Charlie Parker is the main character of the series of novels written by well-known Irish writer John Connolly. The character of Charlie Parker was first introduced in 1999 in a novel called “Every Dead Thing”, which collected many recognitions. The series revolves around the former NYPD detective Charlie “Bird” Parker (every coincidence is purely intentional), a man who used to solve gruesome cases in “The City That Never Sleeps”.
Now he fights even more disturbing visions that haunt him for years. His wife and his little daughter were brutally murdered and Charlie never forgave himself. He was a heavy drinker and was drinking in a bar while his family was dying. Thus, he wanders through the mean streets of New York in search for some kind of redemption or distraction at least.
Order of Charlie Parker Series
|1||Every Dead Thing||1999|
|3||The Killing Kind||2001|
|4||The White Road||2002|
|5||The Black Angel||2005|
|10||The Burning Soul||2011|
|11||The Wrath of Angels||2012|
|12||The Wolf in Winter||2014|
|13||A Song of Shadows||2015|
|14||A Time of Torment||2016|
Order of Charlie Parker Non-Fiction Novels
|1||Parker: A Miscellany||2016|
Charlie Parker Awards
John Connolly has received quite a few awards for his work on the “Charlie Parker Series”. His opening novel “Every Dead Thing” won the Shamus Awards, which is given to an exceptional detective fiction novels and short stories. In 2000, Connolly was nominated for the Barry Award, an award for the best crime fiction novel first published in the UK. In 1999, Conolly’s first novel was shortlisted for the prestigious Bram Stoker Award in the First Novel category. Other books of the series did not go under the radar, thus “The White Road” won the Barry Award in 2003, whereas “The Killing Kind” and “Dark Hollow” were also nominated for that award in the preceding years.
Best Charlie Parker Books
Besides “Every Dead Thing” which is considered as probably his best novel, Connolly wrote several more praiseworthy sequels such as “Dark Hollow” and “The Killing Kind”.
Dark Hollow is a follow-up to the novel that introduced a reader to charismatic detective Charlie “Bird” Parker. This second novel of the series published in 1999 continues the story of Charlie as he is trying to come to terms with the death of his family. The killer, known as “The Traveling Man” is captured and Charlie has to face quite an awkward question- and now what? Bird seeks peace in the solitude of his family estate in Maine. The snowy landscape and quiet solitude are exactly what Charlie is looking for in order to clear his mind. That is not meant to be as the past is going to come after him like it never did before. A case emerges in which a mother and daughter are killed in a way very similar to the case of Charlie’s family. As that is not enough, his late grandfather’s battles are going to land on Charlie’s back, as he tries to solve the case his grandfather did not finish. and right there in that case lies much more than Charlie can imagine, and same applies to his grandfather’s estate.
The Killing Kind is the third novel of the series revolving around Charlie Parker. Charlie, who is now a private eye, again finds himself in the peculiar circumstances in Maine, as religious side takes over. He was trying to shove his nose in a series of low-profile cases involving adultery, stalking etc. He found a new love in form of Rachel Wolfe, the psychologist, and settled in his grandfather’s old house. But it was never meant to last. A horrific, almost ritual murder happens and the long mystery of the disappearance of the religious community is solved when a mass grave is found. It seems as the cult of some kind is involved in murders and its members quickly disperse around Maine in order to find incriminating evidence. Parker has to deal with this cult, and in addition has to solve a murder of his ex-girlfriend’s daughter, all the while fighting with ominous visions and terrible hallucinations. Life just never gets easier for Charlie.
Other book series you may like:
Readers who liked Bird’s cases might enjoy the “Matthew Scudder” series which deals with another alcoholic ex-cop. Scudder left the police after the death of a little girl for whose death he feels responsible. Hence, he goes to a self-imposed exile in Hell’s Kitchen, where he works as a private investigator. Readers may also find interesting the book series about lieutenant “Jonathan Stride”, obsessive, yet romantic detective who solves crimes in Duluth, Minnesota. There is also an interesting series about “Max Mingus”, a Miami detective who was sentenced to eight years of prison for the murder of the junkie killers.