A Game of Ghosts (Charlie Parker, #15)
It is deep winter. The darkness is unending.The private detective named Jaycob Eklund has vanished, and Charlie Parker is dispatched to track him down. Parker's employer, Edgar Ross, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has his own reasons for wanting Eklund found. Eklund is no ordinary investigator. He is obsessively tracking a series of homicides and disappearances, each linked to reports of hauntings. Now Parker will be drawn into Eklund's world, a realm in which the monstrous Mother rules a crumbling criminal empire, in which men strike bargains with angels, and in which the innocent and guilty alike are pawns in a game of ghosts . . .

A Game of Ghosts (Charlie Parker, #15) Details

TitleA Game of Ghosts (Charlie Parker, #15)
Author
FormatKindle Edition
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 6th, 2017
PublisherHodder & Stoughton
Number of pages464 pages
Rating
GenreMystery, Crime, Fantasy, Supernatural, Horror, Thriller, Fiction

A Game of Ghosts (Charlie Parker, #15) Review

  • Phrynne
    April 14, 2017
    Book 15 in the Charlie Parker series and I loved every word of it! Everyone who matters was in it, Charlie, Angel, Louis, Sam, Jennifer, even Rachel although if she sinks any lower in my estimation I will be glad if she is not in the next one! Oh and the Collector of course featured largely.John Connolly writes well which makes it a very enjoyable reading experience. This episode digs deeper into the supernatural than we have maybe been before but it was very neatly done. And Sam is becoming a r Book 15 in the Charlie Parker series and I loved every word of it! Everyone who matters was in it, Charlie, Angel, Louis, Sam, Jennifer, even Rachel although if she sinks any lower in my estimation I will be glad if she is not in the next one! Oh and the Collector of course featured largely.John Connolly writes well which makes it a very enjoyable reading experience. This episode digs deeper into the supernatural than we have maybe been before but it was very neatly done. And Sam is becoming a real force to be reckoned with which will be something to look out for in future books.A great book but best not read as a stand alone. This is a series that really needs to be read from book one in order to enjoy it completely.
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  • Liz Barnsley
    February 12, 2017
    Oh look its that time of year where I’m reading the next novel in the Charlie Parker series from John Connolly, ending up emotionally traumatised (and boy was THAT true this time) then wondering what the heck else I can say that I haven’t already said that can get across the pure brilliance of this series.It really is a difficult one because you end up going around in circles and coming back on yourself then thinking well surely if I haven’t sold it by now its just never going to happen. But we’ Oh look its that time of year where I’m reading the next novel in the Charlie Parker series from John Connolly, ending up emotionally traumatised (and boy was THAT true this time) then wondering what the heck else I can say that I haven’t already said that can get across the pure brilliance of this series.It really is a difficult one because you end up going around in circles and coming back on yourself then thinking well surely if I haven’t sold it by now its just never going to happen. But we’ll give it a go and I’ll even try and stay relatively sensible about the whole thing. Relatively.This instalment finds Charlie on the hook again to FBI Agent Ross (a man I still haven’t made up my mind about) who sends him off on the trail of a missing private detective. This man, Jaycob , has been messing with things he can’t possibly understand so things are going to get fraught. Well lets face it if Charlie found him in the next town then went home for tea it wouldn’t be NEARLY SO TRAUMATIC. And breathe..I can’t tell you anything else without then having to kill you, but suffice to say the indomitable Mr Connolly takes us on another emotional rollercoaster read, where the ongoing mythology deepens and just wraps you up in that enigmatic something that I have no words for, the current shenanigans are dark and so beautifully terrifying, the storytelling genius just gets me every single time. And THIS time particularly some things happen that had me needing to lie down. I’m still not over it.I don’t know another writer around today that has such a gorgeous, descriptively haunting and brilliantly incisive prose, the scene setting is sublime, the entire time you are just enveloped into this whole other world that feels as real as any you leave behind whilst in it. Emotionally charged readers will understand what I mean when I say life is blurred around the edges slightly when coming out of it and it takes a while to settle down. It is just CLEVER. From the first book to this book and probably on into further books, the quality never falters, every one feels fresh, you genuinely never know where they might take you next. The best crime series out there currently? In this readers opinion definitely. Head and shoulders above the best of the rest.Angel and Louis never cease to be funny