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The Black Angel: A Thriller (Charlie Parker Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Charlie Parker Mysteries
  • Mass Market Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star; Reprint edition (February 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743487877
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743487870
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The first 60,000 copies of Irish thriller master Connolly's fifth Charlie Parker novel [arrived] signed, and with a CD. (The latter [featured] tracks that either [played] a role in his darkly atmospheric novels, or [were] favored by their characters: everything from Kate Bush to Neko Case.) But fans won't need that much enticement to pick up his latest set of intricately plotted forays into the violent world of the undead. Parker has settled in Maine, still mourning his murdered wife and child while attempting devotion to his new partner, Rachel, and their infant daughter, Sam. At Sam's christening, Parker's sometime collaborator Louis receives an uninvited guest from New York: his aunt, distraught at the disappearance of her daughter, Alice, an NYC prostitute. It doesn't take much to draw an ambivalent Parker back into the game, and soon he's in New York and stumbling onto clues regarding the Black Angel, a statue associated with a Czech ossuary and sought by various evildoers for centuries—or perhaps a living, bloodthirsty spirit. Trips to the Czech Republic and elsewhere ensue as Parker seeks to know this latest face of evil. Connolly delivers a very intense blend of Parker's authentic soul searching and of his own distinctive, moody grue.(June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In the fifth Charlie Parker novel, the private investigator, recently remarried (after the murders of his wife and child), has been trying to pull his life back together. But when his partner's cousin goes missing, Parker can't avoid getting back in the game. And when he realizes the young woman's disappearance is connected to an older, darker mystery, he once again is forced to risk life and sanity in a desperate good-versus-evil battle. Connolly, who resides in Ireland but writes about the U.S. like he's lived there all his life, once again blends the -private-eye novel and the supernatural thriller in a way that's altogether unique. Parker himself, one of the genre's more disturbed heroes, is a complex creation whose depths have still, even through five novels, been barely explored. The Charlie Parker novels are not for everyone (especially those who like their private-eye yarns unencumbered by philosophical or theological overtones), but Connolly has been building a cadre of devoted fans who clamor for his edgy take on the genre. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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.

Customer Reviews

If you read "The Black Angel" rest assured you will get your moneys worth.
Joe Thorburn
Mr. Connolly's character development and use of humor make reading his novels quite enjoyable, bonding the reader to the characters in a unique way.
R. J. Lesny
I've read a number of John Connolly's Charlie Parker books and this is my favorite.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Untouchable on September 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The 5th book in the Charlie Parker series, The Black Angel is probably the most ambitious work that author John Connolly has undertaken yet. Lurking behind the seemingly mundane, though by no means less disturbing, murder of a New York prostitute lies a more horrifying tale of evil featuring fallen angels and their insidious spread on earth. This is a compelling book that combines the modern day thriller with the dank realm of the myth and supernatural with spine tingling results.

The story opens with a presentation of the myth that will drive the entire story. This myth involves The Black Angels known as Ashmael and Immael who gloried in the death and destruction that they brought down on the earth in the form of wars, rape and murder. But then Immael was confronted by a Cistercian monk and in the ensuing battle fell into a vast vat of molten silver where he was trapped, cast as a silver statue, and hidden. Ever since, Ashmael his brother has been searching for the map detailing where Immael was held. The map had been separated into fragments and scattered around the world. Should Immael be freed, an unthinkable fury would be unleashed on the world.

Charlie Parker is a Maine private investigator who is still haunted by the death of his wife and daughter with a guilt that refuses to be diminished. He now has another baby daughter, Sam, and a girlfriend, Rachel, who he loves very much, but the strain of his dangerous job plus his inability to move on in life is taking its toll on their relationship.

This strain is multiplied when, at his daughter's christening no less, he is caught up in the disappearance and possible murder of Louis' cousin Alice.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Gary Griffiths VINE VOICE on July 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Laced with liberal references to previous works, "The Black Angel", fifth in John Connolly's private investigator Charlie "Bird" Parker series of thrillers, is by far the author's most complex and ambitious effort. While Connolly's rich and lyrical prose always carries an element of the supernatural, "Angel" treads without apology into a heavily theological and mystical territory featuring allegorical fallen angels and the cult that worships them. A young prostitute has disappeared in New York, and Parker is called upon by the mother to try to find her. It turns out that the prostitute is also the niece of Parker's sometime partner Louis deepening, if possible, Louis' usual brand of malevolence. The trail leads Parker and team into a richly convoluted maze constructed of 15th century monasteries, secret crypts and creepy ossuaries, cadaverous art dealers, and the "apocrypha", ancient canonical text considered too controversial to be included in the standard books of the Bible. While unraveling the dual mysteries of Louis' niece and the legendary fallen "Black Angel", Parker confronts perhaps his most formable adversary yet, the mysterious and repugnant Brightwell, a corpulent villain as ageless as he is obese.

If you've never read John Connolly, "The Black Angel" would not be a great place to start. Neither Parker nor the Louis/Angel team of hired mayhem are in the best spirits, each haunted by their own guilts and ghosts of the past. Notwithstanding, Connolly delivers another unconventional and offbeat PI thriller, at the same time brutal and beautifully written. A must read for the Connolly fan, while the uninitiated would be better off starting with "Every Dead Thing".
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dorothy Welsh on June 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Mystery, thriller, suspense with hints of the supernatural (or super disturbed,) The Black Angel will lure you into a world where evil brushes casually by on busy city streets, and it will keep you there way past your bedtime.

From Maine to New York City to Sedlec, a place where human remains have been transformed into works of art, John Connolly masterfully paints evocative portraits of villains who are obvious, and those who are not, as he explores the interconnectedness of all things - good and evil, living and dead, the divine and the fallen. Torn between those in need and those he needs, Charlie Parker, Connolly's haunted hero, seeks redemption in the face of evil - head on and with dark humor, at one point likening an FBI agent attempting to cross a snarled New York Street to "federally funded Frogger." Go ahead, cross the street with Charlie - you won't regret entering his fascinating, darkly funny and eminently chilling realm, guided by an author with one of the most distinctive and literate voices in contemporary fiction.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Felicia Sullivan on July 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Reviewed By John A. Mangarella for Small Spiral Notebook

You know you're reading a world class thriller when the opening pages begin with the fall of the angels from Heaven and the unleashing of evil on the world. But, make no mistake, this is not an other-worldly novel because renowned author John Connolly delivers a very modern story in The Black Angel. This is detective Charlie "Bird" Parker's fifth appearance since Mr. Connolly introduced him in Every Dead Thing, the book where Charlie Parker lost his young wife and child to murder thus transforming him into tortured yet brilliant soul.

Charlie Parker's days are rooted within the death of his wife and daughter. Every breath of his existence and each new case he tackles are stained with a smear of sacrificial blood. He'd had an argument with his wife, walked out of the house and spent a few hours perched on a barstool while his family was slaughtered in the safety of their own home. By the time he's sucked into the "missing persons" case that is the catalyst for The Black Angel, he's a man possessed with indelible pain capable of delivering a brutal justice. He has remarried and has another beautiful wife and child, a scenario that not only frightens him because of the tragic past but intensifies his visions of his dead wife and daughter, instilling him with a sense of betrayal. He's guilty of not being there to protect them and, later, of remarrying following their deaths. If he thought he was visiting every level of hell before The Black Angel, Charlie Parker's search for a missing prostitute locks him into a centuries old battle with evil itself, the fallen angel.

Alice was abducted by the fallen angel because her last client owned a missing artifact crucial to the spreading of evil.
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