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The Burning Soul: A Charlie Parker Mystery | [John Connolly]

The Burning Soul: A Charlie Parker Mystery

Randall Haight has a secret: He is a convicted murderer, a man with the blood of a young girl on his hands. He has built a new life for himself in the small Maine town of Pastor's Bay, but someone has discovered the truth about him. He is being tormented by anonymously sent reminders of his crime. He wants private detective Charlie Parker to make them go away.
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Publisher's Summary

What's the worst thing you've ever done?

"There are some truths so terrible that they should not be spoken aloud, so appalling that even to acknowledge them is to risk sacrificing a crucial part of one's humanity, to exist in a colder, crueler world than before."

Randall Haight has a secret: He is a convicted murderer, a man with the blood of a young girl on his hands. He has built a new life for himself in the small Maine town of Pastor's Bay, but someone has discovered the truth about him. He is being tormented by anonymously sent reminders of his crime. He wants private detective Charlie Parker to make them go away.

But another girl has gone missing, this time from Pastor's Bay itself, and her family has its own secrets to protect. Now, in a town built on blood and shadowed by old ghosts, Parker must unravel a twisted history of violence and deceit involving the police and the FBI, a doomed mobster and his enemies, and Randall Haight himself.

Because Randall is telling lies.

More mayhem? Listen to another Charlie Parker mystery.

©2011 John Connelly (P)2011 Simon & Schuster

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (70 )
5 star
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4.2 (61 )
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4.0 (58 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Marian Washington, DC, United States 12-23-11
    Marian Washington, DC, United States 12-23-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    7
    7
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    0
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great plot, Narration not so great"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would not change a thing about this book. It was pretty awesome. I won't be a spoiler but I could not have guessed the ending. There are lots of storylines to follow and Mr. Connolly does a masterful job of keeping us engaged and made each storyline easy to follow.


    What did you like best about this story?

    As usual, Charlie Parker is just a great protagonist. The plot was awesome. The setting on the almost secluded island only added to the plot.


    What didn’t you like about George Guidall and Tony Ward ’s performance?

    I LOVE George Guidall as a narrator. I think his narration has a wry quality to it that I absolutely adore. I search for books he has narrated and on the strength of his narration alone, I may choose to listen to a book, I would not have considered before. I listened to Neil Gaiman's American Gods because George Guidall was the narrator. Okay, so Tony Ward's performance was a bit strange. It was as though he had something in his mouth like a piece of candy the entire time he was reading his parts. I like books with different narrators. It add a freshness to the material. My ears perk up when I hear a different voice. I did read another review that hinted at the low quality of Tony Ward's performance but I disregarded it, thinking that it was subjective (especially since the reviewer did not like George Guidall as a narrator); but really his review of Tony Ward's narration was spot on. Mr. Ward did sound slightly inebriated. I hope Mr. Ward's performance on this book is an anomaly, I would hate to avoid listening to books simply because he was the narrator.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Oh, you better believe it! Although, I have no idea which actor I would like to play Charlie Parker?


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MARYANN INVERNESS, FL, United States 01-09-12
    MARYANN INVERNESS, FL, United States 01-09-12 Member Since 2004

    Maryann

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    66
    4
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    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Why do they change readers?"
    Did George Guidall and Tony Ward do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    I love the Charlie Parker series and so looked forward to this newest book. Jay O. Sanders was perfect for the part of Charlie Parker. George Guidall is a great reader, but I was disappointed when he replaced Sanders. (You come to know a character, almost like an old friend. A new voice severs that relationship.) Tony Ward is a good reader, but so different from Sanders and Guidall. He sounds too young, naive, and optimistic. Charlie Parker calls for a reader that can project a hard boiled, burnt out character. The series is dark. Ward cannot produce that voice.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Morrisville, PA, United States 11-06-11
    Robert Morrisville, PA, United States 11-06-11 Member Since 2010

    I am an audiobook enthusiast who reviews audiobooks for his blog, The Guilded Earlobe. You can find me on Twitter @guildedearlobe talking about zombies, robots, monkeys and audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    81
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    55
    20
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    25
    7
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great Story, Uneven Narration"

    In the small town of Pastor’s Bay, a 14 year old girl has gone missing. Randall Haight, an unassuming local accountant, has a secret. A secret that may lead to him becoming not only a suspect, but a pariah in the small community. To make matters worst, someone knows Haight has a secret, and through a series of anonymous letters, may be willing to use that information to harm him. So, Haight’s lawyer brings in Private Investigator Charlie Parkers, to discover the identity of the would-be blackmailers. Thus begins another complex mystery, the kind that Connolly does so well. Connolly’s Charlie Parker series is a brilliant mix of modern detective tale with a simmering undercurrent of the supernatural. In The Burning Soul, Connolly again finds the right balance, allowing Parker to work the mystery in a straight manner, yet still feel the added levels that the case brings. I have always loved the balance Connolly brings. He never uses the supernatural elements as an easy out. Parker never solves his mysteries by tapping into the spirit world, but through his own bullheaded, straightforward detective work. The central mystery, the disappearance of 14 year old girl, brings with it a wild mix of local Police, FBI, mobsters and lowlifes, and Connolly deftly maneuvers the reader through the intricate plot full of twists, without ever leaving the readers behind. If I had any complaints about The Burning Soul it would be that the peripheral characters of the series, like Louis and Angel, and the Fulci brothers only have minor roles here. Yet, aside from that small complaint, Connolly latest Charlie Parker novel is a winner, with a solid contained plot that will please new readers, yet with enough nods to Parker’s past to keep fans of the series happy.

