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The Whisperers (Charlie Parker, Book 9) Mass Market Paperback – June 28, 2011

85 customer reviews
Book 9 of 12 in the Charlie Parker Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Ancient artifacts and the second Iraqi War provide the backdrop for Connolly's outstanding ninth novel featuring PI Charlie Parker (after The Lovers). When the former NYPD homicide detective looks into the suicide of an Iraq war veteran, he discovers that several members of the soldier's unit have also killed themselves and that they may have been involved in smuggling looted treasures into the U.S. Parker begins to fear that the returning soldiers have brought back more than their own personal demons. As he races to find an antique golden box before it falls into the wrong hands, Parker discovers that he's being shadowed by the enigmatic Collector, a repulsive killer whose nature is as problematic as that of Parker himself. Connolly displays a real knack for fusing the detective and horror genres, providing a rational chain of evidence and deduction for the plot while simultaneously creating a real atmosphere of numinous dread that reminds us that mystery can refer to more than a mundane tale of crime and human justice.
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.


'A tour de force finale in a book which will sure be a bestseller this summer. It well deserves to be.' -- Independent on Sunday 'This is one of Connolly's darker, scarier novels, all the more effective for the way the supernatural elements arise organically out of the realistic detail' -- Guardian 'Connolly subtly combines the supernatural with the traditional crime story to superb effect. And in Herod, a man being eaten by cancer, he may have created his creepiest villain yet.' -- Sun 'Another creepy thriller from a modern master' -- Daily Mirror 'Brilliant, terrifying and effortlessly seductive, I defy anyone to put this thriller down -- it is sensational.' -- Daily Mail 'As ever with Connolly, the macabre narrative is couched in prose that is often allusive and poetic.' -- Barry Forshaw, Independent 'His latest plot is a clever mixture of quest and chase, written in prose that unfolds at warp speed' -- Observer 20090607 'Supernatural thriller by Dublin's finest.' -- Herald Magazine 20090607 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Reprint edition (June 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439165246
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439165249
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #346,977 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

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By joyful VINE VOICE on July 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I confess that I was drawn to The Whisperers for the Raiders of the Lost Ark-like cover alone. I found out once I received it that The Whisperers is part of a series featuring PI Charlie Parker; however, I could still follow the story and got hints of Parker's past throughout so that I got a great sense of his character and troubled history.

The Whisperers by John Connolly (and apparently the entire series) is a thriller with supernatural elements (most of which worked for me).

The cover is well-chosen as Parker's investigation into an ex-soldier's suicide eventually leads him to the discovery of ancient artifacts looted from a museum in Iraq now being smuggled across the border to Canada. As Parker continues his investigation, he learns about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and finds hints that the tragedies befalling the veterans one by one might have a more sinister and horrifying cause.

"They left you this way. Your emotions are no longer under control. You are no longer under your own control. You become depressed, paranoid, removed from those who care about you. You believe that you are still at war. You fight your bedclothes at night. You become estranged from your loved ones, and they leave you.

"And maybe, just maybe, you start believing that you are haunted, that demons speak to you from boxes, and when you can't satisfy them, when you can't do what they want you to do, they turn you against yourself, and they punish you for your failings.

"And maybe, just maybe, that moment of obliteration comes as a relief.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
John Connolly is one of my favorite authors because he possesses the uncanny ability to combine exciting supernatural elements commonly found in horror fiction with the gritty realism of a good hard boiled detective novel. The Whisperers is no exception. Connolly succeeds in creating an atmosphere ripe with tension from the very first page. While I knew where this was going pretty early on, the myriad of characters he introduces and his haunting style kept me glued to the story just so I could figure out where all these players were going to fit into this puzzle laid out so expertly before me.

I have read all the Charlie Parker novels, and I can see where some might not like this one as much as the previous ones. First, this one is not really about Charlie. Some of the previous ones have been so personal to Charlie, this one stands out as being markedly different. Secondly, the supernatural elements of the story are more in the forefront from the very beginning. I for one was glad to see Charlie taking on cases again. It felt like the return of Charlie Parker, private detective instead of Charlie Parker man of vengeance and despair. It was nice to see that Charlie himself might have a future.

Charlie is called into action by the father of an Iraqi war veteran anxious to learn more about his son's apparent suicide and his connections to some of the men he served with in Iraq. What follows is a tale that is not all that original, but still very compelling. Antiquities stolen from the Iraq National Museum have found their way back to the United States along with a few entities that nobody expected. The author tells a darkly human story of greed and sacrifice, while also exploring some very ancient evils.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jodi L. Castagnier on July 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have to admit I have been waiting for this book to come out since the moment I finished the last one. Unfortunately, it did not meet my expectations. The last third of the book was where I felt the story really came together.

The information on PTSD was too much and I felt it distracted from the story and the overall Charlie Parker series. I understand it was important, but really it could have been summed up in a chapter instead of continuing to pop up.

For me, the Black Angel was the culminating book for what I think is main plot of Charlie Parkers life. I think the super natural elements are important. I think that a show down between Charlie Parker and the super natural beings will ultimately close this series. I think we've seen peices of it in the Lovers and Whisperers, but that John Connolly has stepped back from it being a focal point. I think in his next book it should be brought to the front more.

I felt this book was a slow read. There was just too much information to sort through before the story got going.

I am still a fan and am eagerly awaiting the next one...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TMStyles VINE VOICE on August 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
John Connolly is one of the finest writers in fiction today. Through his signature character, Charlie Parker, Connolly effectively melds the thriller/suspense aspects of a private detective with the supernatural world that seems to lurk in the shadows around us. There may be very few signature characters in the thriller genre that are as complex, as powerful, yet as vulnerable as Charlie Parker. I have seldom been disappointed in the complexity and the credibilty of Connolly's plotting, detailed storylines, and breathless pacing.

Connolly's ability to develop and flesh characters so finely that you sometimes "feel" them in the room with you is extraordinary. 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. He can establish mood, a sense of disquiet, peril, or supernatural unease with a few well turned phrases. And his ability to build suspense and an impending sense of doom that is almost palpable to the reader is amazing.

In "The Whisperers", Charlie is unwittingly drawn into a case that, like most others, ultimately has a supernatural flavoring to it. A smuggling ring operated by ex-Iraqi war veterans is shipping Iraqi antiquities to buyers in Canada. Parker unearths the scheme as he investigates the suicide of a former Iraqi soldier---a suicide that soon leads to the discovery of a suicide cluster among the former vets involved in the smuggling ring--clearly, they brought something home from Iraq that is more deadly than gold and jewels. Old characters (The Collector) reappear and new evil forces appear (Herod and The Captain).
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