John Connolly was born in Dublin in 1968. His debut -EVERY DEAD THING - swiftly launched him right into the front rank of thriller writers, and all his subsequent novels have been Sunday Times bestsellers. He is the first non-American writer to win the US Shamus award.
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. (Sept.) Forecast: Connolly, an Irishman who writes American suspense better than most American writers, should charm readers on his 15-city tour. Expect The Killing Kind, released around the same time as the mass market paperback of Dark Hollow, to knock his sales up a few notches.
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.
Connolly, an Irishman, is starting to carve himself a niche in the annals of US crime writing, and his voice rings pretty true alongside true American purveyors of the twisted tale - Publishing News'As John Connolly plunges ever deeper into the underworld of the damned, the reader, with eyes of slits, must cling on for this brilliantly terrifying ride.' Irish Times'Ireland's finest export since U2 and Guinness. THE KILLING KIND is a crime thriller with real bite. Dark, menacing and moody, but with moments of wicked humour. Connolly drags you screaming to the edge of the abyss, then calmly pushes you in. If you can find a better thriller than this, let me know.' Simon Ritchie, Yorkshire Evening PressConnolly does the chill factor brilliantly, creating horror out of the sort of misguided religious fervour not seen since Waco. Mass graves, Parker's sixth sense and deadly spiders set the mind and pulse racing. - Daily MirrorWhat makes Parker intriguing is precisely that, though a crusader against evil, he has a dark side: he is haunted by the past, his capacity for violence and guilt. - Telegraph Magazine'A truly exciting thriller writer . . . the most exciting talent of the decade . . . An elegant, gripping illustration of his talents as a writer. A compelling danse macabre. Connolly proved he could write characters with more depth, style and malice t