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The Killing Kind: A Thriller [Paperback]

John Connolly
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 31 2030
John Connolly's Every Dead Thing and Dark Hollow were international bestsellers. Now the "compulsively readable" (Publishers Weekly) Connolly returns to heart-pounding form with a crime novel that combines sinister menace with superb style.

THE KILLING KIND

When the discovery of a mass grave in northern Maine reveals the grim truth behind the disappearance of a religious community, private detective Charlie Parker is drawn into a violent conflict with a group of zealots intent on tracking down a relic that could link them to the slaughter. Haunted by the ghost of a small boy and tormented by the demonic killer known as Mr. Pudd, Parker is forced to fight for his lover, his friends...and his very soul.


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From Publishers Weekly

Move over, Spider-Man. Arachnophobes, proceed at your own peril. Elias Pudd, the archfiend in Connolly's masterful third suspense novel (following Every Dead Thing and Dark Hollow) finds such grizzly uses for spiders of all, er, stripes that he makes that dastardly villain Hannibal Lecter seem like Little Lord Fauntleroy. Pudd, however, is just one in a splendidly drawn cast that propels this gripping, intricately plotted tale. When a road crew in northern Maine accidentally unearths a grave site, the bodies turn out to be members of the Aroostook Baptists, a cultlike religious group whose members disappeared in the 1960s. Meanwhile, private investigator Charlie Parker (from the earlier novels) is hired to investigate the suspicious suicide of Grace Peltier, who was working on a graduate thesis concerning-guess what?-the Aroostook Baptists. Further muddying the waters is the Fellowship, a group led by the supremely unctuous Carter Paragon (nee Chester Quincy Deedes, "the name on his birth certificate and his criminal record"), which turns out to be far more sinister than anyone realized. From Connolly's opening words-"This is a honeycomb world. It hides a hollow heart"-it's clear that this is no ordinary thriller; indeed, his random musings on the manifestations of evil, coupled with Parker's visions and flashbacks, lend the book a dark, intriguing overlay. Lest things become too intense, however, the author's wry sense of humor easily lightens the situation, often harking back to earlier noir writers: "she had the kind of body that caused highway pileups after Sunday services." In his novel's acknowledgments, Connolly modestly writes, "As each novel progresses, the depths of my ignorance become more and more apparent." Also becoming more apparent are the depths of this author's psychological acumen, literary skills and prodigious creativity.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