yet inevitably flawed, Charlie himself is still facing down the problem of a daughter who may be scarier than he is, more revelations about the underneath of it all are drip fed out to us and overall this was a purely dazzling reading experience which once again left me desperate for more. But I’ll have to wait. I don’t like waiting. It makes me crazy. It’s worth it though. Every single time.Fans of Charlie Parker do not fear. This is everything you were hoping for and more.A note – A Game of Ghosts is book 15 and whilst I’m fairly sure that it might be more helpful to be able to say you could read it as a standalone, I’m afraid I’m often to be found screeching at people NO PUT THAT DOWN YOU MUST READ IN ORDER. There is of course no must about it, each book is a brilliant read and you’ll pick up some of the layers, but genuinely, if you don’t follow the arc’s I feel you will lose a lot of the soul of it. And it has a HELL of a lot of soul. So if you’ve not read these yet, you make your bets and you take your chances but I can almost guarantee book one will hook you and we won’t see you for a year while you burn through the rest (Every Dead Thing is where to start by the way)Highly HIGHLY recommended.
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  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    March 29, 2017
    Review to come on pub.date 4 July!
  • David Harris
    April 3, 2017
    I'm grateful to Hodder for an advance copy of the book.I read a lot, but it's both frustrating and wonderful to realise that there are still so many excellent authors and series that I have never yet touched. Frustrating, because HOW CAN I READ MORE and wonderful because - well, because I can discover books like this.I'm extra, extra grateful to have encountered Charlie Parker in this his - I think - 16th(!) adventure.Parker is a PI, based in New England, and one cold winter he's drawn into inve I'm grateful to Hodder for an advance copy of the book.I read a lot, but it's both frustrating and wonderful to realise that there are still so many excellent authors and series that I have never yet touched. Frustrating, because HOW CAN I READ MORE and wonderful because - well, because I can discover books like this.I'm extra, extra grateful to have encountered Charlie Parker in this his - I think - 16th(!) adventure.Parker is a PI, based in New England, and one cold winter he's drawn into investigating the disappearance of fellow PI Jaycob Eklund. The case takes him to some places - and people - that are far from nice, far from rational - whether the strange, extended Brethren and their ghostly companions or the daunting Mother, boss of a crime family and herself a deeply creepy being.At the same time Parker is wrestling to keep contact with his daughter when protective ex wife Rachel seeks to have contact cut off. A strength of the book is that it shows how both Rachel and Charlie are right... but also wrong. A sad situation, that vulnerable, fallible human beings are trying (and failing) not to make worse.Parker isn't, though, without resources of his own. Shadowed by the enigmatic Collector and his Hollow Men (I'll have to read the earlier books to understand what they're about) he has more solid assistance from henchmen (and couple) Angel and Louis. (The way the relationship between them is sketched is masterful: even without reading the earlier books you sense the history there).Even Parker's daughter, Sam, who was recently the target of an abduction, has more to her than is obvious (and just what she'll come to has yet to play out in the series).In a story where nobody is what they seem, and the stakes veer from violent crime to cultish bargains with supernatural entities, it seems that absolutely anything can happen - with the real question being how many innocents will suffer along the way.And they do.I was slightly taken aback by Connolly's... prodigality... with his characters. He lavishes as much care and attention on developing the background and life of someone who'll die halfway through the book (or sooner!) as on Parker, Sam and the others: all seem real, of worth, making the losses and deaths all the more horrific.Game of Ghosts is an amazing mash-up between the ghoulish - with nods to Lovecraft in the New England setting and especially using Providence as one of the main locations - and the hard-boiled (that background of PIs in shabby offices with gangsters in the background). There is a real sense of tension as we wait to see if Parker can unravel the threads before this victim dies, or if not this one, that one - even as others are working from the opposite direction, ruthlessly killing to keep their existence, their very souls, secret...It's profoundly unsettling, gripping reading - and I enjoyed every minute. Not having read any of the earlier books wasn't a problem - Connolly does a few recaps to bring the reader up to date, and the mysterious background adds rather than detracts from the effect - but this did give me an appetite for more and I rather think I'll have to read them now from the start.Strongly recommended, atmospheric, horror, a good entry to this series and wonderful, realistic, prickly, fallible characters.
