The Dirty South

reviewed by Liz Barnsley


Another year and another breathtakingly brilliant novel from John Connolly in the Charlie Parker series, and once again the indomitable Mr Connolly takes it up a notch. Offering us an origins story of sorts (because all good superheroes have one) we go back in time to Charlie in the immediate aftermath of the loss of his family and to a small town where evil lurks.

All the trademark features of the novels are here, plus a highly compelling snapshot of Charlie before the ongoing drama ensued. It is darkly addictive, as ever beautifully written. And in the end, it stands as somewhat of a tribute to the characters and settings we have all grown to love.

Cameo appearances, a touch of Every Dead Thing foreshadowing, plus an intense and often disturbing storyline makes The Dirty South a must-read for fans. It also allows anyone access to Charlie Parker, right at the start of the mythology, just before destiny takes over. I loved it completely.

I’m often told, when I encourage readers to dive into this world, that they find it somewhat daunting. We are after all well into Charlie’s story and they are best read in order. However, The Dirty South spoils nothing so here is a unique opportunity to get a sense of it. I can almost guarantee readers will be in it for the duration if they do jump in.

There are not that many long running series that maintain integrity and passion for the storytelling the entire time. So far, John Connolly has never let us down. The use of language and the complexity of the tone are pitch perfectly done each and every time.

The bottom line: John Connolly is one of, if not the, best writer of this generation. Here is an author of huge quality, something often missing in today’s read the trends society. I highly recommend every single book. 

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