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The Gates: A Samuel Johnson Tale (The Samuel Johnson Series) Paperback – September 28, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Top Customer Reviews
This stand alone novel is every bit as engrossing as the other tales involving Charlie Parker, erstwhile NYPD Detective and guilt ridden (while otherwise occupied) survivor of the butchery that claimed his wife and daughter. Thing is... this latest volume does not focus on the character of Charlie Parker so much as it concentrates on his friends, and sometime accomplices and cohorts, Louis and Angel.
Both of these characters figure large in novels concerning PI Charlie Parker. But not much has been issued by way of explaining their genesis (and especially Louis). All of that territory is covered in this distinct volume (and with barely so much as an utterance, and even less of a presence, of Charlie Parker).
To mention much of the story would be to mention a lot. Let's just say that it is a tale of menace and authority, and of retribution and reaction, and of hunters being hunted. There is much room here for betrayal and false starts turning into dead ends turning into blind corners, the likes of which you should be ever mindful of turning.
Bottom line is the fact that, as always, Mr. Connolly does not disappoint. He has a certain knack for providing lyricism midst chaos and with ever the ear for crisply delivered dialogue delivered as if it were being spoken directly.Read more ›
I'd read that this book was focused on Louis and Angel (Charlie Parker's homicidal, hilarious, homosexual "sidekicks"); I'd read that Parker played only a peripheral role here. So, being the huge Parker fan that I am, I wondered if I'd find this read as satisfying or as well-written when it focused on two people whose dark natures were, at least to me, so much more developed and hard to deny.
I needn't have worried. I finished it in record time and was well-pleased with the book as a whole.
Parker does indeed play a peripheral role. He probably appears in less than 1/6 of the book, and only in a reversal of his usual place in things. He's the Angel/Louis here. He's the one who comes in when trouble hits, but whose character is basically secondary throughout except as it affects other characters (in fact, he is referred to as "the Detective" throughout most of the pages upon which he appears, the result of being seen primarily through the eyes of Willie Brew).
The result of Parker's relative absence is a lighter book, even when it covers the darkest of topics. Parker, you see, might have his funny moments, but his is a tortured spirit.Read more ›
"The Reapers" can be read as two parallel stories since there is a lot of jumping back and forth in time to relive past events that add context to the current storyline. As has been well established, this novel focuses heavily on Parker's "back-ups", Louis and Angel. One storyline develops the back-story on Louis and Angel which brings our appreciation for the deadly Louis to an even higher level; certainly they become more humanized and complete than ever in this novel.
The central plot deals with betrayals, double crosses, and the payment of blood debts in the violent world of professional assassins (Reapers). Louis' back story fills in gaps on his deadly past and portrays him as a much more formidable protagonist than even the regular Connolly reader would imagine. As usual, Connolly visits themes of loyalty (in many manifestations) and motivation in his unique and flawed characters. Ultimately several storylines intersect and Parker and friends race to find and support their two imperiled allies.
I found this to be my favorite of the Charlie Parker novels even though Parker has only a small part to play in it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
do not like the confusion in the book. never read this author before and am not enjoying it.Published 8 days ago by lee dorfman
Just love any Charlie Parker story, but this one is focused on two of the most remarkable characters: Louis and Angel. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Arlene Arredondo
I like the series, period. All his books are good; they form the part of a whole. What differentiates "The Reapers" is that the spotlight gets trained on the supporting... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Amazon Customer
Not my kind of book. Too much violence, too much macho super "hero-ing" going on with unlikely heroes.Published 1 month ago by Sarah H. Erman
Fun easy read and I will read the rest of the series. Funny and entertaining and a joy to read.Published 3 months ago by Stephen
Well, I am fascinated by the amount of people who attacked this book, since I found it to be laugh out loud funny, and have always enjoyed footnote jokes a la Richard Armour. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Dawn Ray