The Whisperers

The WhisperersP E Me E O O P X E , E C O O E Ce O P P Pe E Po , P , Op , Xop P P O Po O Pe P E O P O Ep O O , Oe O Pe C , E O O O C P O C O O C O, Oe O O E C Pe C O O E E Ce O C C E E P P P O E O O O C C P O E E C P E Oc O E E P E O C O Po , O E C C Eo O E O O A E O O E, Po E C E O P P P , O O O P O E , P P E P E Ce C C O E , O O O O Ce C P X O O, C E , Ec E O O E O Ep Can some authors be too big to fail Is John Connolly one of them I ve had my ups and down with the series to be sure, but I found that this book felt particularly disconnected, like Connolly was allowed to take everything he had written in his word processing application and turn it in, without thought to transitions, flow, plotting or narrative voice Am I being harsh Perhaps But that s the trouble with reading some really great books of which his prior book, The Lovers, was one and avoiding chaff Standards get raised My rating, therefore, reflects the book in context of both Connolly s writing and the series like the English teacher with almost impossible standards, I know he is capable of better Much better.A pity, really, because the characters in the book are primarily veterans, and it gives the reader a chance to peek at some of the issues that surround those that sign up to fight in the nation s ongoing wars Connolly clearly believes the issues are complicated, and I admire him for it If only he hadn t felt the need to info dump the obvious in the middle of the book, losing both plot flow and narrative sense Again, capable of much better There s some character viewpoint switching that almost facilitates the understanding of the issue, except it is too little, too late mild spoiler , usually switching as part of building some sort of tension or sympathy view spoiler right before the person begins to descend into a terrible situation hide spoiler In this 9th book in the Charlie Parker series, the private detective gets involved in an eerie case where evil spirits are inhabiting Middle Eastern antiquities The book can be read as a standalone Odd things are going on in Maine Several veterans of the Iraq war, including Damien Patchett, have recently committed suicide Damien s father, diner owner Bennett Patchett stricken by his son s death has other problems as well He s worried that his waitress is being abused by her boyfriend Joel Tobias, who happens to be Damien s former platoon mate So Bennett hires PI Charlie Parker to check out Tobias, hoping the investigation also casts light on his son s suicide.Parker s investigation of Tobias reveals that a cadre of Iraq war veterans are using a semi truck to smuggle things across the Maine border from Canada to the United States The reader though not Parker soon learns that the things are treasures looted from Baghdad s Museum of Antiquities Unfortunately for the looters the stolen riches are far from benign They harbor evil spirits whisperers that drive people who come in contact with them to suicide The smuggling operation catches the attention of Maine mobster Jimmy Jewel, who wants a piece of the action Others are also interested in the stolen goods including Mexican gangsters a curator of the Baghdad museum Herod an obsessed, cancer ridden man guided by an evil wraith called The Captain and The Collector a demon known to Charlie Parker The latter parties are particularly interested in a mysterious item called Pandora s Box which if opened could unleash chaos on the world.The stolen antiquities cause a spate of mayhem including torture and murder as the veterans try to profit from their loot while other parties try to wrest the goodies away from them There are also eerie occurences where spirits drive people crazy and make them do odd and deadly things Some of these supernatural scenes are amusing in a bizarre kind of way.Private detective Charlie Parker though a little fuzzy about exactly what s going on wants to stop the deaths of the veterans, save the waitress, and preserve the world Thus he enlists the help of his old friends, Angel and Louis, two tough birds who like nothing better than killing bad guys.I thought the story was interesting and shed some light on veterans suffering from PTSD and their need for government assistance The underlying theme of the story soldiers stealing treasures from war torn regions was also compelling though I don t know how realistic this is.some of those statues are pretty big.Overall, though, the the book was just okay for me Some parts of the story were overly detailed and very slow moving, and I wanted the action to move along faster Also, the mixed private detective supernatural phenomena genre isn t my favorite Still, there are a good variety of characters in the book some well rounded than others and the story held my attention.I would recommend the book to Charlie Parker fans and to fans of supernatural mysteries.You can follow my reviews at I Cannot Get Enough Of This Series Or Charlie Parker, or Angel, or Louis Even The Collector is starting to grow on me.Okay, now that I ve had my fangirl moment, here s the real review John Connolly or J Con as I like to refer to him is one of those guys who just can t write a bad book He has a way of weaving a story together flawlessy For example, in The Whisperers, there are a plethora of characters some secondary, some primary, some good, some bad, some in between, but all are drawn impeccably Each is interesting in their own right, each most definitely belonging to the storyworld No matter how many new characters he introduces, it never gets boring, and impressively, it never gets confusing The point of view narrative internal dialogue of Charlie Parker himself is always endearing and fascinating Wit abounds.When I hit 15% in The Whisperers, I could not stop reading You won t be able to either You get a good mystery regarding stolen artifacts from Iraq, a new baddie who is just awfully evil, a returning baddie who I m actually starting to like yikes , as well as fan favorites Angel and Louis The plot is solid, the ending has a nice twist and we get deeper into the supernatural aspect of the series.The story gets and gory and then the ending pretty much kicks ass I mean, it was awesome. Another excellent book in the Charlie Parker series which is such a great mixture of mystery, horror and the supernatural My only problem is that this is number nine in the series and I am rapidly catching up with the author who is preparing to publish number thirteen this year I am now trying to pace myself because I don t want to get to the end An excellent book in an even excellent series recommended to any one who enjoys Dean Koontz or Stephen King. Well ,nine books in and I m running out of superlatives for the Charlie Parker novels Suffice to say that The Whisperers was just as good as the others This really is a must read series. Starting my early re reading of some of the Charlie Parker novels in