A Book of Bones (Charlie Parker, #17)
The new thrilling installment of John Connolly's popular Charlie Parker series.He is our best hope.He is our last hope.On lonely moor in the northeast of England, the body of a young woman is discovered near the site of a vanished church. In the south, a girl lies buried beneath a Saxon mound. To the southeast, the ruins of a priory hide a human skull.Each is a sacrifice, a summons. And something in the darkness has heard the call.But another is coming: Parker the hunter, the avenger. From the forests of Maine to the deserts of the Mexican border, from the canals of Amsterdam to the streets of London, he will track those who would cast this world into darkness.Parker fears no evil.But evil fears him . . .

A Book of Bones (Charlie Parker, #17) Details

TitleA Book of Bones (Charlie Parker, #17)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 18th, 2019
PublisherHodder & Stoughton
ISBN-139781473642010
Rating
GenreMystery, Horror, Thriller, Crime, Fantasy, Supernatural

A Book of Bones (Charlie Parker, #17) Review

  • Karl
    January 1, 1970
    This giant 707 page hardcover book is the UK edition and the official publishing date is 18 Apr 2019.The book arrived with a book/tote bag displaying "Parker Private Investigations" and picturing an angel conquering a demon on one side and a human holding the skin sack of a vanquished opponent on the other. The bag is black print is white. The book is signed by John Connolly.Thank You to Brian and John.
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  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    A difficult book to review this, even if I hadn’t said pretty much every good word available in previous reviews of the series- because there is a kind of end game for a particular story arc here that I need to be careful not to spoil- whilst also getting across how utterly brilliant A Book Of Bones is. Because it is. Utterly brilliant.A warning though. If you are not up to date, or indeed have not even started the Parker series, this is definitely not an entry level story. There are various boo A difficult book to review this, even if I hadn’t said pretty much every good word available in previous reviews of the series- because there is a kind of end game for a particular story arc here that I need to be careful not to spoil- whilst also getting across how utterly brilliant A Book Of Bones is. Because it is. Utterly brilliant.A warning though. If you are not up to date, or indeed have not even started the Parker series, this is definitely not an entry level story. There are various books along the way that you could start or return to the journey with but A Book Of Bones is a culmination of sorts,as such the last few books are must reads.If you are prepared then BE prepared. This is an epic tale, dark, realistically creepy and all kinds of emotional. The authors talent for freaking you out and engaging you deep down in the depths of the mind is on full power here, before you know it you’ll be sucked back in to that honeycomb world we Connolly fans know so well yet don’t know at all – where the familiar is off kilter and you never know where you’ll end up.Fully committed within moments I read this fast, despite its tome like quality it felt like it went by in an instant.It threw me out the other side unrepentant in its addictive and traumatic quality and I loved every last moment. Even when I was tempted to hide in a cupboard.As ever beautifully written, intelligently plotted and wonderfully complex, our very anti heroes get better with age and a treat for us British fans finds them very close to home.Magnificent. That is all.Highly Recommended.
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  • Emma
    January 1, 1970
    Even though this offering is just as well written as the rest, atmospheric and macabre, the paucity of time spent with Parker et al means that it just doesn't hit the spot. They're still essential to the plot but are largely absent from it, giving the book the feel of one of those tv crossover episodes in which new detectives about to get their own series are given authority by their interaction with old favourites. Without the focus on the characters we know and love, most of the heart, humour, Even though this offering is just as well written as the rest, atmospheric and macabre, the paucity of time spent with Parker et al means that it just doesn't hit the spot. They're still essential to the plot but are largely absent from it, giving the book the feel of one of those tv crossover episodes in which new detectives about to get their own series are given authority by their interaction with old favourites. Without the focus on the characters we know and love, most of the heart, humour, and allure is lost. Connolly's preference for adding depth via short, sharp vignettes from all kinds of alternative POVs is exacerbated to a dull degree, lost to tangents and his own cleverness. It's all interesting enough, but it drags on.Anyone who has got this far will probably keep reading until the end of time, but its instalments like this that make me wonder whether the author really has that much more to say.(view spoiler)[Also, why didn't Parker take the dog? What happened to Jess? Genuinely, the most upsetting part of the whole book (hide spoiler)]ARC via Netgalley
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  • Lou
    January 1, 1970
    Many people who read the first books in the Charlie Parker series wrongly assume that by the seventeenth instalment it would be seriously floundering and quickly running out of steam, but I feel strongly that it just keeps getting better and better. It's a difficult one to review without giving too much away, so I'm going to keep it short. This is an intense story in which violence, the supernatural and dangerous characters collide in spectacular fashion. There's never a dull moment with nonstop Many people who read the first books in the Charlie Parker series wrongly assume that by the seventeenth instalment it would be seriously floundering and quickly running out of steam, but I feel strongly that it just keeps getting better and better. It's a difficult one to review without giving too much away, so I'm going to keep it short. This is an intense story in which violence, the supernatural and dangerous characters collide in spectacular fashion. There's never a dull moment with nonstop action and plenty of surprises this tomb of a novel passed quickly, much too quickly. I just couldn't get enough.As A Book of Bones is the culmination of different plot strands from previous episodes it's pretty much essential to have read the preceding novels to get the gist of things. This is deliciously dark, depraved and intense and is certainly not for the faint of heart. Connolly masterfully crafts a world that is creepy, chilling and oppressive in its claustrophobic nature and there is plenty of unexpected emotion involved too. Exceptionally well written and perfectly paced this is a complex, multifaceted thriller which for crime aficionados is unmissable. Like a fine wine this series just keeps on getting better. I'm already pining for the next gripping instalment. Many thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for an ARC.
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  • Jannelies
    January 1, 1970
    I've been a fan of John Connolly for ages, and not only because of the Charlie Parker series. However, this series is addictive, and I, like many other fans, can hardly wait till the next one. And I always have to wait a bit longer because I don't buy hardcovers. So, when Hodder & Stoughton approved my request for a review copy on Netgalley, I was over the moon. And then I discovered that this story follows the one in The Woman in the Woods... My disappointment on missing out on that title d I've been a fan of John Connolly for ages, and not only because of the Charlie Parker series. However, this series is addictive, and I, like many other fans, can hardly wait till the next one. And I always have to wait a bit longer because I don't buy hardcovers. So, when Hodder & Stoughton approved my request for a review copy on Netgalley, I was over the moon. And then I discovered that this story follows the one in The Woman in the Woods... My disappointment on missing out on that title didn't last long, because, as the brilliant author he is, John Connolly gives the reader exactly the right amount of information to be able to enjoy A Book of Bones without having read The Woman in the Woods (by the way, I bought this one and will be reading it soon...).In A Book of Bones Parker, Angel and Louis travel around the world, because the Atlas they need to find and destroy was scattered over the globe in earlier times. From the US to the UK and even the Netherlands, they follow an intricate trail of otherworldly and not so otherworldly clues and events. They get help from various sources, although it is not always clear what that help is, and if it is freely given or with an ulterior motive. A Book of Bones is not an easy read. It is a fat volume with a lot of 'new' characters drawn into the story. You have to keep a sharp eye on what is happening when, and how all the different story lines come together. Sometimes it was not easy to remember where the story was going because of all the characters but eventually it all comes clear. Because of how the story evolves, there is a little less information about Parker himself, his daughters, and his friends Angel and Louis than I would have liked. The story was brilliant however, so I'm now looking forward to the next Charlie Parker novel.
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  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    This was the seventeenth entry in the Charlie Parker series, somewhere in between is the short story "The Reflecting Eye"in the short story collection Nocturnes placed. In this seventeenth novel you get value for your money the Uk edition is 707 pages long and even when you get close to the conclusion you feel that a few hundred pages more would be bloody welcome. A Book of Bones is the end of a six-novel sequence, starting with The Wolf In Winter. John Connolly wrote a story called The Wanderer This was the seventeenth entry in the Charlie Parker series, somewhere in between is the short story "The Reflecting Eye"in the short story collection Nocturnes placed. In this seventeenth novel you get value for your money the Uk edition is 707 pages long and even when you get close to the conclusion you feel that a few hundred pages more would be bloody welcome. A Book of Bones is the end of a six-novel sequence, starting with The Wolf In Winter. John Connolly wrote a story called The Wanderer in Unknown Realms that introduced the idea of the Fractured Atlas, and he realized, actually this is part of the same universe as the Parker books, and at that point he began to think, where can these two intersect?Now with this book the cycle has ended that begun six books ago and even if the book does contain far more characters than Charlie Parker and friends the pace and excitement of the previous books is just there. The Atlas almost completely compiled now begins to interfere with it surroundings and it takes his journey to England where our main characters are sure to follow. As the Atlas is brought home by Quayle and Mors it starts influencing the world due to the directions of Quayle.The book made sense and felt like closure for this part of the story, and all the new characters were a welcome addition to the series and even outside of the darkness of Maine and the old colonies it felt dark and menacing enough. I had too pace myself to not finish the book in one go and managed to draw the reading into a couple days. For me the combination of the religious undertones, supernatural, crime and mystery makes the Charlie Parker one of the more interesting series about currently. And Connolly has made very good use of the various elements. Even with over seven-hundred pages reading this book was a pleasure to read and showed Connolly being one of the better crime writers today. As a first book to read this series I would certainly not recommend this book, go at least six titles back,as mentioned in this review earlier, or better start at the beginning and have me being envious for discovering such a great series of books. Some extra tidbits of information from an interview with John Connolly from the Irish Times:the next Parker novel, The Dirty South, will have no supernatural elements whatever. John Connolly has signed up to write the screenplay of The Book of Lost Things for a British film company. And a pilot episode of a Parker TV series is ready to shoot. Having always said he wouldn’t let the books be filmed: “My attitude changed when you could see what was happening in TV – with movies you were compressing a four hundred page into two hours, but TV has liberated books in that way.”https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/bo...
