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The Whisperers by John Connolly
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The Whisperers (edition 2010)

by John Connolly (Author)

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3362232,756 (3.8)15
Member:donaldmcobb
Title:The Whisperers
Authors:John Connolly (Author)
Info:Atria Books (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:Fiction

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The Whisperers by John Connolly

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English (19)  Spanish (1)  Galician (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (22)
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A few months ago, I heard that John answered all his messages on his official Facebook page. So, I thought, "Hey, I like Connolly a lot, perhaps I'll tell him that". So I sent him a message expressing my appreciation for his work and his signature Charlie Parker character. Much to my surprise, he actually did respond.

Dear Brandon,

Thanks very much for the kind words. Good for morale as I work toward the end of the draft of the next book, so much appreciated.

All best wishes,

John


Awesome.

Anyway, onto my review:

I'm not going to sit here and tell you that I know a whole lot about the Iraq War. Most of what's fed to me comes from either John Stewart, Saturday Night Live, or, most recently, the film, "The Hurt Locker". That isn't to say I'm opposed to the war, I just don't have enough of an opinion either way.

When I picked up John Connolly's newest Charlie Parker thriller, I was surprised that he wasn't dealing with pimps, religious oddities or child molestation. This time, he was delving into the world of post-traumatic stress felt by soldiers returning home from overseas. Except, that it's not REALLY dealing with that. Connolly always loves to mask his thrillers with a relatable issue only to delve into something supernatural. That's not a spoiler folks, Connolly is now 10 books into the Charlie Parker universe and if you haven't picked up a hint of otherworldly forces intruding into Parker's life, then something is missing in your understanding of the series.

Over the past 9 installments, Parker has amassed such a gallery of impressive adversaries. Somehow, Connolly keeps coming up with enemies that outdo the last one. In The Whisperers, we're introduced to Herod and his commander, The Captain. Herod is driven by a promise of relief from the cancer that has stricken his body. In obtaining that in which The Captain seeks, he will be given a much better existence on the other side. So basically, nothing is going to stop this guy. The Captain, described as "evil incarnate" is chilling. Appearing in only the reflections brought about by mirrors, still water and windows, Connolly writes him in a way that can disturb the reader, even without supplying the character with any dialogue or substantial actions. Just his described appearances are more than enough.

My only real beef with this novel is that the witty banter between Louis, Angel and Parker is stifled. I'm a massive fan of Parker's friends and am a little disappointed in the size of their roles in the two most recent installments. Perhaps Connolly is planning a follow up to the mostly Louis and Angel standalone entry, The Reapers. Who knows? Either way, I could've use a little more humor and sarcasm injected.

Overall, while it doesn't live up to the feelings I had after finishing both [b:The White Road|175244|The White Road (Charlie Parker, #4)|John Connolly|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1172432903s/175244.jpg|441678] and [b:The Reapers|2515832|The Reapers (Charlie Parker, #7)|John Connolly|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51flREuCuoL._SL75_.jpg|2425284], it's still an excellent entry into the Parker series.

** By the way, I'm stealing a page from Stephen's review system and rating this 4.5 stars. ( )
  branimal | Apr 1, 2014 |
"As you know Bob, stress affects the amygdala of the brain."

"The Whisperers" is not the strongest Charlie Parker novel. Pacing is awkward. The story is interrupted by didactic passages that could be lifted from Wikipedia. The villain, although truly vile and loathsome, doesn't pack enough supernatural menace to dominate the story. The evil mastermind for the human bad guys isn't woven into the narrative from the beginning. When the backstory is revealed, the mastermind doesn't come across as "puppetmaster" who could manipulate the people and events that led to the release of the demon-box.

Louis and Angel are brought in as an obligation, for some wise cracks with the local yokels, but they don't contribute to the plot.

