The White Road Hardcover – Mar 11 2003
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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!
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Another Charlie Parker book. This was a horrible read, but I couldn't help but finish it. I wouldn't recommend it to the screamish. It wouldn't be everybody's choice.Published on Jan. 26 2013 by Linda J. Leclair
This book is the first work I have read of John Connolly. It has a certain southern gothic feel to it. Read morePublished on April 20 2004 by Gary Turner
While The White Road has many characters to keep track of, which at times makes the story a bit hard to follow without a scorecard (so to speak), Connolly again proves himself to... Read morePublished on April 5 2004 by Bobbewig
This, the fourth in Connolly's Charlie Parker series, does not have the all-pervading miasma of the earlier novels, despite what others have said, and the images of ravens as... Read morePublished on March 28 2004 by David Group
"The White Road" is another Charlie "Byrd" Parker novel. The first three in this series were great, with plot lines that grab you from the first page and keep... Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2004 by Pangloss
The White Road is a novel about private detective Charlie Parker.
This time around Charlie is on a case in the deep south, with all the racial overtones included. Read more
Dublin born and bred novelist John Connolly is Irish to the core - a bit fey, a tad dark, and extremely gifted. Read morePublished on Aug. 26 2003 by Gail Cooke
In The White Road, Detective Charlie Parker has finally gotten over the suffering of his wife and daughter's murders, and is awaiting the birth of his first child by his lover... Read morePublished on May 16 2003 by Midwest Book Review