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  • The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).
    January 1, 1970
    This review can be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...There is something enchanting about A Book of Bones, it is dark, full of depth, at times downright creepy, totally gripping and ticks all of the boxes for a must-read.I was very late to the Charlie Parker series only starting with the previous book, The Women in the Woods but I immediately knew that it was a series that I had to continue with. A Book of Bones continues the story started in The Wom This review can be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...There is something enchanting about A Book of Bones, it is dark, full of depth, at times downright creepy, totally gripping and ticks all of the boxes for a must-read.I was very late to the Charlie Parker series only starting with the previous book, The Women in the Woods but I immediately knew that it was a series that I had to continue with. A Book of Bones continues the story started in The Women in the Woods, the search for the book known as the Fractured Atlas. Likewise, the duo who are searching for the Atlas, the quietly sinister and shadowy English lawyer Quayle and his sidekick the palid-skinned and rancid smelling demon incarnate Pallida Mors also return.I would highly suggest picking up The Women in the Woods before reading A Book of Bones. Firstly, it is a tremendous book and secondly, it will give you additional background, some meat to the bones and that little bit of colour that just makes the picture more complete on the search for the Fractured Atlas and on Quayle and Mors. It is, perhaps, slightly hypocritical of me telling you to read the previous book when I, myself jumped head first into the series so late but A Book of Bones is, in essence, the culmination of, the sequel to The Women in the Woods and while Connolly does give you enough recap and backstory to read and thoroughly enjoy A Book of Bones on its own merits. For me, personally, I was glad that I had already read The Women in the Woods.A Book of Bones starts with the body of a woman being found in a junkyard in Arizona. Parker is called on by FBI agent Ross to help identify the remains of the woman. The junkyard owner has ties to Mexico and the investigation into the body takes Parker to the Mexican border in search of answers.Quayle and Mors are back in London and after many years their search for the Fractured Atlas is nearing its apex, its culmination, its zenith and the dread book will soon be complete. The Fractured Atlas is nearing completion, nearing being whole again and the search for the missing pages has left many dead bodies in its wake over many years. It is an otherworldly book of immense eldritch power, a book that radiates out darkness, a corruption that poisons, that taints those in its vicinity and those unlucky souls who come into contact with it. It is a book that corrupts the world, that tarnishes it, a book that will alter reality, bring about change, death, destruction and the end of our known world.In England, bodies of young women are being found on corrupted land, on land that once stood churches but not churches to the Christian god but another, older gods from before, gods to which the Familists prayed, worshipped and revered.The first body is found in Northumberland, Northumbria on the Hexamshire Moors and then more bodies, more sacrificial killings all bearing similar aspects are discovered at other locations and sites of religious significance throughout the UK, sites where the barriers between dimensions, between worlds are thinner, are weaker, old places and an old power that is waiting to be awoken. Buildings and the ground remember, memories are buried, in soil, in the dirt, in stone, in bricks, in the mortar, always there, waiting, lurking, lingering. History repeats itself, blood leaves a stain, an indelible mark that abides through time, that endures and that persists over centuries. A subsequent investigation is started by the English police into the killings.Parker has some loose ends to tie-up in the US and then he, along with Louis and Angel travel to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in search of information pertaining to the location of Quayle and Mors. Then, with the information that they manage to glean, they travel onto London, England. Parker goes on ahead to London, leaving the duo behind in Amsterdam to continue their own investigation before they rejoin him a few days later.Parker is full of a dogged determination, resilience and relentlessness in his pursuit of the duo, hunting Quayle and Mors across countries and continents. He is a fantastic resilient character, a character that is filled between the lines and a character that has had plenty of time to be developed by Connolly. He’s been through so much and yet he still keeps on going, damaged, scarred, weathered, tattered and torn. As are Angel and Louis, the duo of hitmen who are friends with Parker. who help him and who stand alongside him against the forces of darkness and encroaching evil. The trio are like brothers bonded not by blood but by the blood that they have shed and the experiences that they have shared. All three are ageing, father time is catching up with them all making them more vulnerable than they once were. Angel is still recovering from stomach cancer and Louis is still recovering from the wounds that he sustained in the climax to The Women in the Woods.In A Book of Bones, we get to see deep into Quayle’s past, deep into his story. Quayle is sinister in an understated way, there is a creepy factor to him and he is evil but it is Mors where the blackness is pitch and where even shadows are scared to dwell. There are inherent evilness and decay to Mors, a fetid and festering stink of corruption that emanates from her tainted soul, that radiates from off the pages.Connolly is the puppet master as he pulls the strings and leads his cast of characters on the macabre merry-go-round that is his masterfully crafted and totally absorbing opus A Book of Bones. At times, the supernatural is understated, at others, it is brought to the forefront of the story. Regardless, it always feels right, fits with the story that is being told and never seems out of place. It blends together with the natural, feels organic, two sides of a coin, different but together forming a whole.To go along with Parker, Louis, Angel, Quayle and Mors there is a vast cast of ensemble characters (Priestman, in charge of the English police force with Hynes, Gackowska and Uddin, Hood, a sheep farmer on the Moors, the killers, Bob Johnston, an American book dealer and The Backers make a fleeting appearance too, an immensely powerful group with endlessly deep pockets and vast amounts of money) featured in A Book of Bones and Connolly does a stellar job of bringing them all to life and giving them each their own distinctive voice and personality. Some only have minor roles, very minor whilst others are major players but all are given a degree of characterisation and all even if it is only in a small role have a part to play. In lesser hands, it could all get muddled, not with Connolly who has a deft hand and a way of keeping everything moving forward and very clear to the reader. Even with a lot going on and the various characters, Connolly is a proficient storyteller and it is never confusing.There is a wealth of detail on display in A Book of Bones, it is a tapestry, a mosaic, like the stained glass window adjourning the cover, everything has a place no matter how small, no matter if it seems disparate from the main story, everything has a place, added occasional history, historical events and accounts and stories told within the main story. It is all used to stitch the fabric of the overall story together.Connolly’s writing is very addictive, with a descriptive flair, little turns of phrase that are profound and meaningful and with the occasional inclusion of dark humour, especially with Parker, Angel and Louis, the comments, bite backs, witty retorts and snark that is shared between them. The characters from the English police force that appear in A Book of Bones also partake on the dark humour, banter and retorts too. Hynes, in particular, is very adept with his remarks and comes out with some great comments. The humour is a nice touch, a little bit of light in the darkness of the story.Connolly is able to evoke both a sense of atmosphere and a sense of place for the settings where the story takes place. He uses words that I haven’t come across before in his writing showing depth to his craft that bleeds over into his characters and his story too, there is a depth to every component that helps to form A Book of Bones and it is a truly remarkable book.The story has many twists and turns and goes down some dark and stormy roads, it is never overly visceral, leaning towards the more cerebral but there are some gruesome scenes depicted throughout. There is a darkness to the story, one that runs throughout the pages, an ominous feeling throughout, malevolent forces, harbingers, portents of things to come, forces beyond our comprehension, an evil lurking, sleeping, biding its time, voices whispering of what once was and of what will be again.It is a complex canvas and a clever story, a multi-layered story that meanders, that takes its time in getting to the ending, getting where it needs to and you enjoy every moment of it, savouring each new chapter, each of the characters, each location, each new development and all that comes with it. It is a story that builds, a story that can be traced back with the roots, the foundations laid well in the past both, in the actual story and in the series. I know, I know, as I have mentioned I have only read the previous book, The Women in the Woods but it is a gut feeling that I had whilst reading A Book of Bones that it is the book that the Charlie Parker series, itself has been building towards for a long time and honestly, it is a fitting finale to close of the tale of Quayle, Mors and the Fractured Atlas…but, you never know, the Fractured Atlas might reappear in the future (only Connolly knows) as books are funny things, strange by their nature and even when they are lost, they survive, their heart and the stories that they tell, that want to escape the pages live on.A Book of Bones has a rather middling pace to it, it is never overly slow nor is it a fast-paced read. It is a potent kind of pacing, a powerful type that keeps you rapt, that keeps you interested, that draws you in, that immerses you and that keeps your eyes glued to the pages as the rich story unfolds before you. Along with the short and snappy chapters that alternate between character, it is the type of pacing where it feels just right for the story being told, perfect.For large portions of the book Parker and by association Louis and Angel are absent and instead, the impetus is placed on the other characters and the developing story itself as the main driving force. Some might take umbrage at the lack of Parker in a Charlie Parker book, I didn’t. Due to this, A Book of Bones, can, at times feel like two books in one. One, the police investigation in the UK and two, Parker, Louis and Angel and their search for Quayle, Mors and the Fractured Atlas. The two stories, which do finally come together, gel well, compliment each other, feel symbiotic, coexist and serve to give the full picture.A Book of Bones is a book to be consumed, to lose yourself in, to immerse yourself with and a book that I could have read forever. There is something mesmerising about both the story and the way that Connolly writes and even at 700 pages, it wasn’t long enough for me, it was over far too soon and I wish that it hadn’t ended.
