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Bad Men: A Thriller [Kindle Edition]

John Connolly
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)

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Book Description

New York Times bestselling author John Connolly masterfully intertwines mystery, emotion, violence, and the supernatural in this raw and gripping thriller.
In 1693, the settlers on the small Maine island of Sanctuary were betrayed to their enemies and slaughtered. Since then, the island has known three hundred years of peace. Until now...
A group of men are descending on Sanctuary, their purpose to hunt down and kill the wife of their leader and retrieve the money that she stole from him. All that stands in their way are a young rookie officer, Sharon Macy, and Melancholy Joe Dupree, the island's strange, troubled policeman.
Joe Dupree is no ordinary policeman. He is the guardian of the island's secrets, the repository of its memories. He knows that Sanctuary has been steeped in blood once; it will tolerate the shedding of innocent blood no longer. Now a band of killers is set to desecrate Sanctuary and unleash the fury of its ghosts upon themselves and all who stand by them.
On Sanctuary, evil is about to meet its match....
Fast-paced, spellbinding, and elegantly written, Bad Men is John Connolly at his chilling best.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The long-dead, gray-skinned wraiths Connolly conjures up in this thriller with a supernatural twist are lighthearted sprites compared to the grotesque humans who maim, rape and kill their way through the gore-clotted story of horror and revenge. Connolly's usual protagonist, Charlie "Bird" Parker (The White Road; Dark Hollow; Every Dead Thing), makes only a brief appearance here, for which he should give heartfelt thanks. Off the coast of Maine, Dutch Island, known to the old-timers as Sanctuary, is cursed by the spirits of those who died in a savage slaughter there in the year 1693. In the present day, imprisoned murderer Edward Moloch dreams of an ancient land where he is a hunter bent on the massacre of his wife and the inhabitants of a small village. Moloch, the worst of the bad men of the title, escapes from prison and leaves a trail of mutilated victims behind as he searches for the wife who several years earlier betrayed him to police to escape his brutality. On Dutch Island, longtime native Joe Dupree, known as Melancholy Joe, is the oversize (7' 2" and 360 pounds) but gentle chief of police. He's developed a fondness for beautiful newcomer Marianne Elliott, and the feeling is mutual. Unfortunately, Marianne is Moloch's ex-wife and Moloch's on his way, leading a small gang of other very bad men. It's a terrifying story, the action brutal, grotesque and unrelentingly violent. Horrified readers will turn the last blood-soaked page wondering if they would have begun the first had they known what was coming. Think Thomas Harris by way of Stephen King: haunting, compelling, but not for the faint of heart.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The author of the Charlie Parker mysteries heads off in a different direction in his new novel. The small island of Sanctuary, off the coast of Maine, was once the scene of a bloody massacre. Now, three centuries later, evil has again come to the island, a modern-day evil with strange, eerie connections to the events of the late 1600s. Do two police officers have even a remote chance of stopping the carnage? This is one of those novels that refuses to be pigeonholed. It's a thriller; it's a mystery; it's a tale of the supernatural (sort of). At its center is Joe Dupree, the (literal) gentle giant of a cop, a man whose kindness and compassion would appear to make him a bad choice to defend the citizens of Sanctuary from the marauding evil that approaches. This elegantly written good-versus-evil story will appeal not only to crime-fiction readers but also to fans of such high-profile horror authors as King and Koontz. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 2178 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0743487842
  • Publisher: Atria Books (March 23, 2004)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC1BJC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,187 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book I've Read This Year So Far April 18, 2004
Format:Hardcover
Until BAD MEN I had not read a John Connelly book since EVERY DEAD THING, his debut novel. I have no excuse; I liked EVERY DEAD THING and was apparently in good company, since it won the prestigious Shamus Award. But I somehow missed the others, all featuring driven and disturbed private investigator Charlie Parker: DARK HOLLOW, THE KILLING KIND and THE WHITE ROAD. I accordingly was sandbagged when I picked up BAD MEN. Somewhere along the way, Connelly went from a writer with an impressive debut to one of our best in the space of just a few novels.
BAD MEN is not a Parker novel. No matter; if you're a fan of Parker you won't be disappointed at his absence, for BAD MEN reads like a collaboration between Dennis Lehane and Stephen King, with Garth Ennis throwing in an occasional farthing. Parker does make two brief appearances that very tangentially tie in to the haunting incidents of BAD MEN, but the protagonist of this brilliant work is Sanctuary, also known as Dutch Island, a dot on the map off the coast of Maine. Sanctuary has a unique history, one that Connelly introduces early on here. The original settlers of Sanctuary were betrayed and slaughtered by enemies led by one of their own. The island took its own revenge, and in the intervening 300 years, things have been quiet, with its inhabitants being a somewhat quirky and, for the most part, harmless assortment of characters.
The island, however, is awakening. Joe Dupree is Dutch Island's policeman; nicknamed Melancholy Joe, he stands over seven feet tall and bears his status as a freak with a quiet grace that has earned him the respect of the island people. But Dupree knows the secrets of the island and can sense its awakening in response to the coming of evil.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
I suppose it is impossible to see similarities between John Connolly's "Bad Men" and the novels of Stephen King, not just because the main setting for this horror novel is an island in Maine, but more because the title characters really are bad men and they are joined in the festivities by some supernatural counterparts. But even with King's penchant for engaging in gross out gore, Connolly takes it to a level more akin to true crime books.
The novel's heroine, Marianne Elliott, was married to a psycho-killer named Edward Moloch that she betrayed to the police. He is in prison back in Virginia and even though they have thrown away the key Marianne has taken a new name, changed her look, and found herself on a remote Maine island called Sanctuary. However, it seems that way back in 1693 the island was overrun by a gang of "bad men" who raped and pillaged before they slaughtered the entire community. There is a feeling in Sanctuary, articulated by "Melancholy" Joe Dupree, the 7-foot-2-inch gentle giant who is the island's only police officer, that the massacre tainted the land. This seems a reasonable interpretation of events since any one who ends up wandering around in the forest near where the bones of the settlers are buried tend to meet mysterious deaths. Now giant gray moths are appearing all over the island and the ghostly figure of a little girl has been seen. All the signs suggest that something wicked will be coming this way.
Of course, that terms out to be Moloch. All these years in prison he has been spending his days obsessing about finding and butchering Marianne, but at night he is having dreams of the massacre on Sanctuary during colonial times.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Now, something was awake." June 24, 2004
Format:Hardcover
John Connolly delivers an impressive thriller, which I found almost impossible to put down after jumping into its exquisitely elaborated plot. He switches back and forth between the past and the present with ease, demonstrating his skills. Dutch Island is situated at a one and a half hour ferry ride from Portland, and it has been the setting of mysterious and unsettling events throughout its history. This is the setting for the marvelous story presented by Connolly.
In the late seventeenth century Indians consistently raided the various islands in the area outside of what is known today as Portland, pushing the white settlers away. But in 1691 thirty individuals arrived to Dutch Island, which at the time was also known as Sanctuary, and decided to give it a try. Bauer, one of the men that formed part of the group, was justly accused of attempting to rape another man's wife. When he asked his own wife for shelter against his pursuers she did not comply and he was captured. However, he was able to escape and he returned years later with renegade Indians as his "hired help" bringing mayhem to the village. After the horrible events that developed in the island, the ghosts of the dead were left behind to cohabitate with the living. Usually, they do not interact much with humans, but now something is growing, and some people in the island can feel it.
Connolly creates interesting and well-developed characters, like the giant Joe Dupree, seven feet two inches and three hundred and sixty pounds, who is in charge of the police department in Dutch Island. He is courting Marianne, a woman who has some secrets in store, but he also has some secrets of his own.
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More About the Author