preparation for the new one later this year Went for a mid season ish start with The Whisperers I don t think I need to say a lot this time round apart from you either know this series and are already on board with it s particular levels of genius or you are not If not then Every Dead Thing is where to start Be ready though It s not like any other series out there and will slowly steal tiny portions of your soul Onto The Burning Soul it is then Almost gave this one 3 stars, which is the first time I ve even considered it for this series but just about made the 4 star cut Maybe I m holding Connolly s high standards against him He s manages to be as consistent as he is dark throughout this entire series Not the best in the series but still very good Maybe it was a little light on Angel and Louis always the best bits of the book for me However Connolly not quite at his best is still better than most. A few months ago, I heard that John answered all his messages on his official Facebook page So, I thought, Hey, I like Connolly a lot, perhaps I ll tell him that So I sent him a message expressing my appreciation for his work and his signature Charlie Parker character Much to my surprise, he actually did respond Dear Brandon,Thanks very much for the kind words Good for morale as I work toward the end of the draft of the next book, so much appreciated.All best wishes,JohnAwesome.Anyway, onto my review I m not going to sit here and tell you that I know a whole lot about the Iraq War Most of what s fed to me comes from either John Stewart, Saturday Night Live, or, most recently, the film, The Hurt Locker That isn t to say I m opposed to the war, I just don t have enough of an opinion either way.When I picked up John Connolly s newest Charlie Parker thriller, I was surprised that he wasn t dealing with pimps, religious oddities or child molestation This time, he was delving into the world of post traumatic stress felt by soldiers returning home from overseas Except, that it s not REALLY dealing with that Connolly always loves to mask his thrillers with a relatable issue only to delve into something supernatural That s not a spoiler folks, Connolly is now 10 books into the Charlie Parker universe and if you haven t picked up a hint of otherworldly forces intruding into Parker s life, then something is missing in your understanding of the series.Over the past 9 installments, Parker has amassed such a gallery of impressive adversaries Somehow, Connolly keeps coming up with enemies that outdo the last one In The Whisperers, we re introduced to Herod and his commander, The Captain Herod is driven by a promise of relief from the cancer that has stricken his body In obtaining that in which The Captain seeks, he will be given a much better existence on the other side So basically, nothing is going to stop this guy The Captain, described as evil incarnate is chilling Appearing in only the reflections brought about by mirrors, still water and windows, Connolly writes him in a way that can disturb the reader, even without supplying the character with any dialogue or substantial actions Just his described appearances are than enough.My only real beef with this novel is that the witty banter between Louis, Angel and Parker is stifled I m a massive fan of Parker s friends and am a little disappointed in the size of their roles in the two most recent installments Perhaps Connolly is planning a follow up to the mostly Louis and Angel standalone entry, The Reapers Who knows Either way, I could ve use a little humor and sarcasm injected.Overall, while it doesn t live up to the feelings I had after finishing both The White Road and The Reapers, it s still an excellent entry into the Parker series By the way, I m stealing a page from Stephen s review system and rating this 4.5 stars. Loved this one You want creepy with a dash of detective thrown in with weird and unusual villains multiple villains and yet a story which comes right out of the current era smuggling stolen antiquities from Iraq and with former military veterans who want to do right but some of em do wrong This is the book for you I loved every minute, every word, every page Connolly not only spins a deft and twisty turvy tale, but he s no fan of stereotypes The MC doesn t get the gorgeous woman the MC doesn t constantly fight with his superiors The MC often is confused and stays that way and the sidekicks who protect him aren t always there when needed like the cavalry rushing down the hill Scene after scene is fraught with suspense and the locations Old diners, creepy woods, fortresses which masquerade as warehouses, I love this stuff I eat it up with a huge soup spoon.Anyhow, Mr Charlie Parker gets involved with a smuggling ring after being asked to look into the suicide of an Iraqi war vet The plot is a tangle of everyone is after some special thing smuggled out of Iraq The everyone includes than one of Connolly s creepy villains who often pop up in his stories As for the writing, it sings, it just moves along It doesn t distract, but it s perfect I keep a notebook because occasionally Connolly throws in a word I don t know and I m what What did he just say I look it up I jot it down Anyhow, you should read this one in the dark with a single light over your shoulder Wind blowing, rain hitting the windows, makes it even better Seriously Five creepy stars. The Whisperers concentrates on a definitive plot as Charlie Parker s latest case sees him investigating an army veteran s suicide which in turn leads him onto a smuggling operation and the author delves deeply into post traumatic stress disorder and the effects of war on the soldiers.John Connolly demotes Charlie Parker s demons to the sidelines somewhat but what we do have is two characters that demand all the attention in the return of the killer known as the Collector and the deliberate finality of Herod, shadowed by an old demon called the Captain, Herod is an old man at the end of his life but he makes a stunning entrance with a simple ultimatum.The supernatural element comes in a stolen artifact, one when revealed attracts some highly dangerous people and Charlie has to work with and stop two people who definitely make the skin crawl.One of the standout moments early on is Charlie s reaction to his own torture, his humiliation when he wishes for his death, for it to end and he vows You should have killed me, you should have left me to drown in that water Because now I m going to come after you, and I m not going to do it alone The men I ll bring with me will be worth a dozen of you, military training or not Whatever you re doing, whatever operation you re running, I m going to tear it apart and leave you to die in the wreckage.For what you did to me, I m going to kill you all And the wrath of Charlie Parker is imminent.Another excellent addition to the Charlie Parker series and now just three to complete.Recommended.