The previous novel in the Charlie Parker series, "The Lovers," was heart-breaking as well as heart-stopping, with stunning revelations about Charlie Parker, his family, and his destiny. "The Whisperers" doesn't move forward the arc of Charlie Parker's story. ( )
  feeling.is.first | Sep 5, 2013 |
This is the first Connolly book I've read. Our hero, Charlie Parker is a PI who sets off to find the reason for a suicide. He is hired by the father of the victim. The book is a page turner from start to finish. We have a rash of veterans committing suicide, stolen Iraqi artifacts and ancient evils. ( )
  AdorableArlene | Jan 3, 2012 |
John Connolly's books fall between two genres horror and crime with a little bit of da vinci code thrown in. I love Charlie Parker, yes like all cops he's got his past and his demons but these in no way interfere in a cracking storyline. In essence ancient artifacts have been stolen from Iraq and are being smuggled into the US via Canada for what else profit...for the bad men :(( The Whisperers are a curse/demons that are securely locked in a small box and just waiting to be released on an unsuspecting world...Into this story enter a host of characters...The Collector..The Captain...Herod (being eaten alive by a speeding cancer...which only adds to his evil), and lets not forget Charlie's two able bodied helpers Angel and Louis....add a number of ex servicemen who are mysteriously dying/committing suicide, an array of evil gangsters...together with the aptly named Jimmy Jewel (didn't he have a comedy show with Hilda Baker ;)...and we have a top class thriller and as they say....grabs you from the first page and never lets go!.....so for all fans of dark and highly entertaining crime/horror fiction this is a must read...enjoy...and sleep tightly otherwise the Whisperers will get you...... ( )
  runner56 | Nov 5, 2011 |
Soldiers newly returned from Iraq are committing suicide. The father of Damien Patchett hires Charlie to find out the truth behind his son’s “alleged” suicide. Bennett Patchett doesn’t trust Joel Tobias who served with Damien in Iraq. Bennett is fond of a former employee who has taken up with Joel and believes Joel is abusing her. Charlie’s investigation leads him to the Canadian border where he discovers Joel and other returning soldiers might be involved in smuggling. Exactly what, Charlie isn’t sure. But the book had opened with a scene in Iraq where artifacts were being stolen. When Charlie starts to get too close he gets a sample of waterboarding as a warning to stay away. This is when Charlie calls in those colorful friends, Angel and Louis. Meanwhile there is a strange character named Herod who is hell bent on recovering the stolen items and has his own unique way of getting to the truth. Toss in The Collector who was introduced several books back and the strange “whispers” from demons within one of the artifacts and Connelly is dipping his toe into F. Paul Wilson territory. The Charlie Parker series has always had a bit of the paranormal in it since he seems to see and hear his deceased wife and daughter but I have never been sure whether The Collector is on the side of good or evil, much less if he is alive or dead.

Although I love this series, I was a bit taken back by some of the references in this book. Besides waterboarding, Connelly also brings up the wars, military recruiting of the “unfortunate,” treatment of our military when they return. And criticism isn’t complete unless someone mentions Bush and Cheney. This is like the “ugly baby” syndrome. You don’t mind if your husband or relative tells you your baby looks like a Cabbage Patch doll, but if a stranger in line at the store tells you your baby is ugly, then you are offended. I checked the acknowledgements section to see where this author…from Ireland…obtained his information. The one and only newspaper he checked (or perhaps his editor and publisher gave him the information) was the New York Times. He should have at least also checked the Washington Times and several other media to get a more “fair and balanced” picture. His handlers do him a huge disservice by instructing him to learn the pulse of the delicate subject of politics in America, a country that is majority center-right, from one left-leaning newspaper. ( )
  SandyLee | Jun 9, 2011 |
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added by johnbsheridan | editThe Irish Independent (May 1, 2010)
 
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To Mark Dunne, Paul O'Reilly, Noel Maher and Emmet Hegarty: princes all.
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It was Dr. Al-Daini who found the girl, abandoned and alone in the long central corridor.
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Ancient artifacts and the second Iraqi War provide the backdrop for Connolly's outstanding ninth novel featuring PI Charlie Parker (after The Lovers). When the former NYPD homicide detective looks into the suicide of an Iraq war veteran, he discovers that several members of the soldier's unit have also killed themselves and that they may have been involved in smuggling looted treasures into the U.S. Parker begins to fear that the returning soldiers have brought back more than their own personal demons. As he races to find an antique golden box before it falls into the wrong hands, Parker discovers that he's being shadowed by the enigmatic Collector, a repulsive killer whose nature is as problematic as that of Parker himself.
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On the border between Maine and Canada, a dangerous smuggling operation is taking place. Drugs, cash, weapons, even people-- and something ancient and powerful and evil...

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