Every Dead Thing by John Connolly

‘Every Dead Thing’ is John Connolly’s debut novel and the first in his Charlie Parker series.

Detective Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker is an alcoholic and starting to have difficulties in his relationship with his wife. One evening while Charlie is out drinking, his wife and young daughter are brutally murdered. Charlie’s alibi holds but he is still forced to quite the police force. He gives up drinking and makes it his goal to find the man who murdered his family.

As a private investigator, Charlie takes on a number of other jobs. He is asked to find a missing woman who’s sister was murdered as a child. Believing that her going missing may be connected with her childhood, he goes to her home town to investigate… and finds much more than he expected, putting an end to more than 30 years of brutality and murder.

Eventually clues about his murdered family lead him to New Orleans where a woman has had visions of a serial killer, known as the travelling man, who has murdered a young woman in the same manner as Charlie’s wife and child.

While in Louisiana, Charlie gets involved, along with his friends Angel (a burglar) and Louis (a hitman), in a feud between two rival gangs.

Now having visions himself, Charlie continues to track the travelling man.


This was an excellent book with three excellent plots, but I felt it was just a bit too much and I would have been happy to see a bit less in the book. John Connolly managed to hold this complex book together brilliantly.

The characters were also excellent. I enjoyed Charlie, Angel and Louis, as well as many of the other characters.

The book contained some very graphic and very scary violence. Some of the scenes in the book were very dark.

This was a great start to a series that is still being added to. I’m looking forward to reading the next instalment – ‘Dark Hollow’.


Book Published 1999


See a full list of books by John Connolly

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Filed under Book Reviews, Connolly, John, Crime, Detective, Series Fiction, Thriller

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