Tormented and racked with guilt over the brutal slaying of his wife and daughter, Charlie Parker, ex-cop with the NYPD, agrees to track down a missing girl. It is a search that will lead him into an abyss of evil.
At the same time, he is warned by an old black woman in Louisiana that "The Travelling Man" is about to strike again. Multiple strands converge with a horrific confrontation in which hunter and hunted are intimately connected by guilt.
©1999 John Connolly (P)2003 ISIS Publishing Ltd
"good book if you like this kind of thing"
This is the first in the Charlie Parker series and I'd listen to this before listening to any of the others as it's story is often referred to in the other books. The story is very much in the style of the Phillip Marlow books; lots of hard boiled patter and tough guy philosophising. This gives it an old fashioned feel so it just depends on whether you like your detectives macho and just a tiny bit cheesy; I do and so loved this book. It's also worth noting that the murders are truly gruesome so if you've got a weak stomach I'd avoid this title. Turns out I'd read this title years ago and remembered who the murderer was half way through listening but this didn't lessen my enjoyment. It does on the other hand make it difficult to assess the effectiveness of the red herrings and eventual twist but as I said before even knowing who did it didn’t spoil my enjoyment. The narration really fits the story; an inspired choice of reader
"Settles in your bones and lives there"
John Connolly writes as though he knows his characters and has seen what they see, and felt what they feel. He has an insight that makes me wonder how much of what he writes comes from personal experience, being able as he is to set the scene in minute detail, enabling us to really see, hear and smell what we need to in order to live the words he writes.
The story of a man struggling with his addiction to alcohol when his wife and little daughter are taken from him is laid bare for us as if written through he grieving. Then Parker makes it his mission to bring to his form of justice the killers on his way to finding the root of this nightmare.
The narrator, Jeff Harding, is an absolute talent and was perfect for this read.
I am only glad John has written so many books in this series!
"A Strong Start to a Compelling Character"
I stumbled onto this after wanting to read 'The Wrath of Angels' but felt I should do the groundwork and start Charlie Parker's story from the beginning. I'm glad I did, this is a great book and the narration by Jeff Harding is spot on. As other reviwers have mentioned the level of detail covering the Travelling Man killings is prety horrific but helps to set up Charlie Parker's character and motivations in later books. The hardboiled gumshoe thing is heavier in this book than later ones but suits the overall tone. Listen to this and then listen to all the other books in order. I did, and can thoroughly recommend all of them.
This remains one of my favorite books. The story lines, there is more than one, the characters, the language and the depth detail make this book a compelling listen. I was a little dubious about the lack of originality with the alcoholic private eye but such a description would not do Charlie justice. The humor in some of the foul language and occasional crudities contrast nicely with the viscera on show.
This isn't a very good first book, this is simply a very good book first or otherwise.
As with all the Parker books the listening is much augmented by the narration of Jeff Harding. Thanks Jeff..
5 stars, easy.
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