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  • Elaine Tomasso
    January 1, 1970
    I would like to thank Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an advance copy of A Book of Bones, the seventeenth novel to feature Maine PI Charlie Parker.Parker and his friends, Angel and Louis, are hunting the perpetrators of a series of murders across the United States and finally arrive in England where a series of grisly murders is perplexing the police in various counties.I thoroughly enjoyed A Book of Bones which is a long, detailed tale of violence and supernatural beings. I have not sp I would like to thank Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an advance copy of A Book of Bones, the seventeenth novel to feature Maine PI Charlie Parker.Parker and his friends, Angel and Louis, are hunting the perpetrators of a series of murders across the United States and finally arrive in England where a series of grisly murders is perplexing the police in various counties.I thoroughly enjoyed A Book of Bones which is a long, detailed tale of violence and supernatural beings. I have not spent time recently with the boys, not having read the previous four novels, so I’d forgotten how intense the read can be. I also think I’ve missed something, more detail and background than events, by not having read the previous novel, The Woman in the Woods, as this seems to be a sequel. This is a difficult novel to review without spoilers as it covers so much ground and is complex as a whole. It is not, however, difficult to follow once the reader becomes familiar with all the characters. It is told from multiple points of view, each with their own trajectory, mostly in the present with some delves into episodes in the past. These episodes have tangential links to the present and are told from the point of view of the character involved at the time. It is long, sprawling and extremely compulsive. I really enjoyed seeing all these plot lines develop and gradually come together. It is an absolute tour de force of planning as Mr Connolly gradually pulls all these disparate threads together. No Charlie Parker novel could ever be reviewed without discussion of the supernatural and it seems very prominent in this novel. It may be my faulty memory but I always thought, at least in the early novels, that there was room for rationalisation. Not here as this is out and out woo woo. I like rational, logical novels so this is rather outside my comfort zone but this is so entertaining and informative I just went with the flow. There is a wealth of detailed research in the novel about small corners of England which I found fascinating and a rich imagination in imbuing these corners with a supernatural meaning. It makes the novel very atmospheric with a sense of danger, menace and uncertainty.It is a more encompassing novel than the usual three go mad with guns. Parker, Angel and Louis are not as centre stage as I’m used to. Louis is injured, Angel is tired from chemotherapy and Parker seems content to take a more cerebral role working to bring the strands together rather than precipitating the action, until the denouement of course. I loved the police investigation scenes which has great characters, some fun lines and a great sense of purpose.A Book of Bones is a good read which I have no hesitation in recommending.
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  • The
    January 1, 1970
    (No spoilers.)"Butter scraped over too much bread".That's the line that springs to mind when reading this, the latest Charlie Parker book. Having read all the other books in this series, I now feel that it has run its course; ran out of steam quite a while back actually, now that I reflect on it. What you've got here is a book 'going through the motions'. A series which rightly focused heavily on Charlie Parker (and his much loved friends) early on, now does little more than sprinkle their names (No spoilers.)"Butter scraped over too much bread".That's the line that springs to mind when reading this, the latest Charlie Parker book. Having read all the other books in this series, I now feel that it has run its course; ran out of steam quite a while back actually, now that I reflect on it. What you've got here is a book 'going through the motions'. A series which rightly focused heavily on Charlie Parker (and his much loved friends) early on, now does little more than sprinkle their names in at opportune times, to maintain appearances and earn the "Charlie Parker series" title on the cover. If you've ever read the Sean Dillon series by Jack Higgins, you'll know what I mean. Most of the chapters in this book are from the viewpoint of the villains, with quite a few chapters from the viewpoint of minor characters. These minor characters offer little or nothing in the way of overall plot, and instead seem to be there purely as filler. Take out these chapters and the book's tedious (very, very tedious) length could have been halved. The characters of Parker and friends occupy very little of the book; there were times I'd even forgotten they were in it at all, so mired was I in the irrelevant details of these other "bit" characters.Far too many, and no need at all for them.Another point that annoyed me was the overall sense of cruelty and depression in this book. None of the Parker books are light-hearted, they're not meant to be. I get that. It's undeniable however, that these books have become progressively more nasty and unsettling as they go on, and while I'm not averse to baddies being baddies, there's so much overkill when it comes to the nasty stuff that I found myself weary to the point of exhaustion by the time I was finished. If it added to the story in some way, or had a point to make, then perhaps it wouldn't have bugged me so much, but there's only so much cruelty and deaths-for-the-sake-of-deaths that you can take before getting pissed off. For example, and without spoilers, there are many characters in this book which take up a lot of their own chapters and end up getting the chop for no apparent reason other than they were rendered useless by the end stages of the book, and had to be dealt with. Why write wonderfully fleshed out characters only to bump them off? It's stupid and annoying, making the reader invest when they shouldn't have wasted their time. See? MORE filler. The hardcover version of this book is listed at 720 pages, and now you're beginning to see why.Moving on to plot.Most of the Parker books have a good plot, or so I used to think, but this one spent many hundreds of pages going absolutely nowhere. Showdowns that were long expected turned out to be disappointing and pretty irrelevant, and the incredulity caused by Parker & Co. just showing up in the right place at the right time, when they'd spent most of the book playing catch-up, just ruined my immersion further. It seems that in the last few books, Parker always manages to sail in and save the day, even though he's been behind the scenes for most of the plot, barely able to string the facts together. Perhaps I'm missing something, but the story in this book is so overly complicated that I pretty much coasted along through it all, hoping it would all make sense at the end. It really didn't anyway.Things have become so convoluted from the original stories that there's just no way to untangle the mess anymore, and I miss the "simplicity" of the earlier novels, which were much more character focused and less.... well, plot-in-a-blender.Summing up. What you're left with now is a series that reached in zenith years ago and is being dragged out and milked for all it's worth, again likening it to other similar series which should have been retired long ago. The sparkling characters are gone, replaced with robotic clones. The simple but gothically gripping plots are gone, replaced with confusing and overly complicated yarns that meander for miles and yet end up nowhere. Miles and miles of words polished over a long career of writing, yet contributing nothing of substance.It's a shame, a damn shame, but I'm now officially done with this series of books.
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  • Donna
    January 1, 1970
    “A BOOK OF BONES, John Connolly’s latest masterpiece arrives on the 20th anniversary of the first appearance of the author’s delayed puberty, and consequently offers an opportunity to consider his career in a state of mourning. Connolly’s work, with its commitment to drinking provides an example to younger writers of the benefits of finishing the contents of the bottle. While Connolly remains as talented as ever, and Parker continues to keep his creator off the streets, A BOOK OF BONES marks the “A BOOK OF BONES, John Connolly’s latest masterpiece arrives on the 20th anniversary of the first appearance of the author’s delayed puberty, and consequently offers an opportunity to consider his career in a state of mourning. Connolly’s work, with its commitment to drinking provides an example to younger writers of the benefits of finishing the contents of the bottle. While Connolly remains as talented as ever, and Parker continues to keep his creator off the streets, A BOOK OF BONES marks the end of another phase in the series, and in light of all we now know about Connolly’s bizarre lifestyle choices we can only wait to see how his public reacts. Nevertheless, I, for one, look forward to meeting Parker again in the future, and can only applaud Connolly’s complete absence of shame. Long may he write. I intend to give this one five stars.
