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The Burning Soul (Charlie Parker, Book 10) Hardcover – September 6, 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 153 customer reviews
Book 10 of 13 in the Charlie Parker Series

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Editorial Reviews


“An intelligent, plausible thriller, both harrowing and memorable.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Connolly’s latest Charlie Parker thriller offers a powerful story line that weaves together suspense, mystery and a small touch of the supernatural.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A superb mystery.”—Mystery Gazette

“Compulsively readable. . . .crackling to a smoking conclusion.”—New Orleans Times-Picayune

“A complex story leading to an explosive and terrifying end game.”—The Irish Independent

About the Author

John Connolly is the author of the Charlie Parker series of mystery novels, the supernatural collection Nocturnes, the Samuel Johnson Trilogy, and (with Jennifer Ridyard) the Chronicles of the Invaders series for younger readers. He lives in Dublin, Ireland. For more information, see his website at JohnConnollyBooks.com, or follow him on Twitter @JConnollyBooks.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; First Edition edition (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781439165270
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439165270
  • ASIN: 1439165270
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By michael a. draper VINE VOICE on November 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
John Connolly elegantly describes life in a small town in Maine and the affects on people's lives when a young girl, Anna Kore, becomes missing.

Randall Haight is an intensely private man who doesn't want his past to be known because he killed a young girl when he was age fourteen.

After serving eighteen years in prison, Randall was released. The records were sealed and he and the other boy involved in the murder, were given new identities.

Someone is mailing pictures to Randall that showed the barn door where he and his friend murdered the girl.

Afraid that he'll be made the scapegoate if he informs the authorities about his past, he hires Charlie Parker to put a stop to it.

Parker is haunted by the death of his own small daughter but takes the case because Haight's attorney speculates that the person harassing her client might be Anna's kidnapper.

Connolly writes in a literary style that is delicious to read, "...there are other places that speak of the ferocity of the sea, of communities sheltering behind butresses of black rock and shingle beaches against which the waves throw themselves like besieging armies..."

There are a number of parallel story lines that merge together in a tidy conclusion with some interesting twists and surprises which add to the reader's enjoyment.

Although not one of Connolly's best, I would rate this a 3 1/2 star, moving up to 4 stars for the story line and literary manner of writing.
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Format: Hardcover
Not long after The Burning Soul begins, we meet a man now named Randall Haight, a man who under another name as a teenager once killed a girl, and who now has become a grown man trying to escape the shadow of his past deeds. In many ways, The Burning Soul is as much Haight's story as it is Charlie Parker's, and there's no denying that Haight's complex personal identity, one fractured over time by legal authorities, guilt, and a desire to remake himself lead to a heartbreaking character born as much of damage as evil. The Burning Soul is more "grounded" than a lot of the rest of the Parker books, becoming almost more of a straight crime novel than one that sinks into the "honeycomb world" of spirits and shades that so many of Parker's books inhabit. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing; Connolly tells a great story, and the plot machinations here - which begin with a missing girl, but soon come to involve a fallen mob boss, a lot of power plays, and the complicated past of Randall Haight - are rewarding and filled with all sorts of bluffs, swerves, and rewarding reveals. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I missed the truly chilling and unsettling darkness and evil that Connolly so often brings into Parker's world, but his complex moral world - one in which a child killer may be surprisingly sympathetic, while an FBI agent may be willing to do monstrous things - is a compelling one, and his writing is as poetic and gorgeous as it ever is. And that's not to say that Connolly entirely eschews his shadows here; as always with Parker, the past is uncomfortably close, and there's always a sense of something more than we ever see to his novels. I may not think The Burning Soul is up there with The Killing Kind or The Black Angel, but it's still a Charlie Parker novel as written by one of the most talented, beautifully writing craftsmen in the thriller genre today, and that makes it definitely worth the time to seek out and find.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love John Connolly and have read all of his books, but his last effort felt flat to me.
Charlie Parker, in this book, is depressed, lonely, and is constantly questioning his abilities. I want the confident and mysterious Charlie back.

The first half of the book flows very smoothly and then about 1/2 way through gets completely goofy. The ghost in the story really doesn't make a lot of sense and just confuses the story even more, as does the case of Lenny who shot a neighbor over a dog. These are just two instances where it didnt make sense to even add this information. The many endings were interesting but really didn't have anything to tie them together. It's as if I was reading two or three stories instead of one (but not in a good, page turning way.)

Again, this author is fantastic and most of the reviews are positive, but to me after the middle it just got tiresome. I also would have loved to see more of Angel and Lewis as they are both some of my favorite fictional characters.

I would wait until the price drops on kindle to at least 9.99 before purchasing it. I wish I would have.

If you have not read a John Connolly novel before I urge you to read THE BLACK ANGEL, I think it is his best.
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By A Customer on September 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In Pastor's Bay, Maine Randall Haight consults with attorney Aimee Price over unsigned threatening letters he receives in the mail at a time when fourteen years old Anna Kore vanished from a strip mall. The anonymous author knows who Randall was. When he was fourteen years old William Lagenheimer and a buddy raped and killed a teenage African-American girl. He was convicted and did time. Upon his release, the state court granted him a new identity.

Aimee persuades private investigator Charlie Parker to look into who the pen pal is and if the timing is deliberate to make Haight the suspect in the Kore case. Although Charlie detests doing anything for a rapist-killer, he begins his inquiry into Haight's claims of being a victim, a town without pity horrific heritage and the Kore clan's bloody secrets.

The latest Charlie Parker investigation (see The Whisperers) is a superb mystery as readers will understand troubled Parker's self flagellation as he realizes perhaps too late his arrogance could harm the abductee. The story line starts slow but a few chapters in accelerates into a terrific running out of clock thriller with a great late twist as Parker and law enforcement know each hour a kidnap victim remains a captive means it is less likely finding the person alive. Readers will appreciate Parker's doubts as he wonders if he is doing more harm than good.

Harriet Klausner
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