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Every Dead Thing Hardcover – 1999

4 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684857146
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684857145
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 16.5 x 3.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 635 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #540,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
As other reviewers have noted, it's continually surprising to realize that the author of one of the most American and most accomplished crime thrillers in recent years is actually an Irish journalist. John Connolly only rarely shows his Irish, lyrical side in passages such as this, on page two: "There is a light breeze blowing and my coattails play at my legs like the hands of children."

And so begins a descent into an unforgettable tale of madness. Connolly expertly engages the reader from the first page by interspersing two POVs of his main character, Charlie "Bird" Parker, the present tense, the italicized past tense of the night Parker found the horribly mutilated corpses of his wife and children, and the third impersonal voice of the police report. At first, the reader may suspect that the present tense POV is that of the killer and perhaps Connolly may have counted on this to further shrink the gap between the evil mind and its analogue.

The Traveling Man is one of the more intriguing serial killers in latter day fiction, one drawn with the skill of an established master of the genre. The identity of the killer is a true surprise, not a mean feat considering today's sophisticated reader, although the clues are placed throughout the book with the judiciousness of an M. Night Shyamalan.

It should be noted that the murder scenes should not be read by those with weak stomachs and there aren't too many books that come to memory requiring such an advisory. But just when the jaded reader thinks that every atrocity has already been committed by real life killers or imagined by novelists, John Connolly has come from Ireland with a unique perspective on the genre.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The writing brought this mystery up to three stars. Unfortunately, the book was way too full. There easily could have been two books made of what is packed into this novel. There are two major threads with several sidelights thrown in as well.
The first portion is mostly introductory and plods. The narrator hero then finally gets on the scent of one of the killers he is out to find and the story flows very well. The plot then moves from New York to New Orleans and again the reader is subjected to some plodding introductory information and some sidelights that seem superfluous. The New Orleans portion dragged again until the narrator is directly on the scent.
Another weak point is that the real killer was pretty obvious - or at least easy to guess at.
All that having been said, Mr. Connolly is a terrific writer and the writing keeps the reader in the book through the times it gets bogged down.
This book was recommended to me by a friend with the cautionary words that all of his books are not this gory and the others are better as the character develops. A warning - this is very gory, it is nearly impossible to keep count of how many gruesome murders are described in this book.
I reluctantly recommend this book. The two plots are good, even though so unrelated they probably should have been in two books. The writing, as I've noted is very good. The narrator character seems as if he could be interesting if and when developed more. The writing and character is enough for me to read Mr. Connolly's next books since I've been told this is the foundation to better enjoy the others.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one heck of a first novel. Charlie Parker ("Bird" to his friends) is a police detective who's lost his wife and daughter to a particularly horrific serial killer who not only murders them, but slices off their faces. Since he was drinking at the corner tavern at the time, he feels guilty, crawls into a bottle, and loses his job. Some months later, having crawled out of said bottle, he agrees to take on work as an investigator to make ends meet. His first case involves finding a rich boy's girlfriend, but when he looks, he finds (of course) much more than he expected to.
This novel has everything in it that you can imagine or want in a crime novel. The killers are gory and vicious, there are numerous shootouts and chases, the women are beautiful but reluctant, heck he even has a (sort of) pair of gay role models. OK, so they're a retired hit man and a retired thief, but they dress well and have a hip repartee going that's a great deal of fun. The novel is very long (460+ pages, with a rather small font) and the action is broken up with long, almost poetically descriptive passages, but it moves along nicely. I will agree with the one guy who said that things get complex. There are so many characters and murders and plot threads that at times you almost wish he'd provided a cast of characters or something.
All in all, though, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to others. The one real proviso is the goriness: be aware going in, this isn't a pretty book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Connolly's debut novel has some strong writing, with a good attention to detail and description. Yes, like other readers, I found it hard to believe that he hasn't spent his life living in the US.
Yet, there are some problems. Mainly, there is probably too much detail-- so much so (particularly regarding all the murders) that, as I got further and further along, I almost felt like I had to take notes to keep track of all the people and events and the connections between them, not to mention the wealth of information about minor characters. This also had the unfortunate effect of making the ending seem somewhat muted-- rather than gathering steam at the climax, one is relieved to see the novel finally coming to a close. And yet, despite all this, the killer remains somewhat of an enigma-- we still don't really know why he did the things he did, or how (What made him become so psychopathic? How did he find time to do all this and elude capture? How did he hone his surgical skills? Where did he get the barrels to put the victims in? If the police had examined the initial suspect too closely, would they have discovered he was the wrong one?) And finally, the Pet Peeve Department: It's "doughnut", not "donut". Still, this is worth reading for the writing alone.
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