Title: The Lovers
Author: John Connolly
Review: How can you tell a great writer? When he can basically present in book eight of a series 400 plus pages of back story and keep it thrilling.
The top advice given to writers is start with the action; avoid the exposition like the kiss of death. But yet Connolly manages to prove there is always an exception to every rule. His private detective Charlie Parker has always been an interesting character with a much storied past, but there are even parts of if it he was unsure of. With that premise the author threshes out the character of Parker more fully than ever before and we the audience gets to experience it with him. He didn’t even need to resort to using his best supporting characters Louis and Angel except in minor roles.
In all the Charlie Parker books there is a hint of the supernatural, a whisper of something more is going on than just bad luck. Forces that he doesn’t quite understand, and maybe not even fully believe in are at work behind the scenes of his life. With the Lovers we delve into the origin story of these rumors and confirm that there is more to him than what appears. While brilliantly not revealing his whole hand, Connolly manages to whet the appetite of his fans, to leave them begging for more.
When reading these books I am left with the desire to know more about these ancient people and their stories. Who were the Sumerians? What are the lost angels? He tells just enough to start the fire of the reader’s curiosity, all while interlacing it around a solid mystery and a flawed but likable lead character. And what first drew me to Connolly is the skill and time he spends even on the most minor of characters, each one seemingly possessing a personality and story worthy of several books of their own.
Read The Lovers if you want a master class of how to do exposition correctly, and read John Connolly if you want to understand character development. He is one of the best pure writers in the mystery genre today.
Publisher: Published June 2nd 2009 by Atria (first published June 1st 2009)
Quick Review: 5 stars out of 5-
Why I Read It: Sent by the publisher for review/catching up on John Connelly’s backlist.
Synopsis: Charlie Parker is a lost soul. Deprived of his private investigator's license and under scrutiny by the police, Parker takes a job in a Portland bar. But he uses his enforced retirement to begin a different kind of investigation: an examination of his own past and an inquiry into the death of his father, who took his own life after apparently shooting dead two unarmed teenagers. It's a search that will eventually lead Parker to question all that he believed about his beloved parents, and about himself.
But there are other forces at work: a troubled young woman who is running from an unseen threat, one that has already taken the life of her boyfriend; and a journalist-turned-writer named Mickey Wallace, who is conducting an investigation of his own. And haunting the shadows, as they have done throughout Parker's life, are two figures: a man and a woman who seem driven to bring an end to Charlie Parker's existence.
Haunting, lyrical, and impossible to put down, "The Lovers" is John Connolly at his best.
Compact Disk Includes a Bonus MP3 CD of John Connolly's "Every Dead Thing"
Author Biography: John Connolly was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1968 and has, at various points in his life, worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a dogsbody at Harrods department store in London. He studied English in Trinity College, Dublin and journalism at Dublin City University, subsequently spending five years working as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper, to which he continues to contribute.
He is based in Dublin but divides his time between his native city and the United States.