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  • David Harris
    January 1, 1970
    Hodder & Stoughton, 18 April 2019HB, 707pp, e-bookI'm grateful to the publisher for sending me a free advance copy of A Book of Bones for review.As if to prove this series is a long way from losing steam, with the 17th Charlie Parker thriller - and marking 20 years as an author - In A Book of Bones John Connolly gives us a double length (700 pages!) adventure for Charlie, Angel, Louis and many of his wider cast. Not only that, but in this book themes from several recent novels come together. Hodder & Stoughton, 18 April 2019HB, 707pp, e-bookI'm grateful to the publisher for sending me a free advance copy of A Book of Bones for review.As if to prove this series is a long way from losing steam, with the 17th Charlie Parker thriller - and marking 20 years as an author - In A Book of Bones John Connolly gives us a double length (700 pages!) adventure for Charlie, Angel, Louis and many of his wider cast. Not only that, but in this book themes from several recent novels come together. And it also contains what's basically an entire police procedural featuring two new (but believable, likeable) characters.Finally, in an Afterword, Connolly reveals the background to the publication of his first book, Every Dead Thing, in 1997.So A Book of Bones is a great gift to the readers - a bumper helping of Charlie Parker, but also an ambitious novel at a point where the temptation must be to rest on the oars and let the momentum carry things forward. That's maybe something of a risk.Who, we might ask, are this pair of detectives, Gackowska and Hynes, investigating the murder of young teacher Romana Moon on a lonely moor in Northumberland, half a world away from Parker's usual hunting grounds in the USA?Who are the other voices we hear?How does everything join up?If it is a risk, it's amply justified as Connolly delivers a complex and interesting novel that engages from the very start when we see Parker, called in to advise on a killing in a New Mexico junkyard, presented almost as our guide to the inferno that seems be looming, the junkyard "descending in a series of declivities to a massive pit at its heart, where Parker glimpsed a fire burning." If you're a longtime reader of this series you will I think regard Parker - even an older Parker, a damaged Parker - as a sure guide through this territory. And so it proves. In a world polluted, tainted, walking among moral hazards, temptations and threats, Charlie Parker, who has endured much, can still be relied upon.We know from the ending of The Woman in the Woods that Parker is hunting down sinister lawyer Quayle and his murderous henchwoman Pallid Mors. The pair are formidable adversaries, so things seem set for a confrontation, a battle royal. But the book is actually more subtle than that. There is a great deal here, and it would be silly to list all or, or even most, of the threads - and probably spoilery to try, since, however circumspect one thinks one is being, the combination would give too much away. I will say that A Book of Bones skilfully explores different sorts of evil, and the relationship between them - not just flashy, supernatural evil but the mundane sort. Some of its most effective writing in this book (and it is also the most grim reading) portrays the actions and motivations of the evildoers in this book and, often, the sheet casualness of it all ("Oh, and he'd started killing women: there was that as well.")Unpicking it all, Parker seems to be peeling back layer after later of corruption (of pollution, as someone observes at one point) moral, legal, and financial; historical and modern, and revealing the strands that connect present day misogyny and male entitlement ("That was the way women were... They were conniving, always looking for the advantage. You had to teach them their place...") to both modern centres of power and influence (whether in London, or Boston,where the Colonial Club looms again) and the warped - polluted - cults of the past.The hunt ranges geographically, taking in many parts of England, where women's bodies are being dumped at ancient sacred sites (it was a shock that one was just up the road from me: I see Wittenham Clumps daily on the skyline as I walk my dogs) and the Netherlands, where Angel has bloody history. It also plays games with time, giving us documents, histories and accounts from over the past few centuries, all part of the fractured narrative that will climax in the modern(?) London of Quayle.This is, as I've said, grim at times, but thankfully Connolly doesn't just give us 700 pages of darkness. There is hope here too - flawed but ultimately brave people standing against the darkness, for example that police duo again delving into grim realities, unaware of any supernatural connection (though we are, as various pieces of weirdness are exposed) but simply trying to bring some order and justice to the world. They offset Parker's much less orthodox enquiries, supported by his ragtag crew and even his iffy connection with FBI Agent Ross. (What's going on with Ross? I can't quite put my finger on it...)It's a complex, doubled, story. Parker, we know, is hunting Quayle and Quayle knows this. But Quayle has other irons in the fire as well. Exactly what he's up to - and thus, how one might stop him - only emerges slowly, because, for the longer part of this book, Parker hasn't joined up what is going on. We, the readers, know much more than Parker about what Quayle's planning, about his tools, his history.Through all that - from Miss Moon's agony at the start of the book to an... unravelling... at the end - there is a repeated focus on other possibilities, other outcomes, other potential worlds, foreseen by characters for themselves or others ("He could see her sadness, and a future where he was no longer in her life...") or moments when things change forever, closing down choices and alternatives ("'I'm coming' says Soter. And is damned.'")Choices matter, from a countryman who stokes up his fire against the prowling spirit of wood and leaf worshiped by Parker's old adversaries the Familists: "Because all wood fears the flame" to an ex soldier who falls in with what he knows is the wrong company. But can they be reworked, undone, on a larger scale? Quayle certainly thinks so, which is why he is chasing down a certain ancient Atlas which has the power to make and remake the world according to those alternatives. Quayle and his associate Pallid Mors have killed for this before and will do so again, in their different styles. Quayle, a figure who seems to haunt the centuries - "After a time, it became difficult to distinguish between memory and dreaming" - is a most clear eyed but almost regretful killer, Mors an enthusiast who seems to enjoy causing pain.All of this builds on the world that Connolly has built, the characters he has developed, across his whole series. That's a lot of background, though you don't need to have read them all to appreciate this book, but this book is about more than background, it has its own focus, its own themes, its own darkness, and if that is a risk then - by not taking the safe option - A Book of Bones succeeds triumphantly. It carries Parker's story forward to new places (literally) and shows that this series has a great deal of life in it yet (as well as deaths, of course. I lost count of the deaths).An absorbing book, a book whose pages one can simply get lost in - and one I'd strongly recommend.
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  • Alan Taylor
    January 1, 1970
    When a new novel in John Connolly’s Charlie Parker series lands I immediately drop whatever I’m reading and race through it. The race was slower this time, not only because A Book of Bones is nearly 700 pages long but also because a lot of the story takes place in London, and in a part of London I don’t know very well and in which I have just started to spend a few days a week, so I had to take time to look up the locations. This is a sprawling, Dickensian beast of a novel which picks up just af When a new novel in John Connolly’s Charlie Parker series lands I immediately drop whatever I’m reading and race through it. The race was slower this time, not only because A Book of Bones is nearly 700 pages long but also because a lot of the story takes place in London, and in a part of London I don’t know very well and in which I have just started to spend a few days a week, so I had to take time to look up the locations. This is a sprawling, Dickensian beast of a novel which picks up just after The Woman in the Woods and which takes Parker to Arizona and, with Louis and Angel, to The Netherlands and England, in pursuit of Quayle and Mors as the saga of the Fractured Atlas culminates in Quayle’s attempt to bring about the end of the world. The plot, which involves ritual murder/sacrifice in locations throughout England, is interspersed with documents and diary entries which give historical context to Quayle’s quest and reference, among others, Jack the Ripper and Nicholas Hawksmoor, as Connolly pulls together threads which he has been weaving for years, to the original Fractured Atlas novella and, even further back, to the Travelling Man and the events that set Charlie Parker on the path which brought him here.It is an astounding piece of work, obviously not a jumping on point for new readers, which is incredibly satisfying for those who have been following the series. The Book of Bones leans more towards the horror side while still being an effective mystery and there are echoes of Conan Doyle and Lovecraft, parts of it remind me of Ramsey Campbell, but it is very John Connolly. And, as this part of the narrative climaxes, Connolly throws in a final line that stops the reader dead and makes it clear that Parker’s story is not yet finished. In years to come, I really believe that this will be considered one of the great epic series of whatever genre into which you want to put it.
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  • Sue Frances
    January 1, 1970
    After reading Woman in the Woods I was thrilled to be given a copy of A Book of Bones. To be honest I struggled with this book from the first page, it didn't seem as good as Woman in the Woods. There are more new characters to get to know and it was hard to get to grips with. Fortunately I persevered as this tome of a book just got better and better! The ending is superb. I highly recommend this book and it is possible to read this as a standalone. Though to really get it you should probably rea After reading Woman in the Woods I was thrilled to be given a copy of A Book of Bones. To be honest I struggled with this book from the first page, it didn't seem as good as Woman in the Woods. There are more new characters to get to know and it was hard to get to grips with. Fortunately I persevered as this tome of a book just got better and better! The ending is superb. I highly recommend this book and it is possible to read this as a standalone. Though to really get it you should probably read Woman in the Woods.
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  • Ruth Jones
    January 1, 1970
    Another great read from Mr Connolly.
  • Rasputin Themadmonk
    January 1, 1970
    A Masterpiece.John Connolly has done an incredibly rare thing in generating a coherent mythos split over multiple volumes that retains a driving momentum twenty years on from the beginning. And yet each book can stand on its own as a first class mystery novel.
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  • Louise
    January 1, 1970
    A few confessions to make...I'd rate a Charlie Parker book as great every time unless things had gone seriously wrong.I've only read 14 of the previous books,I've yet to catch up with the last two,but the joy of Connolly's writing means enough information is given for it to make sense,but not too much to make it pointless reading the missed ones.Don't jump in at book 17 though.Quite exciting to have Charlie,Angel and Louis on British shores,some loose ends were tied up,and here were stories cros A few confessions to make...I'd rate a Charlie Parker book as great every time unless things had gone seriously wrong.I've only read 14 of the previous books,I've yet to catch up with the last two,but the joy of Connolly's writing means enough information is given for it to make sense,but not too much to make it pointless reading the missed ones.Don't jump in at book 17 though.Quite exciting to have Charlie,Angel and Louis on British shores,some loose ends were tied up,and here were stories crossing international borders galore.There was the usual humour,magic and creepiness you'd expect from these books.I enjoyed it.BUT,there were times were Parker himself wasn't mentioned for page after page after page.So,as much as I enjoyed being on home turf,throwing in some Ripper references and understanding better how British cops work than Americans,can we take the trio back home for the next outing please?
