Dark Hollow by John Connolly book review

Dark Hollowby John Connolly
Series:Charlie Parker #2
Published byPocket Books on September 1st, 2002
Pages: 528
Format: Paperback

Haunted by the murder of his wife and daughter, former New York police detective Charlie Parker retreats home to Scarborough, Maine, to rebuild his shattered life. But his return awakens old ghosts, drawing him into the manhunt for the killer of yet another mother and child. The obvious suspect is the young woman’s violent ex-husband. But there is another possibility — a mythical figure who lurks deep in the dark hollow of Parker’s own past, a figure that has haunted his family for generations: the monster known as Caleb Kyle….

Dark Hollow is the second book in the Charlie Parker series.

After reading the first book, Every Dead Thing, I was very interested in what would happen to Charlie, a.k.a. “Bird.”

This book picks up where the last book left off. Charlie is still working as a private investigator. This time, he gets involved in a case that starts out as something simple, but gets extremely complicated, first when his client and her daughter are murdered, second when he learns of his client’s ex-husband’s involvement with the mob, and third when he learns of his own connection to the actual killer. The stakes in Dark Hollow are very high for Charlie, especially after his friend’s daughter disappears.

I liked a lot about this book. I enjoyed the vivid setting descriptions and atmosphere. Connolly is gifted at describing even the most horrific scenes. I definitely got a creepy feeling from reading this.

I also love how much depth the characters have. Charlie is a tortured soul, but he is trying to start his life over. I connect with Charlie. He’s a character that actually shows growth, unlike the ones who brood and never change, as is the case in some books.

I also really like his friend Angel who provided some comedic relief. For example, I got a kick out of how Angel tried to talk Charlie into going on a dating website for women prisoners.

On the downside, the story was a little slow at the beginning. I didn’t feel like much was happening to Charlie until around chapter four. Also, I am not a big fan of how Connolly switches back and forth between first and third person, past and present tense.

Another complaint I have is how long it took before the paranormal element was brought into the story. Based on the previous book, I thought Charlie was gifted, and I expected that I would see more of that in this book. It came, but not as soon as I would have liked.

As a whole, I felt the book was unnecessarily long. I think it could have been shortened by cutting some of the irrelevant history of locations.

Despite my minor complaints, I enjoyed reading Dark Hollow. I plan on skipping forward in the series to book #12, The Wolf in Winter, which I have from Netgalley and haven’t gotten around to reviewing yet. Instead of trying to get to books 3-11 first, I’m just going to jump ahead. Later, I’ll come back and continue reading the books I missed.

I recommend Dark Hollow to readers who like complicated thrillers mixed with a touch of paranormal. If you have never read any of the Charlie Parker books, you should give them a try. I’m glad I did. I give Dark Hollow 4.5 stars.

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