Book: The White Road

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The White Road: A Novel

Author: John Connolly
Publisher: Atria

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.


John Connolly’s harrowing Charlie Parker adventures continue in The White Road, a bleak modern gothic tale detailing the tortured detective’s metaphorical journey into the unthought of depths of the underworld as he follows a trail of horrors in America’s deep South. Doggedly loyal to old friends and stubbornly supportive of lost causes, Parker encounters his own ghosts in a place where atmosphere alone would murder hope. The chilling preacher Faulkner is again a dark presence in the background while Parker’s friends, Angel and Louis, damaged and deadly, follow their own avenging trail. There can be no greater compliment to Connolly’s powers of description than to say that no US writer could improve on the Irish journalist’s masterly summoning of the roots of American regional evil and sense of place. Superb storytelling that binds diverse and hypnotic strands of plot with Biblical overtones and fury. The villains are larger than life and diabolically unforgettable: from the strange and menacing Mr Kittim to deformed killer Cyrus Nairn, both of whom lead Parker down one shadowy road after another. Compelling adventures from start to finish, if the very stuff of waking nightmares. The dark side has never proven so damn seductive. —Maxim Jakubowski

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