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  • Mommacat
    April 3, 2017
    I'll be posting my review around the 1st of July. Publication date is July 4, 2017!
  • Alan Taylor
    April 9, 2017
    John Connolly is currently one of the best writers, and the Charlie Parker novels one of the best series, in any genre. In what genre these books sit is debatable; they are thrillers, detective stories, mysteries, horror stories. What is not debatable is that Connolly writes poetic, lyrical, haunting prose and dialogue which compares favourably with Raymond Chandler, Ross MacDonald or Elmore Leonard.If you know these books, you know just how rewarding, if disturbing, an experience each addition John Connolly is currently one of the best writers, and the Charlie Parker novels one of the best series, in any genre. In what genre these books sit is debatable; they are thrillers, detective stories, mysteries, horror stories. What is not debatable is that Connolly writes poetic, lyrical, haunting prose and dialogue which compares favourably with Raymond Chandler, Ross MacDonald or Elmore Leonard.If you know these books, you know just how rewarding, if disturbing, an experience each addition to the series is. If you don't, then put down what you're reading and pick up 'Every Dead Thing', the first Parker novel.'A Game of Ghosts' is the 15th in the Parker series. It is not a jumping on point. The books really need to be read in order and to do so is one of the most intense and satisfying journeys in modern fiction.I envy you....
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  • Connie
    March 31, 2017
    What I love most about Connolly's Charlie Parker Books is that they are becoming more and more supernatural...or maybe it's just that Connolly has done such a great job of making these books real that I no longer question the veracity of them. They are just as believable to me as the sun in the sky...and that is also why they are more and more terrifying as the series goes on...Connolly has managed to mesh the very ordinary world of former policeman Charlie Parker with the spectral world where s What I love most about Connolly's Charlie Parker Books is that they are becoming more and more supernatural...or maybe it's just that Connolly has done such a great job of making these books real that I no longer question the veracity of them. They are just as believable to me as the sun in the sky...and that is also why they are more and more terrifying as the series goes on...Connolly has managed to mesh the very ordinary world of former policeman Charlie Parker with the spectral world where some things just can't be explained until suddenly they are all one and the same...but he does so in a way that keeps the real world the focus and the paranormal in the shadows. This isn't some attempt by an author to create an alternative world or universe or future time period. Connolly isn't asking the reader to suspend what they know...only that you open your mind to the possibilities...and with your own imagination the possibilities are infinite...which explains the vast amount of fear I experience whilst reading them...ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review
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  • Celia
    April 10, 2017
    Reading a John Connolly/Charlie Parker novel always brings to mind for me that old line from 'Silence of the Lambs', it's like "having an old friend for dinner". It all sounds innocent enough, but the hidden part of you knows that it will all end in sharp teeth, blood and death once you get past the entrées.My complaint from the previous book, about the departure from first person perspective to third person, continues into this book, but there's a much stronger sense of control this time and it Reading a John Connolly/Charlie Parker novel always brings to mind for me that old line from 'Silence of the Lambs', it's like "having an old friend for dinner". It all sounds innocent enough, but the hidden part of you knows that it will all end in sharp teeth, blood and death once you get past the entrées.My complaint from the previous book, about the departure from first person perspective to third person, continues into this book, but there's a much stronger sense of control this time and it's much better handled. Parker is back front and centre where he belongs, with his two closest friends alongside him, which is a very welcome return to form. As is usual with Connolly, the reader is drawn into a beautifully descriptive world, and I found myself re-reading paragraphs or pages just for the gorgeous wording he uses to describe things, everything from the fog in a city's streets to the silence of the snow covered fields. Often I felt a jarring sensation when I raised my head from the book to look around at