The Whisperers
Charlie Parker Series #9
John Connolly

Atria Books
July 20, 2010
Hardcover/409 pages
ISBN: 9781439165195
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". . . the “human” plotline is what truly makes this book outstanding."

John Connolly has forever reigned atop the world of bestselling “thriller” authors. His series of stand-alone novels and short stories that feature the character of Charlie Parker, private investigator, are among some of the best novels ever to grace library shelves. Now, with this new work of fiction that blends, effortlessly, a dramatic story of returning war veterans, with a mystery that includes supernatural elements that will blow readers away, he has once again outdone himself.

We begin in The Iraq Museum which has been blown to smithereens; looters have already come in and taken anything they could find, causing priceless antiquities to be scattered into unknown places. Dr. Al-Daini, the Deputy Curator of Roman Antiquities, has been let back in by the soldiers and is practically weeping as he stares down at a beloved sculpture of a female that he’d always felt was a true rose among the disgusting weeds of war. He practically runs down the basement steps searching for an item of high significance that he is hoping and praying will still be there. As the curator of un-cataloged items as well, Dr. Al-Daini always figured that hiding a relic of immense power among the useless garbage in the cellar would somehow keep it safe if anything like this event were to happen. Unfortunately, the metal box containing the “whispers” may also become one of the high costs of the horrific war.

Back in Maine, Damian Patchett has returned home from his service and can’t get the whispering voices out of his head. Neither can other servicemen who had been a part of a smuggling operation that went across the border of Maine to Canada. In fact, one by one, these soldiers are killing themselves because the whispering voices are telling them that’s exactly what they should do.

Charlie Parker becomes embroiled in this strange world, and begins to hunt a man by the name of Herod, who is completely wrapped up in a strange world of supernatural artifacts. Along with Herod comes a man that he refers to as Captain, who seems to be just as cool, calm, and creepy as Herod, himself. In order to solve this crime, stop the deaths, and defeat the strange, twisted pair of men, Charlie Parker has to make an alliance with a man by the name of The Collector, who is a true killer that Charlie needs to use in order to survive.

John Connelly has stated that he wrote this fantastic book because of the interest he had in the effects of war upon soldiers; the most striking fact being that suicide rates among these brave people had risen recently upon their coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan. The mystery is still as thrilling as all the spine-tingling novels he’s even written, but the “human” plotline is what truly makes this book outstanding.

Reviewer: Amy E. Lignor