After Every Dead Thing and Dark Hollow, Connolly's damaged P.I. Charlie Parker is back in his third foray into an underworld populated with cruel villains and criminal psychopaths. Parker is a singularly tortured individual who not only sees dead people but feels compelled to seek retribution for their deaths on their behalf. This time around, he is hired to find the killer of a graduate student who had been researching a fundamentalist sect that disappeared into the backwoods of Maine 40 years before. Parker's investigations, ranging from Maine to New York City, draw the ire of some very bad people, who come after him armed with guns, Bibles, and spiders. The Dublin-based Connolly has again written a compelling story full of sadistic bad guys, moral ambiguity, and some serious violence. But he manages to offset some of the unpleasantness with occasional one-liners that manage not to minimize the perversity but make the characters who must deal with it seem more human. Recommended for most popular fiction collections. Lisa Bier, Southern Connecticut State Univ., New Haven
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
This item has not yet been released and is not eligible to be reviewed. The reviews that are shown are from other formats of this item.
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Less gunfire, more terrifying anyway Feb. 19 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The first two Charlier Parker novels, by Irish journalist John Connolly, were violent and very disturbing, pocked with gunfire and dead bodies, and visions of horrors from the afterlife. Parker himself is a strange, tortured soul, who can see those who have been killed violently, so that he can't ignore them and return to his quiet life. This third Parker book is even nastier in some ways: the author has managed to make things even more sinister by making the violence more dramatic, more creepy, more hidden.
In this installment, Parker's relegated himself to watching wayward husbands and doing boring industrial security work. He imagines that his presence somehow makes violent people worse, or perhaps brings them out of the woodwork. He's patched up his relationship with Rachel and made peace with the world, and now is trying to make ends meet without killing anyone. This reverie is disturbed by Jack Mercier, a retired senator who is wealthy and wishes to hire Parker to investigate a murder. Initially reluctant, Parker becomes engrossed in the case and those who quickly become suspects, largely a strange, reclusive cult of religious fanatics called The Fellowship. They appear outrageous and silly, not particularly dangerous if repugnant in their beliefs (which range from anti-abortion to anti-semitism) and somewhat nuts. Parker suspects something deeper, and soon discovers that he's right.
The book travels from there, with a plethora of wonderful characters, from a mob boss to a very different porn producer to a Jewish assassin with no face to a bad guy with a strange fascination for spiders. All are drawn interestingly, with wonderful dialog and mannerisms, and prose that makes you think this might even be poetry.
I enjoyed the first two Charlier Parker novels a great deal.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a dark ride through Hell Nov. 10 2003
Format:Hardcover
I had recently read Connolly's EVERY DEAD THING and thought it was very good, yet I wasn't prepared for how wonderfully dark and evil this book was-- this inhabits the same subterranean battleground as the works of Ellroy and Vachss. Connolly has really outdone himself in creating a horrific narrative; in fact, a previous reviewer has said he is better than Stephen King, and I would certainly agree. This is not a book for people who are looking for sunny affirmations-- or for those who are squeamish-- though the mood is lightened here and there by Connolly's wicked wit. It starts with the discovery of a decades-old mass grave and a murder by spider and ends with a truly twisted description of a particular object being sought by the leader of a religious cult (I won't say anything more and spoil the surprise) and a showdown that is one of the grimmest I have ever read. Even the very last lines of the novel, which normally would be seen as upbeat, carry ominous implications. I could quibble about various aspects of the plot (How one individual was killed so easily, for example), but that would be emphasizing very minor details at the expense of all the is right about this novel. Very well done and very highly recommended.
Note to Publisher's Weekly: It's "grisly", not "grizzly".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Master Of Thrills July 10 2003
Format:Hardcover
John Connolly is the rare kind of author that just seems to get better and better with each new book he writes. His thrillers, masterfully crafted stories full of intriguing subplots that usually end up leaving you breathless, never cease to amaze. Don't start a Connolly novel before going to bed, because you'll never get the chance to get some sleep.
We once more find Charlie "Bird" Parker reluctantly trapped in the middle of a murder investigation that is everything except what it appears to be. This time, the victim is a woman Parker used to know. Although her death appears to be a suicide, her family isn't too certain about it. They hire Parker to investigate.
What Charlie finds is more terrifying than any nightmare you could imagine. The murder seems to be linked with an old religious sect that ceased to exists decades ago when all its members mysteriously dissapeared. But when a grave filled with bodies is uncovered, the past once more comes to haunt Charlie and everyon involved in the investigation.
This is one of the best thriller you will find on your bookstore's shelves. There isn't a dull moment in this book, not a false moment to be found. The characters feel real, talk real, act real, and the plot is always very entertaining and relentless. Connolly is a master at mixing genres, and he does so again with this one. And the fact that Connolly gives us one of the best finale you will ever find in a thriller only makes him better in my book.
I can't think of one bad thing to say about this novel. Connolly and his Charlie Parker are already making their quick ascend to the top of the mystery charts. It's great to see that people are finally turning to the very best there is. The Killing Kind is a rare mystery that you won't soon forget. Summer reading at its very best, and very finest.
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4.0 out of 5 stars What a great book!! June 16 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As a fan of John Connolly since his first novel, I was excited to read The Killing Kind, his latest effort involving a murdered girl, smarmy, swindling preachers, and a missing religious cult in Maine -- the Aroostook Baptists. Charlie Parker, as always, was wonderfully written as were Angel and Louis, despite a few disappointing stereotypical lines of dialogue from these two. I don't recall from the first couple of books Louis speaking the way he did in the Killing Kind and it was a bit distracting...other than that, they were great. The character of Pudd was just plain creepy and a wonderful creation.
The book starts off at a quick pace, but then slows a bit in the middle -- so much so that I was beginning to feel a bit disappointed which is why I rank it at 4 stars and not the full 5 -- but the ending was out of this world!!! When Charlie finds what everyone was looking for, I was literally open mouthed with surprise (and disgust!). It was GREAT!! It really makes me wonder where John Connolly comes up with such gruesome stuff -- I hope he's getting the psychiatric help he needs. He puts Barker and King to shame.
Also, the ending shows a touching side of Charlie as he's called upon to try to rescue Angel...it was a nice touch and not overdone. All in all, this book was terrific and I can't wait to get the next in the series!
Excellent read!!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Killing Kind
This is another Charlie Parker. It is one of the first and is very violent and there is a lot of torture in it. I was fascinated and abhored with some of the contents. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Linda J. Leclair
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent, Captivating Read
I was walking though the bookstore where I work and came across this book, and I am happy that I did. Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2004 by Natalie P.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not very plausible
I'm not sure why this book was nominated for the Bram Stoker award. It's not scary or very horrific at all (with the exception of two or three scenes). Read more
Published on March 27 2004 by William M Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars A Bullet Between The Eyes...
Reading John Connolly is like a literary bullet between the eyes, and in his third Charlie Parker novel his aim is right on target. Read more
Published on Dec 8 2003 by paul mason
5.0 out of 5 stars The best yet...
John Connolly deserves to be a household name...at least in the houses that enjoy crime novels. He has to be one of the most overlooked novelists in the genre. Read more
Published on Nov. 16 2003 by "browntowel"
5.0 out of 5 stars I Couldn't Put It Down
I loved this book! I couldn't put it down -- it's recommended read, just have plenty of time to finish it because you won't be able to stop!
Published on July 11 2003 by Valerie Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars From the Feather of an Irish Man
Macabre, macabre, macabre. Written for the faint hearted to swoon, Connolly doesn't spare anyone the grizzly details of corpses, and you will find many strewn throughout the... Read more
Published on May 28 2003 by Gerburg Frick
5.0 out of 5 stars Connolly does it again
This third novel from John Connolly maintains the same frenetic pace of his earlier two books. Parker and his cohorts confront another evil foe and manage to come out on top once... Read more
Published on May 10 2003 by Pangloss
5.0 out of 5 stars ITSY BITSY SPIDERS
Here it is: this book's opening murder featuring an abortionist is perhaps the most riveting, disturbing and downright frightening scene of any novel in recent memory. Read more
Published on March 30 2003 by Michael Butts
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