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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dark and disturbing
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...
Published on March 19 2004 by David Group

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3.0 out of 5 stars OnThe Edge Of Reality
At the risk of incurring the wrath of Connolly lovers I didn't connect with DARK HOLLOW. It is a long death-filled story that takes the reader to the edge of reality and believability. Ex- NY detective, Charlie Parker becomes deeply involved in a manhunt for Billy Purdue, accused of killing his own wife and child. Charlie, whose sense of loss from the violent deaths of...
Published on Dec 5 2001 by Tim Smith


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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
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This review is from: Dark Hollow (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
By 
David W. Nicholas (Van Nuys, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dark Hollow (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
By 
Larry Scantlebury (Ypsilanti, MI United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dark Hollow (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.
Here he works as a private investigator working for a woman stalked by her ex-husband. The woman and her son are murdered, the ex-husband is suspected, and naturally Charlie "Bird" Parker is the only one that doesn't believe it. The mob is involved; a young arrogant mobster is investing money "borrowed" from his colleagues when his "sure fire" investment goes south. Cambodians from the Khmer Rouge make a brief appearance; an ex-lover pops up; a halting attempt that Charlie might make amends to the lovely Rachel, a criminologist/psychologist/forensic scientist; and certainly not last nor least, Louis and Angel.
Not for the squeamish. Lots of violence. Very well written.
Larry Scantlebury
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing follow-up to a great beginning, April 12 2003
By 
Chinh Le (Lafayette, LA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dark Hollow (Hardcover)
I found myself wondering if I truly wanted to read DARK HOLLOW, the second book by John Connolly featuring Charlie "bird" Parker. After all, how could he possibly write another book as well-crafted and entertaining as EVERY DEAD THING. I thought that maybe I was only going to be disappointed by a "not-so-great follow-up novel". Boy am I glad I was wrong! With DARK HOLLOW, Connoly is once again able to present his nightmare world of flawed heroes, lost souls, and killers reaching mythical status. Parker, still haunted by visions of his wife and child along with a host of other lost souls seeking a reckoning, tries to piece his life back together having barely survived, both physically and mentally, his battle with the Traveling Man, only to be swept into yet another dark maze of madness and murder. This time, the killer is a locally fabled "bogeyman" monster that goes by the name Caleb Kyle. Once again, his faithful sidekicks Angel and Louis are by his side. Mobsters also join in on the fun, as well as a pair of sadistic killers-for-hire, all of whom are hunting a treasure of money. Now that's one heck of a side-plot! As with the first book, the writing is crisp and poignant,at times humorous, and always poetic. The action is fast and plentiful, and the body count again reaches the stratosphere. And if that wasn't enough, Connolly also found time to elaborate more on the nature of Angel and Louis' relationship and loyalty to Parker. Nice touch. But what I found most refreshing about this installment was the sense of peace given to Parker at the end of the novel. After having experienced the guilt and pain of continually being tormented by memories of his lost family in both the first book and this novel, it was touching to finally have Parker possibly at peace with his past. Once again, this book left me truly satiated and very much exhausted, but I can't wait to hear again from this wonderful writer. If nothing at all, DARK HOLLOW has proven that irishman John Connolly is a genuine talent and a pleasure to read. SUPERB!!! CRIME NOVELS DON'T GET MUCH BETTER THAN THIS !!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Connolly Delivers his Second Big Bang, March 11 2003
By 
Hassan Galadari (Boston, MA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dark Hollow (Hardcover)
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 thriller. Authors usually follow two trends if their book is successful. Either continue with the same formula and the same characters, hoping that readers still crave more or find a different ground and take it from there. Connolly takes on the first approach and continues on from his first book with his main character Charlie "Bird" Parker in the spotlight. This time however, it's a bit different. All characters are much more mature than their previous outing and at the same time the story premises is a bit less personal.
Parker has the feel of the underdog. Your typical man who the world has given him more than enough of its hardships and woes. In the first novel, his wife and daughter are killed, setting the grom tone of the character. There are times that he takes on the helm and truly shines through. The first narration, Connolloy chooses works best in this type of writing. You want to see the world in Parker's eyes and you grow to trust his judgement at times.
The other characters are also there with a little more on the gay couple Angel and Louis. People who stereotype gay people as being all lovey dovey and gently will be in for a real surprise. Angel is your run of the mill tough guy with all the rough edges to add. Louis is classy, stylish and has the killer cool around him. To top the controversy of their sexual orientation, the couple is also white and black. Connolly gives us more depth on their relationship with Parker.