I was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1968 and have, at various points in his life, worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a "gofer" at Harrods department store in London. I studied English in Trinity College, Dublin and journalism at Dublin City University, subsequently spending five years working as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper, to which I continue to contribute, although not as often as I would like. I still try to interview a few authors every year, mainly writers whose work I like, although I've occasionally interviewed people for the paper simply because I thought they might be quirky or interesting. All of those interviews have been posted to my website, http://www.johnconnolly.com.

I was working as a journalist when I began work on my first novel. Like a lot of journalists, I think I entered the trade because I loved to write, and it was one of the few ways I thought I could be paid to do what I loved. But there is a difference between being a writer and a journalist, and I was certainly a poorer journalist than I am a writer (and I make no great claims for myself in either field.) I got quite frustrated with journalism, which probably gave me the impetus to start work on the novel. That book, Every Dead Thing, took about five years to write and was eventually published in 1999. It introduced the character of Charlie Parker, a former policeman hunting the killer of his wife and daughter. Dark Hollow, the second Parker novel, followed in 2000. The third Parker novel, The Killing Kind, was published in 2001, with The White Road following in 2002. In 2003, I published my fifth novel - and first stand-alone book - Bad Men. In 2004, Nocturnes, a collection of novellas and short stories, was added to the list, and 2005 marked the publication of the fifth Charlie Parker novel, The Black Angel. In 2006, The Book of Lost Things, my first non-mystery novel, was published.

Charlie Parker has since appeared in five additional novels: The Unquiet, The Reapers (where he plays a secondary role to his associates, Louis and Angel), The Lovers, The Whisperers, and The Burning Soul. The eleventh Charlie Parker novel, The Wrath of Angels, will be available in the UK in August 2012 and in the US in January 2013.

The Gates launched the Samuel Johnson series for younger readers in 2009, followed by Hell's Bells (UK)/The Infernals (US) in 2011. A third Samuel Johnson novel should be finished in 2013.

I am also the co-editor, with fellow author Declan Burke, of Books to Die For, an anthology of essays from the world's top crime writers in response to the question, "Which book should all lovers of crime fiction read before they die?" Books to Die For is available in the UK as of August 2012, and will be available in the US in October 2012.

I am based in Dublin but divide my time between my native city and the United States, where each of my novels has been set.

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