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Saturday, 4 May 2013

Review: THE WHITE ROAD

The White Road by John Connolly
Read by Paul Birchard
Book 4 of Charlie Parker series
Genre: paranormal crime fiction
Format: paperback & audiobook

About The White Road:
John Connolly thrilled readers with his bestselling novels, Every Dead Thing, Dark Hollow, and The Killing Kind. Now he delivers spellbinding suspense as Charlie Parker races to unravel a brutal crime committed in the Deep South.

After years of suffering unfathomable pain and guilt over the murders of his wife and daughter, private detective Charlie Parker has finally found some measure of peace. As he and his lover, Rachel, are awaiting the birth of their first child and settling into an old farmhouse in rural Maine, Parker has found the kind of solace often lost to those who have been touched by true evil.

But darkness soon descends when Parker gets a call from Elliot Norton, an old friend from his days as a detective with the NYPD. Now practicing law in Charleston, South Carolina, Elliot is defending a young black man accused of raping and killing his white girlfriend, the daughter of a powerful Southern millionaire. Reluctantly, Parker agrees to help Elliot and by doing so ventures into a living nightmare, a bloody dreamscape haunted by the specter of a hooded woman and a black car waiting for a passenger who never arrives. Beginning as an investigation into a young woman's death, it is a fast-moving descent into an abyss where forces conspire to destroy all that Parker holds dear.

Hailed as a "master storyteller" (The London Express) by critics stateside and abroad, Connolly has once again delivered a riveting and suspenseful story that draws readers toward the horrifying crossroads of the past and present, of the living and the dead. "We are trapped not only by our own history but by the histories of all those with whom we choose to share our lives," he writes. As chillingly as it is beautifully rendered, The White Road is sure to tread a frightening path for even the most world-weary crime fiction fan.
Source: Info in the About The White Road was taken from GoodReads at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/175244.The_White_Road on 07/10/2012.

Review:
This book reminded me why crime fiction is not my genre... It is too dark for one. It expresses the dark side of human nature. The very thing I do not like to know about. The kind which makes me think that somebody in my society might be or could be this sick. Or it might be or could be, that some section in society suffers like the victims did just because not everybody is equal or the same. I like the hero winning. Charlie Parker catching the bad guys and making the world one psychotic killer less. But I do not like the showcasing of the dark, ugly human side to create the situation so that Charlie Parker have a bad guy to catch and save the world. I want the fairytale without the ugliness. Probably one of the reasons why it took me so long to listen/read this book. I had to have breaks from the ugliness and dark and gory crime. Thus making this book feel a whole lot longer than the 12 hours that this book is suppose to be. However this is the book with the thickest plot yet throwing me surprise after surprise. Absolutely loved it!! But this is also the book in the series thus far with the least "laugh out loud" moments which I loved about these books so much! I missed the humour between the pages...

This is the first time I've listened to Paul Birchard and at first I was a bit apprehensive because I prefer listening to the same narrator reading all the books in the same series. And that I do not adjust favourably to a new narrator. However, Paul Birchard has more or less the same voice quality as the previous narrator, Jeff Harding, that I barely noticed the difference. Secondly, Paul Birchard is a real professional and his style is similar to Jeff Harding so the transition was actually quite smooth.

This being book 4 of the Charlie Parker saga, I can see a pattern emerging with this series. Although each book fits the main story arc of the series, every book has it's own story with a beginning, a middle and an end. Each subsequent book is a continuation of previous events. The White Road therefore is not meant to be read alone nor to be read first nor on it's own. The Charlie Parker series is meant to be read sequentially starting from book 1, Every Dead Thing.

One thing remains true, though, these books are addictive!
Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 4
Ending = 4.5
World building = 5
Cover art = 4
Pace = (11 hrs and 51 mins listening time)
Plot = 5
Narrator = 5

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries

4 comments:

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Yay for a good narrator.

I feel ya hon on crime novels. They get to me too. Creep me out.

Great review.

Blodeuedd said...

arghhh I hate my internet connection, I had something to say..over an hour ago

Cherry Mischievous said...

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com - Yeah, crime novel, that is why it is only a 4.5 and not a 5 even though it is really good.

Blodeuedd - I know the feeling!

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