Genre – Crime ,magical realism
First Book Every Dead thing
Number of Books to Date (2021) 18
The Charlie Parker books by John Connolly blend crime with strong supernatural making this a unique and riveting series for both crime ,urban fantasy buffs or anyone looking for a different twist to their crime thrillers.
I first picked up the first Charlie Parker book, Every Dead Thing, in an airport 15 year ago and have enjoyed every harrowing book since then. This series is an indescribable blend of crime, thriller and the supernatural with one of my favourite fictional characters.
Charlie Parker is a grizzly, grumpy, loner detective who starts off as a young New York Detective mourning the gruesome murders of his wife and daughter. We see him become a wiser( but still grumpy)private detective who has a group of loyal friends and allies as very well as a father to a gifted daughter.
Each book can be read as a standalone but there are so many recurring themes and characters and you would lose out on the big picture if these books aren’t read in order. Parker is a fascinating character and there is a specialness about him, his past and his family that each book slowly reveals particularly when his second daughter is born. His tenaciousness and unwillingness to give up fighting evil no matter the cost is the core of good and hope that runs through these books. The vast number of secondary characters that recur through the book are interesting in their own right especially Louis and Angel ( who get a book of their own too).
The books are more crime than supernatural but both strands are well written, interesting and can hold their own separately. The descriptions of the various towns, cities and villages are vivid especially Maine( which is truly remarkable as the author is originally from Ireland),
The villains in that these books are some of the evilest and disturbing I have ever read made so much worse by that supernatural slant but I am glad Parker never gives up even if it takes a few books to get his man. Despite all the darkness, there is much-needed humour and Parker is a character you root for even though you can’t identify with him.
The violence in these books are graphic and disturbing, so much so there have been times I have had to take a little break from reading. This could be me but I still haven’t figured out why Charlie and his daughters are special and what is his true purpose.
Graphic violence of all kinds, child abuse, torture- these are not book for the faint-hearted
I would recommend this series to any crime buff who would like a unique twist as well fantasy fans who would like a little realism. Each book is beautifully written with new and familiar characters in new, thrilling stories.
The latest book, The Dirty South, is a prequel and a good starting point but read the books in order to truly experience these amazing books.