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  • Ursula
    January 1, 1970
    Simply brilliantAs with all his books in this series the time spent reading it was time well spent. Thank you john connolly
  • Rowena Hoseason
    January 1, 1970
    An extended, immersive and intense reading experience, although substantial segments may mystify newcomers. John Connolly has been telling this story for two decades and here he rewards his most dedicated readers by concluding several significant character narratives. The good guys – Charlie himself, the lethal Louis, and an Angel feeling far too mortal – take on the personification of ancient evil, the sinister, seemingly-immortal Quayle and Mors, his barely-tamed butcher.At stake? Only the end An extended, immersive and intense reading experience, although substantial segments may mystify newcomers. John Connolly has been telling this story for two decades and here he rewards his most dedicated readers by concluding several significant character narratives. The good guys – Charlie himself, the lethal Louis, and an Angel feeling far too mortal – take on the personification of ancient evil, the sinister, seemingly-immortal Quayle and Mors, his barely-tamed butcher.At stake? Only the end of the world.Alongside this story, Connolly has cleverly constructed an entire British police procedural, populated with convincingly realised characters. He’s blended what could so easily have been an entire, standalone novel – a series of weird killings with religious implications, being investigated by an orthodox crime squad – into the core of Charlie’s continuing quest. The action moves from the USA to the tangled backstreets of old London, the wild, windswept Northumberland moors, and to grimly accurate, decaying ex-council estates in estuary England. We meet dedicated, ambitious detectives, lowlife thieves and blaggers, struggling survivors: victims, killers and investigators.But that’s not all – there are extended interludes from historical manuscripts which finally fill the gaps in the saga of the Fragmented Atlas. A secret European society which guards the past and surveils suspicious individuals. More insights into the strange relationship between Charlie and his dead daughter, and a revealing glimpse into Louis’ personal history. No wonder this book is a whopper.Yet none of it is unnecessary. It’s all an investment, one which pays off handsomely at the end. And because John Connolly is such a good storyteller, you tend to forget that he’s also an excellent writer. His free-flowing prose and the relentless pull of the plot means that that pages fly by without you necessarily noticing the little gems of literary craft scattered about proceedings. When it really matters, the writing is pithy, punchy and entirely to the point.Readers of conventional short-form crime novels probably won’t enjoy the gothic overtones and apparently rambling meanderings that form the twisted skeleton of this story. If you’re a cut to the chase kinda guy, then this isn’t for you.For us fans of long-form storytelling who relish delayed gratification, this is just the Charlie Parker book we’ve been waiting for.9/10There are more reviews of crime / thrillers over at http://www.murdermayhemandmore.net
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  • Gavin Dimmock
    January 1, 1970
    Firstly, before I write my review, an admission.I am a fan of the aforementioned Charlie Parker novels and of John Connolly, the man who brings the private detective to life in his writing. Despite my whole-hearted love and appreciation of the series, I hope to be honest in my review. Although, forgive me, if it is, perhaps, flavoured!Secondly, some facts.It is twenty years since the first Charlie Parker book hit the shelves in 1999 and “A Book of Bones” is now the seventeenth in the series. And Firstly, before I write my review, an admission.I am a fan of the aforementioned Charlie Parker novels and of John Connolly, the man who brings the private detective to life in his writing. Despite my whole-hearted love and appreciation of the series, I hope to be honest in my review. Although, forgive me, if it is, perhaps, flavoured!Secondly, some facts.It is twenty years since the first Charlie Parker book hit the shelves in 1999 and “A Book of Bones” is now the seventeenth in the series. And, with the hardcover edition coming in at over 700 pages in length, it is the longest of them to date. Mr Connolly himself has stated that the word count stands at an impressive 205,000. Give or take a few words.Additionally, the book weighs in at a shade under two-and-a-half pounds on the scales - or, 1039 grammes if you prefer metric - and is around two-and-a-quarter inches in thickness (metric, that equates to 60mm). I know this because my tape measure lays beside my laptop and I have just been in the kitchen to weigh one of my copies.(One of my copies? I hear you ask. Well, the review copy was given to me but, as a fan of Mr C’s work, I simply had to buy my own copy. Support the artists you love and all that.)I won’t do all the maths (math?) and work out a cost per page or per word but it suffices to say that, with the experience and skill acquired through twenty years as a professional novelist, Mr C has delivered excellent value for money with “A Book of Bones”. The twenty quid you hand over to your chosen bookseller may be the best return you get on your money this year.So, to the plot. And, it is an epic one. I will attempt to reveal no spoilers!The ancient lawyer, Quayle, aided by his terrifying companion, Pallida Mors, is closing in on his centuries-old hunt for the missing pages of The Fractured Atlas - a book of inconceivable evil which has the power to alter reality and bring absolute terror into being. Parker is determined to hunt Quayle down before the Atlas is made complete and prevent his enemy from changing the world forever.The body of a young woman is discovered on the moors in the northeast of England. Other bodies are soon found in other parts of the country, in places once used for the burial and sacrifice of innocents.It is to England that Parker travels as his hunt for his opponent from the previous book, “The Woman in the Woods”, continues. Parker follows the two evil-doers, via Mexico and Amsterdam, to their lair in London.Age and injuries have taken their toll on Parker and his allies, Angel and Louis. They are all older and slower than before and their enemies are powerful and many. Furthermore, Parker is on unfamiliar ground in England - ground that is tainted by blood and pain, earth that has long been soiled by torture and by sacrifice. But, Quayle knows that Parker is coming. More than that, Quayle wants him to come.I won’t reveal any more of the plot, except to say that this on one heck of a read!What did I think?Quite simply, “A Book of Bones” is an impressive achievement. Not just for the facts that I playfully referred to earlier but, more, for its sheer scale and depth and for the way in which Mr C continues to skillfully weave his “Honeycombed World” and which continues to delight the reader, keeping us breathtakingly turning each new page.Whilst this is a long book, it never feels like an overly long or laboured read. Interspersed throughout the book, on subtly different coloured pages and printed in a different typeface, are short tales and histories that allow the reader a chance to pause and take a breather if needed. These little vignettes can be skipped by if one wishes to remain steadfastly on the main Parker plot but they add extra flavour to the novel, providing depth and nuance to the overarching story behind Parker’s honeycomb world.At a recent date on his current promotional tour (Kendal, April 27 2019), Mr C stated that he could quite easily serve up a formulaic book with each new title. And, as readers and fans, we would eagerly buy them. But, Mr C chooses to expand his craft with every new book he writes, stretching himself and adding to his skill set. This determination to improve on, what is already a pretty darn good read, means that we readers get the new Parker book we long for, filled with all our favourite ingredients, but that each new story comes with a freshness and a little added zest that we didn’t know we wanted but which we adore when we get it.In “A Book of Bones’, Mr C makes greater use of dialogue than previously. This again provides space within the narrative, making the book a compelling and highly enjoyable read that belies its hefty size.The writing is crisp and taut and the plot is perfectly paced and devilishly cunning. Mr C knows just how to keep you off-guard and on your toes. There is one chapter in particular that had me reeling with its very last line; for me, it was one of those, “*insert own favoured expletive*, I never saw that coming” moments.In reading this book, I got a sense of Parker’s unfamiliarity at being in an alien country. Mr Connolly has successfully conveyed his hero’s unease without relenting on what it is that we read a Parker book for. The book carries all the hallmarks that we look for in a Charlie Parker novel; terrifying and macabre opponents; intriguing plotline; interesting new characters that are fully fleshed, believable and convincing; dialogue that propels the story; snappy conversations and comedic turns from Angel and Louis - two of crime fictions most likable bad (good?) guys!Truly, who wouldn’t love for Angel and Louis to move in next door? Sure, you’d have to change your locks and improve security, as well as ensure you did nothing at all to annoy your new neighbours, but wouldn’t they be the coolest neighbours to have?For anyone yet to read a Charlie Parker novel, I’d say this, pick one up - choose any book from the series (“The Killing Kind”, book three, was my first initiation into the series) - and just dive right on in. Whilst, as with most series, you get the most enjoyment from starting at the beginning and following the journey, you can start anywhere. Each book in the series, and “A Book of Bones” is no different, can be enjoyed as a “stand-alone”, as sufficient explanation is given to previous events and characters that you never feel adrift or unsure of your place.So, now that I have finished this terrific book, what next? Well, on Saturday, I discovered that the next Parker novel will be called “The Dirty South”. Now that I know the title of the eighteenth book in the series I just need to be patient until next April.That’s gonna be difficult!Thirdly, and lastly, what three words would I use to describe “A Book of Bones”?Enjoyable. Tantalising. Immense.
