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Dark Hollow: The Second Charlie Parker Thriller [Paperback]

John Connolly
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dark and disturbing March 19 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
With this, the second novel in the Charlie Parker series, Connolly comes fully loaded, and he lets the reader have it with both barrels. He says he rewrites his books about forty or fifty times, and the effort shows, as he writes with a precision that gives the scenes cinematic clarity. Parker, a PI who has visions of the dead, must hunt down a man who has stolen a small fortune from a minor mob figure, setting off a chain of events that lead to violent encounters between various mob hitmen, freelance assassins, and an almost mythical serial killer that leaves piles of bodies like multi-car smash-ups at a foggy urban intersection with a broken traffic light. There is hardly a false note in the whole book; most crime writers-- hell, most horror writers-- can only dream of writing stuff this dark and disturbing. In lesser hands, some of Parker's philosophical ruminations would surely win some kind of Bulwer-Lytton award ("It was a dark and stormy night . . ."), but here they give added depth to the pervading sense of evil and chaos. Believe it or not, his third book, THE KILLING KIND, is even more dark and evil, and makes Thomas Harris look like Dr. Seuss. He's already made the short list of my favorite crime writers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Slightly less bloody than his previous effort Jan. 28 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Dark Hollow is the second book in a series of detective novels following a particularly interesting character, Charlie "Bird" Parker. Parker's an ex-cop whose wife and daughter were horribly killed. He left the department as a result, and after flirting with alcoholism gave up the bottle. In the aftermath of that, he became a private detective, and these first two books describe what came of that, so far.
In this particular story, Parker has moved to his ancestral Maine to live, trying to get away from the city. He's asked by a friend to find her ex-husband, and see if he will cough up some child support, but the money that the ex gives Parker turns out to be connected to a bizarre three-way shootout on a nearby beach that happened a few days before. Someone wound up with two million dollars that the mob thinks is theirs, and they're not going to stop looking for it. Meanwhile, the ex-wife and her toddler son are killed in a bizarre fashion, a pair of crazed hit men show up bent on some strange sort of revenge against Parker, and in the background somewhere there's a ghost from the past, a killer half-spoken of, half unseen for more than thirty years. Add to this mix Parker's two friends, ex-burglar Angel and his gay lover semi-retired hitman Louis, and an old girlfriend of Bird's, and that's just the beginning of the book.
Connolly apparently has this as a pattern or style now. These books have murky, dark plots, laden with atmosphere. I think he could make Hawaii look dark and forbidding if he wrote something set there. There's connections to crimes past, interesting characters intermingled in a bewilderingly complex plot, snappy dialog, and a body count that makes the Battle of Stalingrad look like a tea party. I enjoy this sort of thing, and enjoyed this book a great deal. Be warned though: enter at your own risk.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Can you hear me now?" Dec 15 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Charlie Parker is an ex-NYPD cop on a self imposed exile in Maine. Charlie suffered the cruelest punishment of all, to be left alive after his wife and daughter were brutally murdered. It is now a year later, coming up on the anniversary of his family's death, and Charlie can't exorcise the demons, wants to try a new life with a lovely woman he met in a previous novel (Rachel), and generally wants to get some peace of mind. He's moved into his Grandfather's old home in Scarborough, Maine and is now refurbishing it.
But as we learn after a few dozen pages, Charlie, an alchohlic who gives up the bottle, also gives up any moral restraint against the concept of killing criminals. He becomes overnight a one man angel of death with no desire to curb his bloodlust when faced with the possibility that a murderer or rapist could possibly be freed by a confusing, liberal, system that favors the rights of the accused over the rights of the victem.
While this sounds like poor pulp fiction, several things occur that Mr. Connolly successfully weaves into the fabric of his prose to make it quite engaging. First of all, Connolly writes extremely well. There is an almost musical quality to his prose, heretofore only experienced (for this reader) with James Lee Burke in this type of novel. Additionally, Mr. Connolly introduces some oddities that seem to fit. Charlie is contacted by the dead, and while the body count rises, he seems to regret what he does while on the same hand he seems to listen to what his deceased wife and daughter tell him. That line from a Bruce Willis movie a few years ago comes true here: He sees dead people.
Then, there is the presence of his two friends and quasi partners, the gay couple Louis and Angel. Strange, but it fits.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very well written June 22 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Connolly truly as a way with words and he is at the top of his genre with his second novel. The only reason I did not give it 5 stars was because it did not seem to grab me as much and hold my attention as well as Every Dead Thing, but it was still great and I have the 3rd book ready to be read.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing follow-up to a great beginning
I found myself wondering if I truly wanted to read DARK HOLLOW, the second book by John Connolly featuring Charlie "bird" Parker. Read more
Published on April 13 2003 by Chinh Le
5.0 out of 5 stars Connolly Delivers his Second Big Bang
In his second offering, after his critically acclaimed book Every Dead Thing, John Connolly delivers a mature, tightly packed novel that takes is part horror as much as it is... Read more
Published on March 11 2003 by Hassan Galadari
5.0 out of 5 stars The Poet Lauriat of High Crime
If you enjoy a well-paced thriller, but also appreciate the craft of an accomplished wordsmith, John Connolly is a must read. Read more
Published on Feb. 15 2003 by Gary Griffiths
1.0 out of 5 stars Dull-dull-dull
As an action mystery writer, Connolly is slow and dull. If you would like to read 60 pages of historical background on small New England townships before getting to any intrigue,... Read more
Published on Jan. 13 2003 by Bob dahlberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Chills, thrills and great old-fashioned suspense
When John Connolly wrote Every Dead Thing, he created a wild ride that was different from all the other suspense novels out there. Read more
Published on Dec 9 2002 by Sebastien Pharand
5.0 out of 5 stars Terror in the backwoods of Maine
Ex-NYPD decetive Charlie "Bird" Parker is attempting to recuperate from the brutal slayings of his wife and daugther by escaping to his boyhood home of Scarborough, Maine. Read more
Published on Oct. 7 2002 by Cory D. Slipman
5.0 out of 5 stars "Edge Of Your Seat Thriller"
"Dark Hollow" by John Connolly, is an edge of your seat thriller, one that I had trouble putting down once I started reading the book. Excellent job by Mr. Read more
Published on Oct. 5 2002 by John Savoy
3.0 out of 5 stars I've tried very hard to read on but failed.
I've tried to read about 50 pages but failed to get connected. I don't like the way it goes and the paces seem random and slow. Read more
Published on Sept. 3 2002 by justareader
5.0 out of 5 stars Awsome Book
Dark Hollow is the second best book I have read this year! The Best Book being it's predecessor "Every Dead Thing"! Can't wait until his next book comes out!
Published on June 29 2002
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