Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Whisperers, by John Connolly

The Whisperers
John Connolly
Atria, 2010
416 pages

“‘Oh, little one,’ he whispered, as he gently stroked her cheek, the first time he had touched her in fifteen years. ‘What have they done to you? What have they done to us all?’ ”

The border region between Maine and Canada becomes a dark and dangerous place in John Connolly’s latest thriller featuring private detective Charlie Parker – The Whisperers. But there seems to be more at work among the cool forests than just treacherous former solders as voices of a paranormal nature are said to be directing things. While this adds additional tension to the story, The Whisperers is first and foremost a detective novel. Charlie Parker has become a well-worn detective by the time of this ninth installment in the series. Even so, the book reads well as a stand-alone work, with only minor references to the previous stories. Connolly never lets the tension slack from the first paragraph to the last sentence. His writing wastes no momentum with clean imagery and engaging characters throughout. The entire story feels very realistic as the allegiances of the characters are never completely clear, leading to one dramatic scene after another as the story builds to its startling climax.

Some readers of detective novels might balk at the idea of the paranormal in the story. However, Connolly does a wonderful job of ensuring reasonable doubt from beginning to end. The characters are the drivers of the action and there is plenty of it. The dialogue is crisp and authentic and many of the characters are as genuinely interesting as the protagonist – at least until they meet an untimely end. There is no letup in the story and I cruised though it from start to finish. In the end, I wanted even more. I finished the book and began looking to find copies of the first eight books in the series –a fitting compliment for any work.

Read more of my reviews here.

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