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    Twenty years of Charlie Parker. Can you believe it? Me neither, although in truth that's because I came to the series a lot later than most, not having become acquainted with our favourite Private Investigator until July 2015. I've made up for lost time since though, reading all sixteen books, now seventeen, in record time. It's been a really hard slog these past four years - hard in as much as I had to wait a whole year between new stories as I devoured the first thirteen books over a period of Twenty years of Charlie Parker. Can you believe it? Me neither, although in truth that's because I came to the series a lot later than most, not having become acquainted with our favourite Private Investigator until July 2015. I've made up for lost time since though, reading all sixteen books, now seventeen, in record time. It's been a really hard slog these past four years - hard in as much as I had to wait a whole year between new stories as I devoured the first thirteen books over a period of 6 months, getting me all set to keep time with the series from A Time of Torment onward. They are addictive, all consuming, and A Book of Bones is every bit as much so as its predecessors.Pretty much all of the books in the series are long ,and you certainly get your monies worth of entertainment, but at seven hundred pages, this is a beast of a book. And yet it doesn't feel like it, not in the slightest. I didn't devote myself entirely to reading the book, I broke it down over the weekend, and with thirteen segments it is a book which lends itself towards that quite nicely. But when I starter reading I found I was lost in the pages, caught up once more in Charlie Parker's world. I gave my mornings to the sunshine - a rare occurrence for a long Bank Holiday weekend in the UK and so one I couldn't allow to pass me by entirely - but my afternoons and evenings were lost in shadows, immersed in the dark and dangerous world that our hero inhabits.A Book Of Bones is somewhat of a conclusion - an ending. By that I mean that it draws to a close the mystery surrounding the Fractured Atlas, a story arc which has run on through several books - six I believe in total. It reunites Parker with Quayle and Mors, the two particularly deadly characters who he encountered in his last adventures in The Woman in the Woods. I don't want to say too much about the story, but I will say that Parker is on the killers' trail, a trail which sees him leave the relative safety (and I type that with tongue planted firmly in cheek) of Maine, and head off to Europe - Amsterdam and eventually London. It is a chase which turns deadly, a chase which could be the stuff of nightmares, were Parker and his friends every really able to sleep soundly anymore.For me this was a slightly unusual read. It provides us with the usual blend of mystery, suspense, theology, mythology, history and even supernatural or horror. John Connolly uses language so rich, so textured, so powerfully emotive, that you are transported in to the heart of Parker's world, and even those of the parallel worlds which seek to destroy our own. Every detail becomes clear in your mind as a reader. I have found this from the very first book - a totally immersive kind of read in which I find myself totally an utterly lost. And yet ... lifting up Parker's world and dropping it straight into the middle of a police investigation in the UK creates a kind of duality in the narrative, one which is so starkly contrasted and yet perfectly matched that it feels as thought it should make not an ounce of sense and yet works brilliantly.I am perfectly used to Parker, Louis and Angel and the kind of staccato cynicism and sarcasm with which they approach their endeavours. The way they bounce off each other, work with each other, makes the perfect partnership. Even Ross, albeit from a distance, fits the profile of the team to a tee. The detached nature of them all, whilst still working as one. The minimalist approach to conversation. It is the world of Private Investigator as I have come to know it. But ... it is a world that would be alien if trying to match it to a UK set police procedural and this is where I feel Mr Connolly has pulled a blinder. By its very nature, a UK police procedural is a very different beast, and that is reflected and captured here. When we cut to the scenes with the Northumbria Police, we almost entirely switch genres. We are treated to the banter, the chance in pace of a murder investigation, as opposed to the dealing with the occult that Parker is battling, and the complete oblivion of what is happening in the wider world, something we, and Parker, are privy to, but the police are not. The tone is different. The language is different. The descriptive narrative is still perfectly chimed to the story, and you will find yourself lost on the Hexamshire moors, feel the desolate beauty of the scenery enshroud you, and you will never lose the sense of time or place. The locations used are ideal and the long, and undoubtedly twisted history and mythology of England makes a perfect setting for the conclusion of this most harrowing of tales.And yet with the simplest of scene changes - often in the middle of the same chapter - you are back in the world of Parker and Quayle. A world of mysticism, ancient evil and a long fought quest for justice. A piece of writing suffused with an underlying sense of unease, dread and every shifting and distended shadows, which carry the threat of the honeycomb world. The very nature of a gothic horror in an all too modern landscape, Memories of stories past coming back, front and centre, if only for the briefest of moments. Nods to Parker's history which will have the reader poised in anticipation of what could happen, lips quirking with the faintest glimmer of happiness at being in the know.Dark, suspenseful and full of all the hallmarks of a classic Parker case, this is one tale of revenge you will not want to miss the conclusion to.It is, in a word, sublime.So yes, it is long (although does not feel it) and yes, it brings closure, of a kind. Not everyone who has once journeyed from America will journey home. Not everyone will be gifted a happy ending. Well ... apart from the reader. We get an ending befitting us all, and the promise of much, much more. Cannot wait.
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  • Norman
    January 1, 1970
    I'm a long time fan of Connolly's Parker series and have read everyone of them and they are amongst only a handful of books I get in hardcover rather than waiting for the paperback. Some of the books are better than others but there isn't an actual bad one among them. I was delighted to receive a review copy as I had just finished the previous book The Woman in the Woods. A Book of Bones starts not long after The Woman in the Woods ends and I probably benefited from having it so fresh in my memo I'm a long time fan of Connolly's Parker series and have read everyone of them and they are amongst only a handful of books I get in hardcover rather than waiting for the paperback. Some of the books are better than others but there isn't an actual bad one among them. I was delighted to receive a review copy as I had just finished the previous book The Woman in the Woods. A Book of Bones starts not long after The Woman in the Woods ends and I probably benefited from having it so fresh in my memory. Connolly's writing in A Book of Bones is up to its usual high standard, I'm not sure he is capable of writing a bad sentence. No spoilers but basically the story revolves around a very dangerous book and those who desire it. It is long (720 pages according to Amazon) but to be honest I prefer longer books so long as they keep your attention. I believe Connolly said it is longer because he wanted to bring a variety of threads together to bring some themes which have run through the series to a close. There are certainly references to previous books, perhaps most notably (I think) The Wolf in Winter although there are references to books as far back as the very first, Every Dead Thing, and The Killing Kind. The story gets pretty gruesome although in Connolly's hands it's 'literary gruesome', i.e., not mindless 'pulp gruesome'.! As others have stated, Parker himself features less often. I found this a little disappointing given that this is marketed as "A Charlie Parker Thriller" but would more accurately be a thriller which includes Parker amongst many other characters. Having less of Parker means the book relies on the strength of the other characters to keep your attention and thankfully most do yet especially in a longer book I'd have hoped that meant more of Parker yet I do wonder if Connolly is trying to give 'air time' to other characters who may be central to 'post Parker' books?. I could be completely wrong, it happens! Parker's lethal sidekicks Louis and Angel are present and have roles but as with Parker, all show signs of age and greater frailty whilst retaining their unique charm. While I understand Connolly's decision to age his main characters with the resulting slowdown in their violent tendencies and escapades, it can be a drawback because one of the reasons this is such a much loved series is precisely because of the younger Parker, Louis and Angel, their energy and predilection for lethal force. When you remove that or 'wind it down' then you lose some of the magic the Parker series had in the first place. It doesn't detract from the quality of writing and it doesn't mean these main characters who drive the series are less interesting but it does mean you detect a tangible sense of 'the end is nigh' for the series as a whole (I could be reading too much into it though). I'm wondering how many more books this current Parker, Louis and Angel can sustain? I'd hope for at least two or three more but you do sense the series is in its 'home straight' now. I confess I will be sad when the series eventually ends and I can't say that for many books. A Book of Bones can be read as a standalone but in all honesty I'd at the very least read The Woman in the Woods first, if not starting at the beginning with Every Dead Thing. It's one of the best series currently available and well worth taking the time to go through...so long as you don't mind the violence and some pretty gruesome scenes. There are definite supernatural elements to A Book of Bones which I am fine with (I actually prefer the ones with supernatural elements) and think they add to the stories but others dislike these. Finally, I'd advise not reading the final page of A Book of Bones first, not even on a quick flick through. It contains what I guess is meant to be a revelation which to be honest I thought has been telegraphed for awhile now and came as little surprise but it may be a surprise to others so don't look at the last page first. If you’re a Parker fan then this book won’t disappoint even with Parker less centre stage. Recommended. Review via NetGalley/Hodder & Stoughton ARC (though I have now purchased the hardcover...gotta have that author signature!).