my real-life world, such is the absolute power and skill of the wording. Never ceases to amaze me, no matter how many Parker novels I've read at this stage.The story itself is, as always, multi-layered, that intricately written web of connections which only reveal themselves in snatches over the course of the book. Very mild spoiler about the overall pace of the book: (view spoiler)[What's odd about this one is that Parker and crew seem to be playing catch-up all the way through; don't expect the guns-blazing showdowns of some of his other books in this series, this one is a slightly different beast, but nonetheless gripping for it. There is, however, a scene near the end that would have the full approval of H.P. Lovecraft for sheer scope and imagery, it creeped the HELL out of me, wonderful stuff!!! (hide spoiler)]In summary, anyone who is already a Connolly/Parker fan will be delighted with this latest entry. Those new to the series would really do well to start at book one, otherwise you'll be a bit clueless as to what the hell is going on. Those newbies I envy; the deliciousness of journeying into the world of Charlie Parker for the first time is something I would love to revisit.John Connolly, if you're reading this... *clings to author's leg in pathetic supplication* pleaseohpleaseohplease write many, many more of these. Nobody does it quite like you. An absolute feast for the reader, thank you.
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  • Breakaway Reviewers
    April 8, 2017
    A good read with a tinge of disappointment When Charlie Parker meets with FBI Special Agent Ross in Portland, what looks like a simple missing person case – or rather, missing investigator – turns out to be far from simple. Ross wants Parker to find Jaycob Eklund, who, like Parker himself, is on a retainer from the FBI for handling ‘sensitive’ material. As such, Ross is not able to use the huge resources normally available to him, and thus puts pressure on Parker to look into the case. So begins A good read with a tinge of disappointment When Charlie Parker meets with FBI Special Agent Ross in Portland, what looks like a simple missing person case – or rather, missing investigator – turns out to be far from simple. Ross wants Parker to find Jaycob Eklund, who, like Parker himself, is on a retainer from the FBI for handling ‘sensitive’ material. As such, Ross is not able to use the huge resources normally available to him, and thus puts pressure on Parker to look into the case. So begins what looks like a typical Charlie Parker book, including friends Louis and Angel, but for me, there was a tinge of disappointment. The book, amounting to some 450 pages, contains all Mr Connolly’s literary skills and I genuinely enjoyed reading most of it. However, I personally think that there was far too much paranormal activity, and quite honestly, some of it was out of the reach of credibility – for me. I am sure that there will be John Connolly followers who will be jumping out of their chairs, but I have to say what I believe. I also would direct them to Connolly’s own description at the back of the book where he refers to this as “This odd book”. I am glad I have had the opportunity to read this and indeed, have awarded it 4 stars, but had this contained less of the ‘ghosty’ stuff it could have been a 5 star rating. Sméagol Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review
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  • Mid
    April 8, 2017
    The weakest Charlie Parker book so far. It's still a good read - I finished it within a day - but it was a retread of a previous plot.Spoilers follow.Connolly's work showcases a physical and social rot that accompanies the spiritual rot of the antagonists in his books. He has set up a metaplot that hangs the books together - the Backers - but that's been more or less on a back burner for a while.This book is well written (although makes excessive use of commas in the opening page, in my opinion The weakest Charlie Parker book so far. It's still a good read - I finished it within a day - but it was a retread of a previous plot.Spoilers follow.Connolly's work showcases a physical and social rot that accompanies the spiritual rot of the antagonists in his books. He has set up a metaplot that hangs the books together - the Backers - but that's been more or less on a back burner for a while.This book is well written (although makes excessive use of commas in the opening page, in my opinion at least) but the biggest flaw is simply that the community of the Brethren feels very similar to the community of the Cut in the previous book, and quite similar to Prosperous Maine in the book two before that. A Song of Shadows moved was a blissful relief, but the series seemed to peak at the Wrath of Angels and it's a shame.
