Friday, 18 January 2013
The Whisperers by John Connolly Review
The border between Maine and Canada is porous. Anything can be smuggled across it: drugs, cash, weapons, people.
Now a group of disenchanted former soldiers has begun its own smuggling operation, and what is being moved is infinitely stranger and more terrifying than anyone can imagine. Anyone, that is, except private detective Charlie Parker, who has his own intimate knowledge of the darkness in men's hearts.
But the soldiers' actions have attracted the attention of the reclusive Herod, a man with a taste for the strange. And where Herod goes, so too does the shadowy figure that he calls the Captain. To defeat them, Parker must form an uneasy alliance with a man he fears more than any other, the killer known as the Collector . . .
John Connolly has always been a favourite author of mine due to the sheer artistic way he hones his characters and stories so that once they get their hooks in to you, you are hooked until the last page. Not many people are able to do that but he does it with such a skill that I am yet to read a book of his that I haven't liked.
Now from the best selling author of 'The Lovers' comes another book featuring the Charlie Parker. A detective who has seen some of the most evil things that man has done to one another. A detective who has seen the unexplained and unforgettable.
This is the 9th of the Charlie Parker novels and yet the character shows no sign what so ever of slowing down or getting boring. There's a superb but subtle supernatural air to the story and that adds yet another layer to an already very well written thriller.
The characters are, as you would expect from someone such as John Connolly, brilliantly written and each has it's own backstory. I really liked how one moment of the novel would be set now and others would be set in the pasts of certain characters yet done in such a way that it didn't once feel disjointed or awkward. The fully fleshed out characters all seem to have motives for each and every one of their actions and that makes a great difference to someone who has read as many thrillers as I have.
Another thing that is used very well in this novel are the settings in which the action takes place. It's as if you are really there watching everything unfold. In fact, the writing really gives the reader a sense of familiarity with the surroundings.
In the shape of the sick and evil character Herod, Connolly has created one of the most affecting and memorable characters of his career. In fact, Herod stayed with me long after I had finished the book and that doesn't happen that often.
All in all, an absolutely fantastic thriller that I would highly recommend to anyone who likes a good book or two. Don't worry if you haven't read a Charlie Parker mystery before, they all work just as well as stand alone novels as they do as a series.
Definitely go pick this one up, you won't be disappointed.