Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Are you enjoying your green beer and corned beef and cabbage? Or maybe a Guinness and Irish stew? Hope you remembered your green. 

I thought that since today is an Irish holiday, that I should showcase an Irish author. Seeing as how I've owned quite a few of this man's books (thanks to bookseller hoarding) and yet only just began his series, I though it was time to post something about John Connolly

Connolly, as many of you already know, is the author of the ever so popular (amongst mystery and thriller fans) Charlie "Bird" Parker series, which is set not in Ireland, but in the U.S. 

In the first of the series, Every Dead Thing, Charlie has been out of commission for a while thanks to the murder of his wife and daughter. At the time, he was a police officer with a heavy drinking problem. Now, he's retired and working the private sector. In the first half of the book, Parker has been hired to track down a missing woman. He traces her to a small town in Virginia where she grew up. It just so happens, that when the woman was much younger, her own sister was abducted and killed, along with several other children. Parker's nosing about in the long ago crime has riled up quite a few townsfolk who would like nothing more than for him to leave, by force if necessary. Parker solves his case and returns to NYC where he is contacted by someone claiming to be behind the murder of his family. This leads Parker to New Orleans where, with the help of an odd pairing of pals, he attempts to finally track down the man responsible for taking away everything he ever loved. 

Every Dead Thing reads, in some ways, like two novellas brought together to form the beginnings of a series. Not at all a bad thing, and definitely something that makes this book stand out. It's not many authors who start fresh with a new story in the middle of a book. Although, in many other ways, it's not at all a new story. Parker is plagued by the murder of his wife and daughter throughout the entire first half of the novel. Connolly's brutal tale is not for the faint-hearted; it's truly a shocking and suspenseful thriller. Every Dead Thing was a Shamus winner in 2000 for Best First PI Novel.

Connolly's series continues with The Killing Kind which is followed (in order) by:
White Road
Black Angel
The Unquiet
The Lovers (due out in June)

Connolly has also written two stand-alones, Bad Men and The Book of Lost Things, a fairy tale that any adult will enjoy, as well as a collection of short stories entitled Nocturnes

Other Irish authors you might be interested in are:
  • Declan Hughes - author of the Irish suspense series featuring Ed Loy (Wrong Kind of Blood, The Color of Blood, and The Dying Breed (aka The Price of Blood, U.S.)
  • Tana French - Edgar winner in the Best First Novel category for In the Woods, which is followed by The Likeness
  • Ken Bruen - author of the dark Irish-noir Jack Taylor series
  • John Boyne - author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and historical mysteries Crippen, Next of Kin, and Mutiny: A Novel of the Bounty (aka The King's Shilling UK)
There are a ton of others, too many to list, but I suggest you treat yourself to an Irish coffee (if it's cold enough) and settle in with one of these authors today in celebration! 


Cheryl said...

Happy St. Paddy's Day. I have no read Mr. Connelly but I have read Tana French

Vickie said...

I have both Ken Bruen and Declan Hughes on Mt Git'r'Read. I have read Bruen in the past, but not Hughes yet.
Good post!