Excerpt from The Killing Kind by John Connolly, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Killing Kind

by John Connolly

The Killing Kind
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2002, 384 pages
    Mar 2003, 448 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Jack Mercier's gaze shifted. When he looked at me again, something had cloaked itself in the darkness of his pupils.

"He came to visit me a few days ago. We discussed it, and he told me what he believed. He doesn't have enough money to pay for a private investigator, Mr. Parker, but thankfully, I do. I don't think Curtis will have any difficulty in talking this over with you, or allowing you to look into it further. I will be paying your bill, but officially you will be working for Curtis. I would ask you to keep my name out of this affair."

I finished my coffee and laid the cup down on the saucer. I didn't speak until I had marshaled my thoughts a little.

"Mr. Mercier, I didn't mind coming out here but I don't do that kind of work anymore."

Mercier's brow furrowed. "But you are a private investigator?"

"Yes, sir, I am, but I've made a decision to deal only with certain matters: white-collar crime, corporate intelligence. I don't take on cases involving death or violence."

"Do you carry a gun?"

"No. Loud noises scare me."

"But you used to carry a gun?"

"That's right, I used to. Now, if I want to disarm a white-collar criminal, I just take away his pen."

"As I told you, Mr. Parker, I know a great deal about you. Investigating fraud and petty theft doesn't appear to be your style. In the past you have involved yourself in more...colorful matters."

"Those kinds of investigations cost me too much."

"I'll cover any costs you may incur, and more than adequately."

"I don't mean financial cost, Mr. Mercier."

He nodded to himself, as if he suddenly understood. "You're talking moral, physical cost, maybe? I understand you were injured in the course of some of your work."

I didn't reply. I'd been hurt, and in response I had acted violently, destroying a little of myself each time I did so, but that wasn't the worst of it. It seemed to me that as soon as I became involved in such matters, they caused a fissure in my world. I saw things: lost things, dead things. It was as if my intervention drew them to me, those who had been wrenched painfully, violently from this life. Once I thought it was a product of my own incipient guilt, or an empathy I felt that passed beyond feeling and into hallucination.

But now I believed that they really did know, and they really did come.

Jack Mercier leaned against his desk, opened his drawer, and drew a black, leather-bound folder from within. He wrote for a few seconds, then tore the check from the folder.

"This is a check for ten thousand dollars, Mr. Parker. All I want you to do is talk to Curtis. If you think that there's nothing you can do for him, then the money is yours to keep and there'll be no hard feelings between us. If you do agree to look into this matter, we can negotiate further remuneration."

I shook my head. "Once again, it's not the money, Mr. Mercier -- " I began.

He raised a hand to stop me. "I know that. I didn't mean to offend you."

"No offense taken."

"I have friends in the police force, in Scarborough and Portland and farther afield. Those friends tell me that you are a very fine investigator, with very particular talents. I want you to utilize those talents to find out what really happened to Grace, for my sake and for that of Curtis."

I noticed that he had placed himself above Grace's father in his appeal and once again I was conscious of a disparity between what he was telling me and what he knew. I thought too of his wife's unveiled hostility, my sense that she had known exactly who I was and why I was in her house, and that she bitterly resented my presence there. Mercier proffered the check and in his eyes I saw something that I couldn't quite identify: grief maybe, or even guilt.

Copyright © 2001 by John Connolly

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
  • Book Jacket
    by Tom Jackson
    Growing up in Mumbai in the '70s, I still remember herbs kept fresh in small glasses of water, ...
  • Book Jacket: Mercury
    by Margot Livesey
    Margot Livesey explores the moneyed suburbs of Boston and creates a modern morality tale chronicling...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Les Parisiennes
    by Anne Sebba

    How the women of Paris lived, loved, and died under Nazi occupation.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Next
    by Stephanie Gangi

    Fast-paced, wickedly observant, and haunting in the best sense of the word.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    North of Crazy
    by Neltje

    The remarkable life of a woman who carves her own singular path.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.