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The Lovers: A Thriller (Charlie Parker Thrillers) Hardcover – June 2, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Bestseller Connolly once again expertly melds a hard-boiled plot with the supernatural in his eighth Charlie Parker crime novel (after The Reapers). While previous books in the series explored the trauma at the heart of Parker's backstory, the murder of the PI's wife and daughter, this one examines an equally devastating family trauma—the suicide of his New York City policeman father, Will, after Will gunned down two unarmed teenagers decades earlier. As Parker, who was 15 at the time, seeks the truth about his ancestry, he comes to doubt that he was raised by his biological parents. When he learns a pair of undying beings have him at the top of their hit list, he decides to return to New York City after a stint tending bar in Maine. The underlying grim sadness and Connolly's unwillingness to pull his punches will appeal to noir fans, while his effective use of understatement and evocative prose makes his alternate universe plausible. (June)
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"* 'John Connolly is the creator of a unique blend of thriller and horror which receives rave reviews every time for his lyrical, almost poetic language' Sunday Telegraph * 'More restrained and reflective... but no less powerful' - Marcel Berlins, Sunday Times * 'As ever with Connolly, the macabre narrative is couched in prose that is often allusive and poetic.' - Barry Forshaw, Independent * 'Visionary brand of neo-noir... terrifically exciting, tightly plotted... written in an uncommonly fine, supple, sensuous prose.' - Irish Times * 'Tremendous stuff, as Connolly's novels always are.' - Mark Timlin, Independent on Sunday * 'His latest plot is a clever mixture of quest and chase, written in prose that unfolds at warp speed, and rarely fails to sing.' - Observer * 'A tightly plotted, beautifully constructed novel where John Connolly exhibits his considerable skills.' - crimesquad * 'You may think at times you are reading a literary novel but then Connolly will remind you he's just as adept at the violent strategies of the thriller. Either way you will be left shaken by the experience.' - Daily Express * 'His usual intriguing blend of fast-paced crime fiction and fantasy.' - Independent" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Charlie Parker Thrillers
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (June 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416569545
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416569541
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,081,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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,

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By TMStyles VINE VOICE on June 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The Lovers" is Connolly's latest installment of his Charlie Parker series. For those loyal readers who have wondered about Charlie's background and how it might relate and animate his life as a private investigator, paranormal sleuth, and magnet for supernatural enigmas, many answers and a few more questions appear and are examined in this very focused effort.

"The Lovers" is a very personal examination of Parker's background as he begins seeking the answers to festering questions about his past. It is different from past installments as most of Parker's recurring characters and support network are reduced to cameos (much as he was in "The Reapers") and it is left to Charlie to carry the storyline and action through his persistent and unrelenting investigation that seeks the truth to his father's suicide after apparently killing a young couple who were not armed.

Old wounds are reopened and new wounds are discovered--many of which ultimately explain some recurring elements in the Parker series and others which open new story lines. There may be very few signature characters in the thriller genre that are as complex, as powerful, yet as vulnerable as Charlie Parker. This reader is never disappointed in the complexity and the credibilty of Connolly's plotting, detailed storylines, and breathless pacing.

The author is a master of establishing mood and motivation through the psychological maneuverings of his characters and his readers. Connolly's work is at once atmospheric, moody, dark and disturbing--yet compelling and hard to put down. His prose is sometimes so lyrical and so defining that I find myself rereading a sentence or paragraph just to marvel at his styling.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
With his private investigator's license revoked (see THE REAPERS), Charlie Parker leaves New York City to tend bar in Portland, Maine. The job gives him time think about the other tragedy in his life besides the murders of his wife and daughter that haunts him. When Charlie was fifteen, his father Will an NYPD cop shot dead two teens, who after he kills them learns they were unarmed. Unable cope, Will committed suicide.

As Charlie digs into the background of that traumatic incident, he finds some shocking evidence that makes him wonder if his beloved parents were his biological ones. He decides to return to Manhattan to investigate and avoid the police. At the same time a frightened disturbed woman is on the run from whatever killed her boyfriend. Writer Mickey Wallace investigates the stranger that haunt the Big Apple; as this pair converge on Charlie, two of the undying also come together wanting Parker dead.

Charlie's focus remains on his personal life, but spins to what happened to his father rather than himself. He is at his best as he begins to uncover shocker after shocker as if someone has connected his body to live electrical wires (see the Cheney torture handbook for more details). He makes the LOVERS a great urban Noir fantasy although the paranormal is kept to the minimal. Readers will relish his escapades as Charlie investigates his father's suicide while the undying want to give him an opportunity to question dad in whatever hell the dead old man resides in.

Harriet Klausner
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
It's hard to classify or pigeonhole John Connolly. You could say he writes mysteries, or thrillers, or horror novels, and you would be right on all counts. He has this magnificent series of books featuring a private investigator named Charlie Parker, who has been doing a deadly dance with some frighteningly evil people for over a decade now. THE LOVERS is the ninth of these works --- 10 if you want to count BAD MEN, on account of Parker's brief cameo --- and it shines new light on what has gone before while setting things up for future books in the series. It will also occasionally scare the heck out of you.

Parker writes in a more literary style than most of his contemporaries, so that one is put in the mind of Dickens, Poe, or Collins when reading his books. However, Parker is very much in the here and now. When a character walks into a coffee shop and a CD by The Pixies is playing, there is no question you are in the 21st century. Much of THE LOVERS, however, concerns Parker's past. He is at a low point as the novel opens, having lost his PI license, his concealed carry permit, and, as we will see, one of his best friends. Marking time by tending bar, he uses his involuntary retirement to begin an investigation into his own background.

Parker's father was a well-liked New York cop who murdered two teenagers in cold blood before taking his own life. Parker begins checking into the circumstances behind the killings, even as he initiates a query into his own parentage. What Parker finds is that everything he knows about himself is wrong, and that the people he knew as his parents, though flawed, were possessed in their separate ways with more strains of decency and charity than he ever could have guessed.
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