    The audio production was another story. The Burning Soul was read by two narrators, George Guidall who handles the third person POV’s and Tony Ward, who read Charlie Parker’s first person perspective. I found this handling of the story strange, but tolerable. I have never been a huge fan of George Guidall’s voice. I find it too old sounding and gruff, but he’s a professional and handles his material fine. He really doesn’t do much to bring the story to life, just reads it in a workman-like manner. Tony Ward’s reading was rough. There was just something off about it. It sort of reminded me of when the audio is just slightly off on a DVD, and it just feels wrong. Ward’s reading seemed to have strange slurred quality, as if you were talking to a person with a bit of a beer buzz. He rarely changed tones when reading dialogue, having Haight’s female attorney sound quite similar Charlie Parker himself. Despite the fact that the action takes place in New England, not a single authentic New England accent could be found in the production. If it wasn’t for the fact that Connolly’s story was so engaging and that I had to know the outcome of the mystery, I may have given up on this production based on the strange, uneven narration. Yet, Connolly’s story did suck me in, enough so that I was able to put my issues with the audio production aside and just enjoy the tale I was being told.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer JACKSONVILLE, FL USA 04-29-14
    Amazon Customer JACKSONVILLE, FL USA 04-29-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Charlie Parker is great...narrators not so"
    Would you listen to The Burning Soul again? Why?

    Possibly. I really enjoy the Charlie Parker series and have reread many of the books in the series. I am starting to build my Audible library with this series and have re-listened to one or two just because of time.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Charlie Parker is my favorite followed by Angel and Louis. I think they are great characters with great thoughts, exchanges and actions.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I was VERY hesitant about two narrators and subsequently it took awhile for me to be able to listen and tolerate the two. Eventually, I grew to understand the difference in the two narrators being who they were speaking for in the book. However, I did not hear a real difference with Louis or Angel.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When I realized who Randall Haight was.


    Any additional comments?

    I grew to tolerate the narrators; however, I am not sure I would listen to them again...unless for a book I HAD to listen to and they were my only choices.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gardener97 Atlanta 02-02-14
    gardener97 Atlanta 02-02-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
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    92
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    "Connolly - like King - always satisfies!"

    The Burning Soul is a Charlie Parker story about a child murder done years ago and a new child abduction done now. Connolly keeps a complex story running on level of suspense that is delightful - you cannot see what is going to be around the next twist. His style is rich. His support characters - Angel and Louis - also make an appearance here. Love those two!

    I have read all the Charlie Parker series and they are dark and terrifying, violent and insightful. Connelly is a writer for intelligent readers.

    I did not like having two readers - George Guidall and Tony Ward - at first but they fit right in and both are excellent readers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maryellen rehoboth, ma, United States 06-11-13
    Maryellen rehoboth, ma, United States 06-11-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "great narration adds to a wonderful plot!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Burning Soul the most enjoyable?

    The narration of the two men is just wonderful. I loved the quiet reading of one man played off of the course reading of the other man. The juxtaposition of the stories was terrific.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No I wanted it to last....


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Mount Dora, FL, United States 01-19-13
    Chris Mount Dora, FL, United States 01-19-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
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    33
    22
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    1
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    "Intriguing plot diminished by Tony Ward"
    Where does The Burning Soul rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    High up there in John Connolly releases.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Any character portrayed by Mr Guidall.


    What three words best describe George Guidall and Tony Ward ’s performance?

    George Guidall- pleases my ears. Tony Ward - character identification difficult.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Something evil this way comes.


    Any additional comments?

    Purchased this book expecting more George Guidall - hoping for less Tony Ward. Would have been a more enjoyable listening experience had that been the case. Good plot nevertheless.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie vancouver, WA, United States 10-14-12
    Jamie vancouver, WA, United States 10-14-12 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Book."
    What made the experience of listening to The Burning Soul the most enjoyable?

    The narators were very good at doing all the different voices.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Burning Soul?

    For me it was when Charlie thought about his own child being murdered, but still took the case on.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    It always has to be when Angel and Louie get involved, they just bring the book to life!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me do both. smile


    Any additional comments?

    I wish Audible would get this hole Charlie Parker series on here so the hole thing can be read..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joy SPRING, TX, United States 07-20-12
    Joy SPRING, TX, United States 07-20-12 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I gave up"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend the book since I've liked the other Charlie Parker books, but not the audio. I loved George Guidall's narration, but the Tony Ward parts were so unlistenable for me that I couldn't even finish it. I decided to just read it on Kindle.


    What didn’t you like about George Guidall and Tony Ward ’s performance?

    I always love George Guidall, have listened to several books he's done. Tony Ward, though...he seemed like he was just phoning it in--almost no affect, no real energy. I dreaded every time the narrator changed.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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