As you know from a previous post, I attended an author talk by the crime thriller author John Connolly recently and bought a signed copy of 'Every Dead Thing' the first book in his Charlie Parker series and what a joy it was.
I know crime is not everybody's cup of tea, but my psychology and sociology background means that I really like to get my teeth into a nice murder (in books only, obviously). 'Every Dead Thing' did not let me down. From the very beginning I was hooked on the central character, though the hideous murder of his family happening in the first chapter really pulled me in too.
Charlie, or Bird as he is called by his friends, is a very complicated, flawed and engaging creation and I can see why John says that readers will read any story featuring a loved main character. Charlie's personal history is intriguing, as is his choice of friends (ex-burglars, killers) and job. He moves from law-abiding policeman to a PI on the very edge of falling into the dark side and this is what draws you in. The plot is an intricate and shocking series of murders that connect back to the killer of his wife and daughter, taking in other seemingly unconnected deaths, a violent battle between two crime mobs and the investigation of a missing girl.
As the cover says perfectly, 'The Travelling Man' is an artist of death, making human bodies his canvas and taking faces as his prize. John is also an artist of death in his way, as his well-crafted prose and violent, gruesome imagery make for a chilling work of complexity that leaves his words and pictures with you long after you finish the book.
Fantastic - you will read the first and need to read the rest. 10/10
For further information on John see www.johnconnollybooks.com www.facebook.com/johnconnollybooks www.johnconnollybooks.blogspot.co.uk
or on Twitter @jconnollybooks