The story, though, is different than the first. The first one had more supernatural visitations of ghosts and what have you appearing to Parker in dreams. This one has only a few. The supernatural foray is lacking much when compared to the first. His sixth sense intuition seems to have been lost to dreams of his dead wife and child beckoning him to help other dead ghosts. Sort of like an avenging angel. This works well in the beginning, but you still ponder on that the supernatural horror background to the main detective thriller is what made Connolly's Every Dead Thing such a great read. Perhaps, his third book will pick up with that haunting atmosphere. This doesn't mean this is a bad read. On the contrary, Connolly is amazing when it comes to graceful descriptive prose. He also commadeers excellent geographical background of the US and New England in specific, even though he's from Ireland, which actually makes you think of the good amount of research he puts into his novels.
All in all, New England will never be the same. John Connolly is moving into Stephen King's stomping grounds. Where will Charlie Parker go next? Good thing Connolly has the third book already out!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Poet Lauriat of High Crime, Feb. 15 2003
By 
Gary Griffiths (Los Altos Hills, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dark Hollow (Mass Market Paperback)
If you enjoy a well-paced thriller, but also appreciate the craft of an accomplished wordsmith, John Connolly is a must read. Not to be confused with the more popular but less talented Michael Connolly, John's command of the language conjures vivid images and creates characters of substance and depth. ...P>But while "Dark Hallow", the second of three tales of novels of ex-NYPD cop Charlie "Bird" Parker, is lyrical in style, the content is as tough, gritty, and hard as the best of Jim Thompson, James Lee Burke, Dennis Lehane, or newcomer Boston Teran. Parker, having moved from New York to the woods of Maine following the brutal murder of his wife and daughter the previous year, is drawn into a series of murders and mysteries eerily similar to the serial murder of young women years before. The earlier murders were the obsession of Parker's policeman-grandfather, which haunted him to his grave. Back in a supporting roles are the bizarrely odd couple of Angel and Louis, thief and assassin, respectively, who Parker considers his closest friends and allies. Connolly hooks the reader in early through a pair of seemingly unrelated but simultaneous events. One, the suicide of an old woman fleeing from an elderly care facility, and the other, an underworld ambush on the Maine coast, set the stage for a intricate plot that twists to an exciting and satisfying climax.
In summary, in the overcrowded field of crime-hardened ex-cops and private eyes, John Connolly brings a fresh and welcomed change to the genre, and is definitely worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chills, thrills and great old-fashioned suspense, Dec 9 2002
By 
Sebastien Pharand (Orléans, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dark Hollow (Mass Market Paperback)
When John Connolly wrote Every Dead Thing, he created a wild ride that was different from all the other suspense novels out there. I'm more than glad to say that his first novel wasn't a one-time hit. Because with Dark Hollow, Connolly raises the stakes even higher, brings even more suspense to the page and establishes himself as one of the strongest voice in modern suspense ficiton.
It's hard to be "Bird" Parker. First, nearly one year ago, he lost his wife and daughter to the sadistic Traveling Man. Now, after a move to Northern Maine, Parker finds himself thrown in the middle of yet another investigation, one that will leave a sky-high number of dead bodies and that will induce a lot of pain for all involved.
The case starts when a young woman and her infant child are murdered. The prime suspect is her ex-husband. But Parker thinks different. He knows that the mob is somehow invloved in this. And he can't understand how a sadistic killer called Caleb Kyle - one Bird's grandfather tried to catch five or six decades ago and who's name has now become a legend in Dark Hollow - fits into all of this. But it's only when the daughter of an old friend of Parker's disappears in the Maine countryside that Bird can start putting the pieces of the puzzle back together. Only, time is more than an issue and Parker has very little of it.
Connolly is a master at mending two/three storylines together into a coherent whole. What seems to be two separate cases in the beginning become entagled in surprising ways, and the outcome is never predictable. His characters never take the easy way out, nor are they blown out of proportion. Most of them are anti-heroes, people who fall into the role reluctantly, unwillingly. Parker's just a regular guy who keeps finding himself put in awkward situations.
Reading DArk Hollow is like being on a roller-coaster ride. Every time you think the suspense can't go any higher, every time you think the stakes can't possibly go higher, every time you think the suspense will finally let up, you're thrown in another loop. This book would make an amazing film!
And with this book, Connolly creates an amazing villain, one of mythical proportions. And the way all the different people involved in the story (the mob, cops, assassins) and the way Bird's personal life is portrayed on the page makes this book one of the best suspense novel I've read in a long time.