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  • Mary Picken
    January 1, 1970
    To get the most from this substantial book, it really helps if you have read the series, for the kernel of this book was germinated 20 years ago with Every Dead Thing and this book brings together a number of threads that have been floating through the series. Though background is given, it really does help if you know this series and its characters, because this is an important moment in the narrative arc of this series.In an immensely satisfying read, Connolly takes us straight to the point wh To get the most from this substantial book, it really helps if you have read the series, for the kernel of this book was germinated 20 years ago with Every Dead Thing and this book brings together a number of threads that have been floating through the series. Though background is given, it really does help if you know this series and its characters, because this is an important moment in the narrative arc of this series.In an immensely satisfying read, Connolly takes us straight to the point where he left off in Woman in the Woods, i.e. with Parker in hot pursuit of the wonderfully named Pallida Mors and her companion, Quayle, the sleazy lawyer, who themselves are chasing The Fractured Atlas.Parker’s hunting evil is coming to a head; events seem to be heading towards an apocalyptic conclusion. The Fractured Atlas is a book of unspeakable evil, with the power to alter the world we know. It is so dangerous that its pages have been scattered to keep it from doing irreparable damage, but over hundreds of years, hunters have searched for them with disastrous results.When we first encounter him, Parker is working a case which could literally be at the mouth of hell – in Texas. He is about to testify at trial when he hears from Ross, his FBI source that Mors’ body, (she was wounded in the last book by Louis), has been found in Arizona. He travels there only to find that the body has been wrongly identified and so he calls on his long standing friends and avengers of evil, Louis and his partner, Angel to help him track down this fiendish pair.Their journey will take them to Amsterdam and eventually into the UK, where two new characters to this series, Gackowska and Hynes are investigating the murder of young woman, Romana Moon, on a Northumberland moor. Hers is the latest of a series of seemingly sacrificial savage killings taking place at ancient burial sites.Here Connolly pulls off a writerly masterstroke. The UK Cops are pretty much the protagonists of a straightforward police procedural. Their dialogue, behaviour and everything about them is so very different to the supernatural ethos of Charlie and his compatriots. Yet these two investigations sit side by side as the reader effortlessly is switched from one scene to the next, moving from the banter of two cops into the tortured realm in which Parker, Angel and Louis reside.This is pure genius and though it shouldn’t work, it really does. Pulling his threads tighter, Connolly takes us on a journey that traces lightly past crimes and investigations, showing us where the threads join up and creating a rich, whole tapestry that both informs and sheds light on past mysteries.As we learn that Quayle has slowly been collecting the pages and restoring the book, it looks like this is what has been behind much of the evil that Parker has encountered, evil has been bleed through the pages from the dark world into this one.Building up to the crescendo, Connolly peels back the layers to show us the genesis of the evil in our society. From the rise of misogyny to terrorism and extremism, we see not only the supernatural overtones that have always been present to a greater or lesser extent in this series, but see that set in a real-world context. That’s what makes it truly terrifying.Our hope must be that in a world where Parker, Angel and Louis are showing their scars and their battles have taken their toll, that they will still have the strength and the compassion to combat evil and keep us all safe in the battles that lie ahead.Verdict: This is a must for fans of Connolly and Charlie Parker. Beautifully plotted, wonderfully layered and totally immersive, A Book of Bones is a triumph.
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  • Alex Jones
    January 1, 1970
    April each year, John Connolly releases the next part of the Charlie Parker series, this is THE book I wait for each year. A Book of Bones is the 17th in the series. I have followed this series since the first book , Every Dead Thing.Each book seem to be better than the last. This, the 17th part is also the biggest weighing in at 720 pages this is no light read, it’s an epic piece of work.From the outset this reads as a sequel to the Woman in the Woods. Whilst you dont have to have read that boo April each year, John Connolly releases the next part of the Charlie Parker series, this is THE book I wait for each year. A Book of Bones is the 17th in the series. I have followed this series since the first book , Every Dead Thing.Each book seem to be better than the last. This, the 17th part is also the biggest weighing in at 720 pages this is no light read, it’s an epic piece of work.From the outset this reads as a sequel to the Woman in the Woods. Whilst you dont have to have read that book, or the previous 16, Connolly writes enough to make this easy to read as your first in the series,I really do suggest you do because you are missing a stunning series, in my opinion currently the Best crime series currently being written .Charlie Parker is a private investigator, who has suffered from tragedy and heartache in his life, Father to 2 daugthers,1 living, 1 not. He is working a case in Texas when he receives a call from his ally, not sure so much friend, but definitely ally in a SAC Ross of the FBI, a body has turned up in Arizona, believed to be that of the missing Pallida Mors, if you follow the series you will know her from book 16, The woman in the woods.Parker heads to Arizona to meet Ross and investigate the body , which turns out not to be Mors.The despicable Mors and her Master, The Lawyer Quayle, who crave and search for the Fractured Atlas, a book of immense power, are still very much alive. So the hunt begins,Parker calls in Louis and Angel, His only real friends, the only People he trusts , who beginning with Amsterdam begin the hunt for Quayle and Mors, leading them finally to London.A body is found in England Northumberland found on the site of an accident church site belonging to the familists. As more bodies turn up around the country, Parker begins to investigate.Early on in the book, in the first 100 pages there is a noticeable addition of new characters which is not usually the norm in the Parker series, this takes a bit of getting used to as Parker,Louis and Angel almost take a back seat.Its almost 2 books at once, an investigation in England and Parker and the gang doing their stuff whilst also telling the back story of the mad man Quayle and filling out the story of the Fractured Atlas, the book Quayle hunts to end the world , towards the middle of the book though it begins to pull together and the Parker element of the book really starts to come to the fore.As with every book, the writing is simply stunning, Connolly uses words i dont know exist but they fit perfectly, the sense of the macabre is throughout whilst the cutting humour of Parker , Louis and Angel is simply brilliant.This is a very different book from all the others, Parker, Louis, Angel are aging but it feels like they are readying for the final battle, regardless of age, health or whatever, the small band of brothers will be together till the end.A master of the macabre and the supernatural, this is another outstanding work in the series, the biggest most detailed and dense.The finale begins to ramp up in the final quarter of the book as Parker starts to close in on his Prey. What ensues is classic Parker, Action Packed, Violent and more, and it brings, what feels like closure to this particular part of the series. I cant wait until next April5 Stars
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  • Munch
    January 1, 1970
    I was sent this arc via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.Warnings: murder, blood, depression, suicidal thoughts, mentions of past rape, child abuse.4.5This is one of my ultimate favourite book series and I hope there are many more books to come!The series started off as a pretty normal dark crime thriller with a hint of supernatural and has since grown even darker, more supernatural and creepy and I love it. Best not to read this alone in the dark. I love his writing style, he describes I was sent this arc via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.Warnings: murder, blood, depression, suicidal thoughts, mentions of past rape, child abuse.4.5This is one of my ultimate favourite book series and I hope there are many more books to come!The series started off as a pretty normal dark crime thriller with a hint of supernatural and has since grown even darker, more supernatural and creepy and I love it. Best not to read this alone in the dark. I love his writing style, he describes unworldly happenings and yet somehow makes it real to you.The characters are what has kept me hooked on this series. They are so entertaining to read and I care about them so much. The tragedy that has befallen Parker has made him the ultimate hunter of people and.....other beings but has not turned him into a unfeeling monster. He has a dry sarcastic humour that helps to lighten the darkness of the story. His relationship with his daughters is strange yet lovely and the scene with the foul mouthed guy in the restaurant was hilarious. He is helped as usual by my favourite semi retired thief/assassin couple, Angel and Louis. I love the development they have had over the series. They started out as the sometimes comic relief to well developed complex characters that you end up caring about even more than the main character. Angel is my favourite (he can't ever die or I'll be crushed). His lack of fashion sense always makes me smile. Since he was abused as a child he has a soft spot for children and tries to keep what happened to him from happening to them, he's a beautiful person. Louis is awesome, tall strong and with a cutting wit. They are pretty much complete opposites but they just work. They don't show much physical affection to each other which just makes it so much more powerful when it does happen. I also have a soft spot for Paulie and Tony Fulci. They are big, mentally and emotionally unstable but also strangely adorable and childlike. I hope they get bigger roles in future books.There are a lot more new characters this time and I enjoyed reading about them but I did also start getting impatient to get back to Parker, Angel and Louis. I did like seeing all the different characters/stories start to slowly come together.The pacing starts out slow and the author brings you back up to speed well so you can refresh in your mind what happened in the last book. I was very excited to read in the description that they were going to come to the UK but I was a bit disappointed that they didn't get there until about half way through. There seemed to be a lot more information about places and past events than normal and while mostly interesting I found that they were just a bit too long and I got slightly bored so that's why I took off half a star. Maybe it might be a bit more condensed in the finished book.
