I ordered this from the library with ambivalence; though I enjoy Connolly's writing, I didn't find the first book of the Charlie Parker series particularly enjoyable (body count was a little high for me). I found a rather solid mystery-thriller, peppered with the descriptive passages I've come to love. Billy thinks he's gonna make good if his latest plan works: only trouble is that it means stealing from a desperate mob boss. Like good friends do, Angel and Louis come to keep an eye on Parker's exposed back. On the more positive side of the body count, Connolly he doesn't seem as absorbed in the details of the deaths as in the first book, which made them easier to tolerate or skim over.
In Charlie Parkers debut, Every Dead Thing, John Connolly introduced a protagonist who had already fallen from grace; a New York City police detective, he was getting drunk in a bar as his wife and young daughter were being brutally murdered. Dark Hollow finds Charlie Parker having abandoned the New York of his recent past for the Maine of his youth, living in emotional solitude. Asked by a family friend to try and collect at least some of the alimony money owed by her ex-husband, Parkers brief confrontation with the man and the subsequent murder of the woman and her two-year old boy promptly involve him in the case, a case that contains threads as diverse as a long dormant local serial killer and low level mobsters out of Boston (which is only 2 to 3 hours away, depending on traffic around Boston and the severity of the weather as you travel north). In short, Charlie Parker sees dead people. So even if the ghosts in question turn out to be real as well--and from what Ive heard about future additions to the series, the supernatural aspect becomes more prominent--in this particular story they can (and should) be accepted as elements of character and atmosphere.
am I prepared to "like" - i.e. 3 stars - a person right off the bat? but am I prepared to "really like" - 4 stars - a person, automatically? Dark Hollow is a solid 3 star book. haunted former police detective Charlie Parker is embroiled in his second crime mystery, this time involving an array of repulsive villains including a pair of repulsive hitmen, a repulsive serial killer, and a repulsive mafia guy. item 2: our protagonist's closest friends - a thief and an assassin who are also lovers - are as delightful as they were in the first book. item 3: our haunted hero Charlie Parker is not just layered, sympathetic, and genuinely interesting... there are way too many repulsive villains and the result is a book that felt a bit weighed down with all of its various plot threads, which of course have to come together in the end.
By beginning with the horror introduced in the first book, the author is able to create psychological parallels and foundations that build both plot platforms interpersonally and through the horrific events that seem to gravitate toward the protagonist. Part of what fuels the story is that there seem to be several plot running simultaneously, yet as they weave into one resolution with the common denominator- Charlie Parker.
'There are people whose eyes you must avoid, whose attention you must not draw to yourself.' So the second book in the Charlie Parker series, and my reread mission continues. Pretty soon Rita Purdue and her son are dead, there are mobsters, hitmen and all sorts running round being naughty and Charlie has to wade through it all with a little help from Angel and Louis. His old boss Walter Cole's daughter comes to visit and then goes missing, everything leads back to Dark Hollow and a chapter of Charlie Parker's history. Stritch is a completely disturbing individual and his meeting with Charlie is top draw. Oh, you wont see me, he replied, and this time the threat was explicit.' Stritch is small fry compared to a man, a ghost who even has a little ditty sung about him to frighten the children.
The plot involves the hunt for a serial killer, as with Every Dead Thing's The Traveling Man. You'll have to decide for yourself which is the most terrifying between the aforementioned and Dark Hollow's Caleb Kyle. John Connolly weaves an intricate tapestry and this book is a joy to read, once again.
To say I fell in love with him is a mere expression of the tip of an iceberg with regard to my feelings for Charlie Parker; they go definitely deeper than mere love for a fictional character. John Connolly is definitely one of my favourite authors now, especially when it comes to writing dark crime. His absolute grasp over the plot, his characters, their emotions and all the gore that goes with such books is simply amazing. The dark tones that are present in the world building is also present in the depiction and even the growth of the characters. Charlie Parker is vulnerable at his best and is often besieged with such fears and doubts that he wouldnt really make a great hero and yet it is for these vulnerabilities and doubts that you end up loving him and rooting for him. Each book in the series reveals different sides of their characters and it is interesting how the author has developed them. Despite these small disappointments, I truly enjoyed the book and will definitely be reading more of this series as I truly love Charlie Parker.
The great Charlie Parker re-read continues with Dark Hollow, and boy but this one was determined to live up to the name.
Lo siento, Parker se ha convertido en una droga que no puedo dejar.
To describe a book entitled Dark Hollow by decidedly dark fiction writer John Connolly and starring the most definitely dark protagonist Charlie Bird Parker seems a bit redundant, but thats the feeling left after having read Dark Hollow that it is dark. Dark is the skin color of the most compelling and enjoyable character in this second novel, Parkers friend Louis.
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.