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The White Road Hardcover – Mar 11 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Atria (March 11 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743456386
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743456388
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 16.1 x 3.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 603 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #299,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

"I have learned to embrace the dead and they, in their turn, have found a way to reach out to me." It's becoming increasingly clear from pronouncements such as this that PI Charlie Parker is hardly your garden-variety mystery protagonist. In Connolly's latest spine-tingling opus (after The Killing Kind), readers gain further insights into the soul of this tormented man-a hero of uncommon depth and compulsions. We also learn more about Angel and Louis, Parker's longtime cronies (and gay Odd Couple) who function as Greek chorus, avenging angels and their buddy's conscience. Angel resembles "the runway model for a decorators' convention, assuming that the decorators' tastes veered toward five-six, semiretired gay burglars," while Louis possesses "six feet six inches of attitude, razor-sharp dress sense, and gay Republican pride." (Note to Connolly: how about a spin-off novel for these two idiosyncratic supporting players?) Parker's description of his newest case-"dead people, a mystery, more dead people"-exemplifies his bluntness; true to form, he's never far from a cutting remark or casual wisecrack (hearing that an especially odious character has "found Jesus," Parker observes, "I figure Jesus should be more careful about who finds Him"). When a former colleague who's practicing law in Charleston, S.C., asks for Parker's help on a racially charged murder case, Parker reluctantly leaves his Maine habitat. The South that he encounters is found in no guidebook: it's a pernicious locale where the good old boys are far from good, where country music speaks "of war and vengeance" and where one soulless individual "smelled of slow burning... like the odor left after an oil fire had just been extinguished." Adding eerie overtones to Connolly's intricately plotted tale are more of Parker's musings on the concept of death and the nature of evil-soliloquies often accompanied by spectral visions. The malevolence here is almost palpable (even more so than in Parker's earlier outings).
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Things turn surreal when P.I. Charlie Parker starts investigating the ugly rape and murder of a Southern millionaire's daughter.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Charlie "Bird" Parker has been the hero of four mysteries by John Connolly now, and this latest is in some ways the strongest of the bunch. Parker is a detective with an ability to see murdered people, and talk to them. He regards this more as a curse than a gift: they usually look to him for vengeance against those who killed them.
In the current installment, Parker is summoned to South Carolina by a lawyer friend to investigate a murder. The supposed killer is a young black man; his victim a young white woman with whom he was having an affair, and whose family is very wealthy. Even in the 21st century, such an interracial affair is frowned upon, and when she winds up dead, the young man's life is in immediate danger. Parker is needed to investigate, and of course he'll have to bring along his gay sidekicks Louis and Angel, a burglar and a hitman, both supposedly retired.
Connolly is a strange writer. The prose is almost poetic, the descriptions and philosophy of the writing is dark and elegaic, almost too descriptive. The characters are interesting, especially the villains. In this one, Kittim is especially repulsive and terrifying. In addition, there's a well-drawn small character who is initially not too positive, but turns out for the better in the end.
I enjoyed this book. It has characters from some of Connolly's previous books, and I would recommend reading the four books in order, but this is a worthy addition to the series.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Private Detective Charlie Parker, once again, is faced with a life-threatening situation. Aaron Faulkner, a fanatical preacher, is in prison under suspicion for the murders committed by his son and daughter (well documented in THE KILLING KIND). He is very likely to get out of prison on bail. Faulkner makes it well known to Parker that he will come after Parker's pregnant lover as soon as he is out. There appears to be little that could be done to legally keep Faulkner in prison.
Meanwhile, Parker receives a call from a friend in South Carolina who is defending a young black man accused of raping and killing a young and wealthy white girl. He will almost certainly be convicted and killed unless his innocence is proven. Parker decides to help his friend out with the case. Unfortunately, Parker is now faced with an angry community-- especially the white supremists. Yet in the swamps appears the spectral figure of a woman who might very well be enacting a revenge all her own. Parker must get to the bottom of it.
Once again, John Connolly has written a highly suspenseful hard-edged thriller examining the depths of pure evil. Major characters are haunted by the past and are quite unforgettable. The American South tends to play a major part of the work of this Irish writer. It is a mysterious and quite dangerous place as it is depicted in the books of John Connolly. He fills the swamps of South Carolina and Louisiana with a dark beauty that is almost reminiscent of James Lee Burke. However, the writing style is all his own. This is easily one of my favorite series and one that can be read not only for the compelling plot but also for the beauty of the writing.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I remember finding Connelly's Every Dead Thing and how estatically thrilled I was to discover it being the debut novel of this, then, new writing talent. The wounded, damaged and self-deprecating character, Charlie Parker, hooked me immediately (reminiscent of the infatuation I developed for Dave Robicheaux nearly two decades ago), and I've eagerly awaited and enjoyed each subsequent installment. I (weren't we all) worried over Angel's fate at Faulkner's hands in Dark Hollow; am pleased to see he's not only survived, but (is this possible? I found myself hoping) may have unveiled a "ray of divine relief" through his association with Ben Epstein. Louis has always been the stronger presence, and, as remains the case, I enjoy him immensely. Rachel is a strong, intelligent woman; strong enough to let Bird follow his path, seek his karmic solution(s), and conquer his various demons. She's a worthy mate for our hero. The character development for these supporting players is often divied out with devilish economy, making readers yearn for more, more... as is appropriate, I believe.
What I find most interesting is it isn't the stories, the plot, of each book that we seek more fervently, rather Parker's personal journey is what keeps us holding the glass to the wall. Bravo, Mr. Connelly!
ps Black Coupe de Villes will never again be merely another car!
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Format: Hardcover
John Connolly is a master storyteller. He usually tells complicated, intricate stories full of strange and original characters. His lead character, Charlie "Bird" Parker, is your perfect private investigator; dark, broody, with a closet full of skeletons and secrets. But this time, with The White Road, Connolly has tried to go all the way, to differing results. This time around, the story might be just a little too complicated and convulted for its own good.
This time around, Parker leaves Maine to go help a lawyer friend in need. Elliott is representing Atys, a young black man accused of having killed his white lover, who just happens to be the daughter of the richest and most powerful man in the state. Soon enough, Parker faces hitman after hitman, and strange character after strange character with the help of his long-time friend (and hitman) Louis. Meanwhile, Louis's lover, Angel, is trying to get revenge on the man who nearly caused his death in Connolly's previous book. Both stories quickly entangle with one another as secret after secret is slowly revealed.
I enjoyed the plot and pacing of The White Road. Connolly is a sparse writer who is great at creating emotionally tense narratives. But this time around, his story has too many characters for its own good. With his previous novels, Connolly had created vivid and eery supporting characters. There are too many of those in The White Road, and soon enough, they all blend in together. True, the menace is always there, but you never get to really care about the situations Parker finds himself in because a new character is introduced with each new chapter.
Still, The White Road is vintage Connolly; a mystery with a twist of the paranormal.
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