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
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.
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.
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.
Oh, you better believe it! Although, I have no idea which actor I would like to play Charlie Parker?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not sure if I would or not. I'm a big John Connolly/Charlie Parker fan, but the two narrators dynamic for this book just didn't work. One was great, and the other quite bad. I can't understand why there were two narrators in the first place. I've listened to all the other Charlie Parker books and they did just fine with one narrator.
Am I imagining it, or is this the same as the question I just answered?
As usual, I loved the narration of George Guidall, but thought Tony Ward was horrible. Ward's narration was very flat, sounded very harsh and demonstrated very little emoting, a necessary quality for reading a book out loud. What was worse was that he was assigned the role of narrating for Charlie Parker. His voice and narration in no way fit the character, and at the same time his voice didn't change a whole lot from one character to the next. The man has much as yet to learn about narration. It was always startling and disappointing when the narration would suddenly shift from Guidall to Ward.
Yes. I will not purchase another book having Tony Ward as a narrator (unless I learn he has greatly improved), and I will be very careful about getting books with more than one narrator. I have to admit I've never been a fan of more than one narrator anyway.
I certainly hope that any future Charlie Parker books stick to Guidall, alone!
John Connolly is generally a good author. It troubles me to call it out, but Tony Ward's narration was very bad -- and I would avoid another of his narrations. His performance got a bit better as the story went on, but whoever produced this book and let that poor performance pass their review should know that they ruined a pretty good book.
George Guidall is OK, but there are many who would have been better than Mr. Ward. The voice, loudness, mis-pronounced words, emphasis in the wrong places, mouth noises, etc. were horrible. Again, I leave a lot of fault at the producer's feet too.
In general, this story felt a bit too much like someone trying to do a Dean Koontz novel. The attempt at a supernatural element, a bigger plot, etc. Unfortunately, they really didn't pull it off.
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.
Charlie Parker is my favorite followed by Angel and Louis. I think they are great characters with great thoughts, exchanges and actions.
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.
When I realized who Randall Haight was.
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.
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