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  • Vivienne
    January 1, 1970
    My thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for an eARC via NetGalley of John Connolly’s ‘A Book of Bones’ in exchange for an honest review.This is the seventeenth in Connolly’s very successful Charlie Parker series. Although I am not up to date with the series, I have read and loved all those that I have read to date.In the first novel, ‘Every Dead Thing’ Parker received a ‘dark gift’ from an old woman he encountered in a Louisiana swamp. As a result he is aware of the murdered dead and compelled to se My thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for an eARC via NetGalley of John Connolly’s ‘A Book of Bones’ in exchange for an honest review.This is the seventeenth in Connolly’s very successful Charlie Parker series. Although I am not up to date with the series, I have read and loved all those that I have read to date.In the first novel, ‘Every Dead Thing’ Parker received a ‘dark gift’ from an old woman he encountered in a Louisiana swamp. As a result he is aware of the murdered dead and compelled to seek justice for them. Clearly a lot of time has passed since then and while I am behind Connolly provided enough background on recent events so I didn’t feel at all lost.‘A Book of Bones’ marks the conclusion of a story arc that appears to have been introduced in Book 12, ‘A Wolf in Winter’, and is a direct sequel to the previous one in the series, ‘The Woman in the Woods’. Religious and supernatural themes have run throughout the series.The plot is complex and impossible to effectively summarise. I will just say that baddies are seeking to bring about the end of the world (in a metaphysical sense) using a legendary book titled ‘The Fractured Atlas’. This book was introduced in a novella included in his ‘Night Music: Nocturnes 2’. Though a summary of its history is included here.For most of the novel Charlie and his allies, Louis and Angel, are in Holland and England seeking the two fugitives who left chaos and many bodies in their wake in Book 16. There is a British police investigation seeking the murderers of a number of young women running alongside Parker’s quest. Connolly provides plenty of background on his settings, characters and as well as detailed historical material. I found this a highly engaging novel as all of them have been. It is long and very intense and I found that it took me a considerable amount of time to read it. My only issue is why is Connelly (and by extension Parker) so antithetical towards the Green Man? Is it due to a Christian bias in the text branding nature based religions as inherently evil? I likely will need to read the earlier novels in the series that I have skipped to gain a better sense of the reasoning behind this aspect of the series.The series as a whole is recommended though I will warn that some scenes contain graphic violence. While I certainly give it 5 stars, I ideally would have read this after reading‘The Woman in the Woods’ for continuity. I have that book and a few other Parker titles waiting for my attention on my Kindle.
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  • TheManOfLetters
    January 1, 1970
    Actually more like 3,5 starsFirst of all, don't let anyone fool you into believing this can or should be read as a stand-alone. I've read all the previous novels, and it hasn't been that long either, as I discovered the series only in 2017 and basically binged through the books in about three months, and even I got a bit confused. In "A Book of Bones", a couple of plot strings from previous novels are taken up again and some of them are brought to a conlusion, so yeah, do yourself a favour and r Actually more like 3,5 starsFirst of all, don't let anyone fool you into believing this can or should be read as a stand-alone. I've read all the previous novels, and it hasn't been that long either, as I discovered the series only in 2017 and basically binged through the books in about three months, and even I got a bit confused. In "A Book of Bones", a couple of plot strings from previous novels are taken up again and some of them are brought to a conlusion, so yeah, do yourself a favour and read the previous books first, and the novella "The Fractured Atlas", too, while you're at it.About the book itself: I always enjoy a new Charlie Parker novel. Connolly's writing is as superb as always, he somehow manages to flawlessly mix hardboiled thriller stuff with almost poetic language and "A Book of Bones" is no exception. The quality of his writing and his use of language are also the main reasons this gets 4 instead of 3 stars, because all in all I think this is one of Connolly's weaker Charlie Parker novels. It's certainly the longest one and that fact is not always to its advantage. Too often, Connolly strays from the main plot to seemingly unimportant or confusing (at least if you haven't read "The Fractured Atlas") side plots, making "A Book of Bones" feel a bit bloated as a result. I also think there are too many ultimately unimportant side charactes in this book and too little time spent with Parker, Angel and Louis. I still enjoyed the book, but I hope the next one will be a little more straightforward (as far as you can say that about a Charlie Parker novel) and less convoluted.
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  • Tim Niland
    January 1, 1970
    Maine based private detective Charlie Parker is more than a mere private eye, he is a conduit between worlds, able to communicate with his dead daughter through the void and survive the kind of nightmares that would destroy lesser men. But now he is out of his comfort zone in Maine and taking part in a manhunt that will stretch from the deserts of Arizona to museums in the Netherlands and forgotten church ruins in England. Parker's foe is Quale, the ageless one, who looks to complete The Fractur Maine based private detective Charlie Parker is more than a mere private eye, he is a conduit between worlds, able to communicate with his dead daughter through the void and survive the kind of nightmares that would destroy lesser men. But now he is out of his comfort zone in Maine and taking part in a manhunt that will stretch from the deserts of Arizona to museums in the Netherlands and forgotten church ruins in England. Parker's foe is Quale, the ageless one, who looks to complete The Fractured Atlas, a book that is a portal between universes, and with this, remake the world. He is gaining power by having minions murder innocents at the sites of ancient churches around Britain and whether he is simply a deluded madman or a man beyond time, Parker with his friends Louis and Angel must find a way to defeat him and foil his plans. This is probably the most supernaturally oriented book in the series, usually it is crime fiction with a dash of the spooky stuff, but here it is about mixed between police procedural as the cops try to understand this spate of murders at religious sites, and supernatural horror following Quayle in his various manifestations over the centuries as he plots and and schemes and his underling Mors commits grisly murders. Following all of the different threads pads out the book to more than 700 pages, making it probably the longest in the series, but Connolly writes very well, so the narrative never gets bogged down or muddy. All in all another fine entry in an excellent series.
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  • Pamela Scott
    January 1, 1970
    https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres...(ARC from @HodderBooks via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed)Oh, boy things got a little intense for a while there. This may just be the best Parker book yet, but I’ve said that about all of them at one time or another. A Book of Bones has a bigger scope than other books in the series with Parker and his cohorts travelling far and afield in their quest for vengeance and also to stop some really bad shit from happening. The events in this book are linked https://thebookloversboudoir.wordpres...(ARC from @HodderBooks via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed)Oh, boy things got a little intense for a while there. This may just be the best Parker book yet, but I’ve said that about all of them at one time or another. A Book of Bones has a bigger scope than other books in the series with Parker and his cohorts travelling far and afield in their quest for vengeance and also to stop some really bad shit from happening. The events in this book are linked to several books in the series and the threads between them all come to a thoroughly satisfying conclusion. I did give a little round of applause when things come to an end. I cried a lot as well. I was left wondering what the hell Parker, Angel and Louis are going to do now. Then a final revelation about someone Parker considers an ally left the way open for another four or five books. Yay! By the way, the revelation did not surprise me in the slightest as I’ve suspected as much for several books now. I cannot wait to read the next one.
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  • Kieron
    January 1, 1970
    Think of the best ghost train ride ever, one that packs in so much incident as it dips and turns its way along that you can't believe it's over so soon when you hit the finish line and want to queue up again for another go. This is the one that a lot of us Charlie Parker fans have been waiting for and it doesn't disappoint.The book provides the culmination to a plot-arc that began with The Wolf in Winter back in 2014, and does so in an ingenious and satisfying way, but there is more than enough Think of the best ghost train ride ever, one that packs in so much incident as it dips and turns its way along that you can't believe it's over so soon when you hit the finish line and want to queue up again for another go. This is the one that a lot of us Charlie Parker fans have been waiting for and it doesn't disappoint.The book provides the culmination to a plot-arc that began with The Wolf in Winter back in 2014, and does so in an ingenious and satisfying way, but there is more than enough to keep the casual reader hooked throughout, too. While further developing the characters that we diehards have come to care for like family, Connolly weaves together elements as disparate as English police procedural fiction and the folk horror tradition of films like The Wicker Man to once again produce something that is all his own: darkly humorous, wildly unpredictable and utterly compelling from start to finish. Highly recommended. If I read a better book this year in any genre I'll consider myself a very lucky boy.
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  • Joy
    January 1, 1970
    When a new Charlie Parker installment drops I'm always ready to catch it. If you've never read one of these don't, for goodness, start here. This is such a complex storyline you have to start at the begining to even understand the underlying horror and motivation of the multitude of characters. Especially Parker himself; with his dead daughter's visitations and his living child's mysterious occult talents, he's a hard bitten man that the buried gods haunt and is hated by the secret societies who When a new Charlie Parker installment drops I'm always ready to catch it. If you've never read one of these don't, for goodness, start here. This is such a complex storyline you have to start at the begining to even understand the underlying horror and motivation of the multitude of characters. Especially Parker himself; with his dead daughter's visitations and his living child's mysterious occult talents, he's a hard bitten man that the buried gods haunt and is hated by the secret societies who work to revive them. Plus inbetween is good humor and camaraderie so you come to love these anti-heros.Here is an author who loves a beautiful turn of phrase. Who isn't afraid of multisyllabic words or obscure adjectives (something to do with being Irish?) The plots aways are slow to come to a head but the journey is so rich and frightening you enjoy getting there (even as horrible and bloody as the outcome may be.)
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