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Bad Men [Hardcover]

John Connolly
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 1 2004
Three hundred years ago, the settlers on the small Maine island of Sanctuary were betrayed by one of their own, and slaughtered. Now a band of killers has returned to Sanctuary to seek revenge on a young woman and her son, and the only people who stand in their way are a young rookie officer and the island's resident policeman, the troubled giant known as Melancholy Joe Dupree. But Joe Dupree is no ordinary policeman. He is the guardian of the island's secrets, the repository of its memories. He knows that Sanctuary has been steeped in violence, and that its ghosts will tolerate the shedding of innocent blood no longer. On Sanctuary, the hunters are about to become the hunted.
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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From Publishers Weekly

The long-dead, gray-skinned wraiths Connolly conjures up in this thriller with a supernatural twist are lighthearted sprites compared to the grotesque humans who maim, rape and kill their way through the gore-clotted story of horror and revenge. Connolly's usual protagonist, Charlie "Bird" Parker (The White Road; Dark Hollow; Every Dead Thing), makes only a brief appearance here, for which he should give heartfelt thanks. Off the coast of Maine, Dutch Island, known to the old-timers as Sanctuary, is cursed by the spirits of those who died in a savage slaughter there in the year 1693. In the present day, imprisoned murderer Edward Moloch dreams of an ancient land where he is a hunter bent on the massacre of his wife and the inhabitants of a small village. Moloch, the worst of the bad men of the title, escapes from prison and leaves a trail of mutilated victims behind as he searches for the wife who several years earlier betrayed him to police to escape his brutality. On Dutch Island, longtime native Joe Dupree, known as Melancholy Joe, is the oversize (7' 2" and 360 pounds) but gentle chief of police. He's developed a fondness for beautiful newcomer Marianne Elliott, and the feeling is mutual. Unfortunately, Marianne is Moloch's ex-wife and Moloch's on his way, leading a small gang of other very bad men. It's a terrifying story, the action brutal, grotesque and unrelentingly violent. Horrified readers will turn the last blood-soaked page wondering if they would have begun the first had they known what was coming. Think Thomas Harris by way of Stephen King: haunting, compelling, but not for the faint of heart.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The author of the Charlie Parker mysteries heads off in a different direction in his new novel. The small island of Sanctuary, off the coast of Maine, was once the scene of a bloody massacre. Now, three centuries later, evil has again come to the island, a modern-day evil with strange, eerie connections to the events of the late 1600s. Do two police officers have even a remote chance of stopping the carnage? This is one of those novels that refuses to be pigeonholed. It's a thriller; it's a mystery; it's a tale of the supernatural (sort of). At its center is Joe Dupree, the (literal) gentle giant of a cop, a man whose kindness and compassion would appear to make him a bad choice to defend the citizens of Sanctuary from the marauding evil that approaches. This elegantly written good-versus-evil story will appeal not only to crime-fiction readers but also to fans of such high-profile horror authors as King and Koontz. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars characters that I hated and even more so July 6 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I sat up late reading this book. My "spidey senses" were tingling and I knew there was going to be a payback for Moloch and friends.Little did I know where it would come from! There are characters that I cared for, characters that I hated and even more so , bad men whose history fascinated me.
Mr. Connolly scores again with a well written book that kept me guessing and kept me interested until the very end.
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3.0 out of 5 stars They were reaLLY bad June 22 2014
By Robert
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Well it was long and hard to understand in parts where it jumped from one part to another other than that it was injoyable to
read I would recommend to the serious reader that has time on their hands
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4.0 out of 5 stars OK Time Waster June 17 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The characters are interesting. The plot is predictable, but well described. There weren't a lot of surprises, but I was still interested to find out how it ends.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Went for nasty, not thrilling, too convoluted. May 20 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I stuck w this long winded "thriller" which I probably should have abandoned. Why do we always think "it will get better?" The writing isn't poor, but the construction is laborious, each chapter brings in more characters, but with content that in my opinion is blatantly nasty, versus building suspense. It becomes redundant, & frankly I found the writer's overload of raping, cutting, violence against women to be questionable as to why.. Yes, thrillers often introduce this theme, but with other background that digs deeper. Count the characters introduced w this descriptive. Yes, Bad Men but must we read of nasty violations, scum verbal usage as the constant theme?

Perhaps, Connolly, whom I see has written a host of thrillers, has run out of steam, or believes readers live vicariously through these endless bloody scenes, graphic truly nasty acts or attitude in appraising women, blowing off limbs, heads, torturing & cutting women?

. These chapters are snapshots of characters, most w these perversions, with a few bland "good women, children & cops" after all, there must be victims. And they are.

I would like to say that I felt duped in the beginning, since so much history & description was given to the Casco Islands....though we are first told "Portland", which had me baffled when "furthest Island" unprotected from Atlantic winds...(I live in Vancouver BC)....Gulf of Maine isn't added until later. I searched on maps & legends listing 250 Islands - no Sanctuary nor Dutch but others mentioned do exist. Therefore, I wasn't sure setting & history wise, of which a fair measure is laid out with the geography, what to believe. The Indians, settlers in 1600s. Obviously, I refer not to the fictional storyline.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bad Men Jan. 26 2013
By Linda J. Leclair TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Another Charlie Parker book. Some of these books are a little scary due to the violence in them. I liked it and didn't like it. I don't know whether to recommend this book or not.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bad Men by John Connolly Aug. 20 2012
By Linda J. Leclair TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As his books go, they are very brutal and sometimes difficult to read. This is one of the better books. It is not a Charlie Parker storyline, but it is very well written and I couldn't put it down. I wanted to read it to the end. There is a lot of brutality in it, but it isn't as awful as some of the books I have read that were written by him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Now, something was awake." June 24 2004
Format:Hardcover
John Connolly delivers an impressive thriller, which I found almost impossible to put down after jumping into its exquisitely elaborated plot. He switches back and forth between the past and the present with ease, demonstrating his skills. Dutch Island is situated at a one and a half hour ferry ride from Portland, and it has been the setting of mysterious and unsettling events throughout its history. This is the setting for the marvelous story presented by Connolly.
In the late seventeenth century Indians consistently raided the various islands in the area outside of what is known today as Portland, pushing the white settlers away. But in 1691 thirty individuals arrived to Dutch Island, which at the time was also known as Sanctuary, and decided to give it a try. Bauer, one of the men that formed part of the group, was justly accused of attempting to rape another man's wife. When he asked his own wife for shelter against his pursuers she did not comply and he was captured. However, he was able to escape and he returned years later with renegade Indians as his "hired help" bringing mayhem to the village. After the horrible events that developed in the island, the ghosts of the dead were left behind to cohabitate with the living. Usually, they do not interact much with humans, but now something is growing, and some people in the island can feel it.
Connolly creates interesting and well-developed characters, like the giant Joe Dupree, seven feet two inches and three hundred and sixty pounds, who is in charge of the police department in Dutch Island. He is courting Marianne, a woman who has some secrets in store, but he also has some secrets of his own.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A Disappointing Waste of Talent June 24 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Connolly is a marvelous writer, but this book is marred by the use of ghosts to move along the plot. It's a pleasure to read someone as gifted as Connolly in creating characters, describing place, and portraying genuine conversations. But when the story requires belief in ghosts I lose interest.
Others have described the gore in the book, and that can be a turnoff for squimish readers. I can handle the blood--that's possible; I can't handle the supernatural--there is no such stuff. Too bad Connolly wasted his writing skills with a story that's only for the fantasy-minded.
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