Simply put, Dark Hollow is a masterwork of suspense that you won't soon forget. One of the best novels of the year!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Terror in the backwoods of Maine, Oct. 7 2002
By 
Cory D. Slipman (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dark Hollow (Mass Market Paperback)
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. As a favor, he agrees to collect some overdue child support money for a friend Rita Ferris. Her estranged husband, the down and out local troublemaker, Billy Purdue, after a physical confrontation with Parker, reluctantly hands over five new 100 dollar bills. After handing over the sorely needed cash, Parker soon learns that Rita Ferris and her young son Donald have both been murdered. Billy Purdue is implicated in the crime.
In short order we learn that the remote northern aspect of Maine including the towns of Scarborough and Dark Hollow have become a magnet for murder and mayhem. A delivery of a kidnapping ransom has gone sour resulting in the deaths of one federal agent, four Cambodian nationals, and two wise guys connected to Boston mob boss Tony Celli. An old lady has escaped from a nursing home, assaulted a security guard, stolen his weapon and after a chase into the snowy woods, kills herself. The crimes seem to revolve around Parker and Purdue. When the daughter of a former partner of Parker disappears with her boyfriend when passing through the area, Parker recruits help to investigate.
Parker's compadres, the lethal yet introspective assassin Louis and his small time burglar lover Angel travel north to join the inquiry. They discover that Purdue is thought to have absconded with two million dollars of Tony Celli's money. That cache of loot has attracted not only a large crew of Celli's button men but a dangeous two man assassination team.
Further investigation points to involvement by a northern Maine bogeyman Caleb Kyle, a serial killer responsible for the kidnapping, dismemberment and killing of five young girls about thirty years ago. Parker's grandfather, also a lawman, pursued Kyle without success at the time of the murders.
Connolly creates so many plots and subplots in Dark Hollow yet avoids confusion by neatly tying them into a dark, foreboding expertly written story. He accurately paints a terrifying word picture of the desolate obscure setting where danger lurks behind every turn.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Connolly grows stronger..., May 22 2002
This review is from: Dark Hollow (Hardcover)
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Well, we all know that The Shadow knows - but now he has company.
John Connolly's mystery / horror yarns demonstrate a willingness to plumb the depths to which mankind can descend.
His protagonist, Charlie "Bird" Parker, is a weary innocent, a flawed man of honesty and integrity who is capable of enormous violence. In the first of Mr. Connolly's books, "Every Dead Thing," Parker's wife and daughter are murdered ritualistically and bloodily. Parker, an ex-cop who has up until that moment fought a losing battle with booze, stumbles into an appalling morass of evil. The tale is continued in this volume, and in his subsequent works. (Works which are available in New Zealand. Why they should be published here before an American release one can only wonder at).
Parker's encounters with the foulness others are capable of is reminiscent of Dennis Lehane's stunning novels, with an added "supernatural" content. Mr Connolly's skills are such that talk of ghosts and talking-with-the-dead seems not only believeable, but expected, even to a hardened sceptic such as myself.
If you like a good thriller, you'll read John Connolly. If you like a good horror story, then John Connolly's your man. For a good murder, John Connolly's hard to go past. He even throws in a gentle love story. Dense with plot, sub-plot, and a plenitude of excellent literary devices, this book, its predecessor and following volumes are masterfully crafted, and a delight to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Are they Really out there???, Feb. 26 2002
By 
dom glasheen (Tipperary, Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dark Hollow (Hardcover)
Connolly's dark imagination takes us on another daring adventure with even more chilling and terrifying characters than he introduced us to in his first book, Every Dead Thing. In this outing he creates fear and tension in the form of Caleb Kyle, a man known as a myth not unlike Kaiser Souse. In a kind of weird Cirle of life this was the same man that Charlie *Bird* Parkers grandfather was obsessed with catching, though he disappeared. Now after all these years New Crimes and New Clues bring bird into the Case and Reawakens something that should have been left asleep. Charlie Parker is back with his friends, Gay Assassin Louis and his Lover Angel.
When an ex-partners daughter goes missing his wife comes to Bird for help, and so begins the hunt for one of the most dangerous individuals ever to grace the pages of a book. With many other stories unfolding throughout like Bird running into an Old Flame of his and Her Husband who just happens to be Dark Hollows Town Sherrif, and is not overly happy to see Bird back in town ( though his wife is ).
Bird's gift (if one could call it that) of seeing dead people also seems to be developing. And we are introduced to two more assassins who just happen to be the sickest, unlikeable people I have ever seen in any book. Needless to say they are also after Bird. From beginning to End, this is a real Nail-Biter and with deaths and twists galore it will have you turning the pages until the wee hours of the morning.
All in all, this is a deserving sequel to " Every Dead thing " and many will say an even better book, and confirms to me that my suspisions were correct, John Connolly is by far the best Irish Author around.
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Dark Hollow
Dark Hollow by John Connolly (Mass Market Paperback - Sept. 1 2002)
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