Summary and book reviews of The Killing Kind by John Connolly

The Killing Kind

By John Connolly

The Killing Kind
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  • Hardcover: Aug 2002,
    384 pages.
    Paperback: Mar 2003,
    448 pages.

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Book Summary

His two previous novels, Every Dead Thing and Dark Hollow, were international bestsellers. Now the "compulsively readable" (Publishers Weekly) John Connolly confirms his position as one of our leading crime novelists with a story of superb menace and style.

The body of Grace Peltier, a brilliant Ph.D. candidate, is found in the front seat of her car on a back road in northern Maine. No one wants to believe it was suicide -- not her father, not former U.S. senator Jack Mercier, and not private detective Charlie Parker, who has been hired to investigate the young woman's untimely death.

But when a mass grave is accidentally discovered nearby, revealing the grim truth behind the disappearance of a religious community known as the Aroostook Baptists, Parker realizes that their deaths and the violent passing of Grace Peltier are part of the same mystery, one that has its roots in her family history and in the origins of the shadowy organization known as the Fellowship. Soon Parker is drawn into the dark world of this zealous religious group that has already consumed every person who has dared confront it. When a relic is discovered, one capable of linking the Fellowship to the slaughter of the Aroostook Baptists, Parker is forced into violent conflict with the Fellowship and its enigmatic leader. Haunted by the ghost of a small boy and tormented by the demonic killer known as Mr. Pudd, Parker is forced to fight for his lover, his friends...and his very soul.

"This is a honeycomb world. It hides a hollow heart," writes John Connolly. In The Killing Kind, he has once again created a world of love and hate, of tenderness and violence. Hailed by critics as "one of the best of the genre" (Toronto Sun), his intense, poetic prose and his terrifying clan of characters are sure to thrill even the most discerning suspense reader.

Chapter One

It was spring, and color had returned to the world.

The distant mountains were transforming, the gray trees now cloaking themselves in new life, their leaves a faded echo of fall's riot. The scarlets of the red maples were dominant, but they were being joined now by the greenish yellow leaves of the red oaks; the silver of the bigtooth aspens; and the greens of the quaking aspens, the birches, and the beeches. Poplars and willows, elms and hazelnuts were all bursting into full bloom, and the woods were ringing with the noise of returning birds.

I could see the woods from the gym at One City Center, the tips of the evergreens still dominating the landscape amid the slowly transforming seasonals. Rain was falling on the streets of Portland and umbrellas swarmed on the streets below, glistening darkly like the carapaces of squat black beetles.

For the first time in many months, I felt good. I was in semi-regular employment. I was eating well, working out three ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Kirkus Reviews

Detective Charlie Parker finds salvation in this uneven tale of his investigation into the death of a graduate student.....Connolly's reflections on evil, the past, and reparation are lyrical and affecting, and his grim fundamentalists send off frissons. But the often-languorous narrative lacks tone and modulation.

Library Journal - Lisa Bier

The Dublin-based Connolly has again written a compelling story full of sadistic bad guys, moral ambiguity, and some serious violence. But he manages to offset some of the unpleasantness with occasional one-liners that manage not to minimize the perversity but make the characters who must deal with it seem more human.

Booklist - David Pitt

This skewed perspective, surprisingly, works entirely to the novel's advantage, turning a somewhat familiar story (private eye hunts killers while killers hunt private eye) into something new and exciting.

Publishers Weekly

Lest things become too intense, the author's wry sense of humor easily lightens the situation, often harking back to earlier noir writers.......apparent are the depths of this author's psychological acumen, literary skills and prodigious creativity.

Reader Reviews
Ulimoen, Anton Stubbene

'The Killing Kind' by John Connolly has to be the best book - at least between the three first novels about Charlie 'Bird' Parker. I felt as if I was reading a thriology almost all the way through (!), but in the end is was easy to see that the ...   Read More

Renae

i find the book an excellent read. when i started reading it, i couldn't put it down. i haven't read a book like this for some time now. so if you want a great book to read, then read The Killing Kind

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