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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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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars "Now, something was awake." June 24 2004
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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5.0 out of 5 stars BAD IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT June 12 2004
John Connolly is emerging as one of the boldest, freshest and superior novelists of our time. BAD MEN is a brutal, gut-wrenching, mesmerizing, violent and excellently penned thriller. Connolly wastes no time in getting us introduced to the bad men of the title, and they are definitely BADDDDD!
Edward Moloch lies in prison having dreams of a seventeenth century bloodbath on a remote island north of Maine. Moloch wants revenge on the wife who betrayed him and took off with almost a million dollars of his money. He recruits some really cold-blooded, despicable associates to help get his wife and his money.
The wife has moved on to Sanctuary Island, the very island of Moloch's dreams. She has a new name for both her and her son, and she has fallen in love with the island's sheriff, Joe Dupree. Joe is an enormous man, considered a "giant" and maybe even a freak by the islanders, but he is a gentle, kind man, and despite his size, is respected and admired.
A lot of corpses accompany the escaped Moloch and his crew as he slowly winds his way to the confrontation with his wife.
Connolly creates a terrifying mood of suspense, and even adds the supernatural in that the slaughtered villagers from the 17th century are hanging around and thousands and thousands of moths, too! In less competent hands, this addition would be preposterous. In Connolly's, however, they only add to the sheer terror of this breathtaking thriller.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Modern day ghost story June 3 2004
John Connolly's compelling novel "Bad Men" is unique in that the setting of the story has a personality and therefore plays much like any of the main characters. "Bad Men" is actually a juxtaposition of two stories, the history of the setting, Dutch Island and a life and death struggle among the characters.
Dutch Island, also known as Sanctuary is a smallish island located in Maine's Casco Bay with access by boat from Portland. Dutch Island was the site in 1693 of a brutal massacre of it's original inhabitants, memorialized in a remote area called the Site. Around the Site spectres and spirits of the slaughtered colonists have been observed lurking about and causing mayhem, unwilling to allow more violence to desecrate Dutch Island.
Dutch Island happens to be the home of both Joe Dupree and Marianne Elliott. Dupree, a 7 foot 2 inch giant and descendant of the original colonists of Sanctuary is head of Dutch Island's police force and unofficial keeper of the history of the island. Marianne Elliott and her son Danny are recent inhabitants. Elliott unwittingly married Edward Moloch who turned out to be a sadistic, homicidal sociopath presently incarcerated on death row in a Virginia prison. She unearthed his ill gotten cache of some $800,000 and after ratting him out to the police, fled with the loot and her young son to the remote Dutch Island.
Moloch aided by a crew of murderous, blood thirsty felons escaped from prison. They are presently combing the country leaving behind a trail of dead bodies trying to determine the whereabouts of Marianne, Danny and the money. That path inexorably leads them to Dutch Island.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bad Men Packed With Action May 17 2004
Saralee says
Charlie Parker, the ex-cop turned private detective, is the usual protagonist in the popular mystery series by author John Connolly that includes The Killing Kind (Pocket Star), Dark Hollow (Pocket Books) and The White Road (Pocket Star). Connolly's books featuring Parker have developed a loyal following because of the author's ability to write a great story and his distinctive style of writing which includes a wry sense of humor.
Although Parker does make a very brief appearance, Bad Men (Atria Books) introduces us to Joe Dupree. Joe's job is to protect the small island called Dutch Island once called Sanctuary in Maine, where most of the book takes place. As the story begins, the reader learns that something terrible happened in Sanctuary more than 300 years ago. There are bad people who want to murder and wreak havoc in the present and spirits who may or may not be helping them. Edward Moloch is as evil as bad men come and he plans to escape from prison and find his wife Marianne who is hiding on Dutch Island with their son. It is up to Dupree and rookie police officer Sharon Macy to protect the citizens of Dutch Island from the horrors, which are often unexplained, along with preparing for Moloch's arrival.
Did you think this book was too violent? Parts of it made me squeamish and were hard to read. How does Connolly compare to Dean Koontz, Stephen King and Thomas Harris as far as scaring you? Is Bad Men to be read late at night or in the safety of daylight? As for me, I will read the next book by Connolly that features Parker with joy and relief.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars characters that I hated and even more so
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. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Debbie Pearson
3.0 out of 5 stars They were reaLLY bad
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... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Robert
4.0 out of 5 stars OK Time Waster
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.
Published 3 months ago by eh to zed
2.0 out of 5 stars Went for nasty, not thrilling, too convoluted.
I stuck w this long winded "thriller" which I probably should have abandoned. Why do we always think "it will get better? Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sheryl in Vancouver
5.0 out of 5 stars Bad Men
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. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Linda J. Leclair
5.0 out of 5 stars Bad Men by John Connolly
As his books go, they are very brutal and sometimes difficult to read. This is one of the better books. Read more
Published on Aug. 20 2012 by Linda J. Leclair
2.0 out of 5 stars A Disappointing Waste of Talent
Connolly is a marvelous writer, but this book is marred by the use of ghosts to move along the plot. Read more
Published on June 24 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Bad Men Rocks!
This is a very good book. The whole zombie thing is very popular lately, but this one has a supernatural type twist to it. Read more
Published on May 24 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of good in Connolly's 'Bad Men'
Nashville City Paper April 29,2004
Charlie Parker, the ex-cop turned private detective, is the usual protagonist in the popular mystery series by author John Connolly that... Read more
Published on May 3 2004 by bookmanbookwoman
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