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  • Humberto Cadena
    April 5, 2017
    Magnifico, simplemente magnífico
  • Don Jimmy
    April 15, 2017
    Absolutely fantastic. they get better and better.
  • Kevin Parsons
    March 12, 2017
    Another excellent book in the Charlie Parker series. Things seem to be coming together and it appears that the end game is in sight - although it could take another 5 books to reach that end! Like the other books in this series, this could be read as a stand-alone but I would recommend reading it as part of a series and starting at the beginning.
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  • Pattyh
    March 20, 2017
    Thank you Netgalley for a preview of John Connolly'a Game of Ghosts. For fans of suspense and mystery, there is no better series than the Charlie Parker books. I have read all of them, and never grow tired of reading them. Game of Ghosts finds Parker, a flawed private detective with abilities and friends that can be deadly fighting forces called the Brethren. This ancient group is discovered by a PI, Jakob Eklund, but now Eklund has disappeared and Parker is assisgned to find out what has happen Thank you Netgalley for a preview of John Connolly'a Game of Ghosts. For fans of suspense and mystery, there is no better series than the Charlie Parker books. I have read all of them, and never grow tired of reading them. Game of Ghosts finds Parker, a flawed private detective with abilities and friends that can be deadly fighting forces called the Brethren. This ancient group is discovered by a PI, Jakob Eklund, but now Eklund has disappeared and Parker is assisgned to find out what has happened to him. Agent Ross from the FBI seeks Parker's assistance and provides only the slightest details. Parker knows there is more to this search and deploys his faithful assstants, Angel and Louis, to help him find the missing PI. The ensamble cast of the Parker novels makes them unique. You know these characters and they enrich the story line. Although this is a series, this is a standalone book, but I urge those who have never had a taste of Connolly's novels to "take a sip", they are the best in this genre.I didn't want to finish this book because I will have to wait a year till the next installment - This followup to last year's A Time of Torment will not disappoint. Really dark and scary - Loved it - 5 stars!!!
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  • Kieron
    April 14, 2017
    What can you say about a series that started with one of the stand-out thrillers of 1999 and has just got better over the years since then? The Independent calls it 'the best crime series currently in existence' but with this latest instalment, you begin to suspect that they might be damning Connolly with faint praise.This book perfectly demonstrates what the author does so well: it's beautifully written, tightly plotted and the characters are all real enough to care about, even the vilest of th What can you say about a series that started with one of the stand-out thrillers of 1999 and has just got better over the years since then? The Independent calls it 'the best crime series currently in existence' but with this latest instalment, you begin to suspect that they might be damning Connolly with faint praise.This book perfectly demonstrates what the author does so well: it's beautifully written, tightly plotted and the characters are all real enough to care about, even the vilest of the villains (and some of them are outstandingly vile). The relationships and the dialogue between characters are real, funny and sometimes deeply touching, while the action and the horror when it comes are almost unbearably tense. I've never read anyone else who manages to juggle so many different elements in one book to such great effect as Connolly does.And finally, this book triumphantly overcomes the problem that ruins so many potentially good thrillers by giving us an ending worthy of what has gone before. This is not justy because of a twist, although there is one and it's a goodie that I for one never saw it coming. It's because the author expertly ratchets up the different plotlines to peak tension level, that glorious point where you know you're reading too fast to take it in properly but can't stop yourself, and then gives you a satisfyingly feasible conclusion to all of them while still leaving you pining for more.All in all, this is a triumphant addition to an outstanding body of work. It moves the series forward in several intriguing ways, but it's also a great standalone thriller in its own right. Whether you're a veteran Charlie Parker fan or a newcomer to the series, you're guaranteed an enviably good read.
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  • Dom
    April 6, 2017
    Connolly is in fine form with this book. A fantastic piece of work delicately blending the thriller, horror and the supernatural genres. A great read!
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