomping ground is as a journalist for the Irish Times.

NYPD detective Charlie "Bird" Parker was busy boozing at Tom's Oak Tavern when his wife Susan, and young daughter Jennifer were mutilated by a killer called the Traveling Man. Consumed by guilt and alcoholism, Charlie soon lost his job, and almost his sanity. Several months on he is sober and ready to get his life back in order. Charlie takes up private investigating. One of his first cases involves the disappearance of a woman called Catherine Demeter. At first this puzzle seems unrelated to the Traveling Man--but Charlie has a gut feeling that the slayer is pulling the strings. "I dreamed of Catherine Demeter surrounded by darkness and flames and the bones of dead children. And I knew then that some terrible blackness had descended upon her."

The search for Catherine takes Charlie on a whirlwind tour of the South. First to the small Virginian town of Haven, where, some 30 years before, Catherine's sister Amy was murdered, along with other local children. But the trail turns cold--until a tip from a psychic leads Charlie to the swamplands of Louisiana. The subplots of Catherine's disappearance, age-old child murders, and the slaying of the Parker family finally unite in the hot, humid terrain. A showdown with the Traveling Man is inevitable.

Every Dead Thing is classic American crime fiction, and it's hard to believe that John Connolly was born and raised on the Emerald Isle. --Naomi Gesinger

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:36 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Former NYPD detective Charlie "Bird" Parker, is tormented by the brutal, unsolved murders of his wife and young daughter. Driven by visions of the dead, he tracks a serial killer from New York City to the Deep South, and finds his buried instincts--for love, survival, and ultimately, for killing--awakening as he confronts a monster beyond imagining.… (more)

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