April 5

A Time of Torment – John Connolly – The Travelling Man and beyond…Creating the Villains.

A Time of TormentThis is Day three of a week-long celebration of the world of Charlie Parker which has been brought to us by John Connolly. On 7th April 2016 the 14th Charlie Parker novel will be published by Hodder: A Time of Torment.

Readers are invited to take a journey with Liz of Liz Loves Books. On Monday Liz featured the Mythology of Charlie Parker.

Yesterday Christine of Northern Crime found Liz considering the Anti Heroes (Louis and Angel).

Today I am delighted to share the third leg of the journey as Liz discusses The Travelling Man and beyond…

Creating the Villains

The Charlie Parker series has one particularly strong hook to it – the villains. The villains are incredibly well drawn, scary as all hell every single time with the occasional tendency to make you love them.

Going all the way back to the start you had The Travelling Man. A killer beyond imagination (except obviously that of the author I am not sure I would like to spend TOO much time inside his head) he took from Charlie that which made him who he was – his family – and turned him into what he would become. He still echoes through the narrative today, a known yet unknowable quantity that haunts the narrative occasionally, a glance back into a darkness that only grew darker over time.

The Black AngelYou would not think that there could be worse waiting round the corner but each new novel brings new challenges to bear – and for the reader new nightmares to experience. The Killing Kind brought us Mr Pud and his spiders – whenever I reread this novel my skin does literally crawl, a true and real reason why these stories are so incredibly brilliant – you cannot help but be held in every horrific moment. When it comes to the crime element a good bad guy is everything – the well here is deep and you are forever looking into the abyss.

Black Angel which brought a beautiful historical flavour and finally threw us off a cliffs edge when it came to the mythology, also brought Brightman, an extreme yet highly intriguing figure and yes again scary as all hell! This novel had the added advantage of solidifying the relationship between Louis, Angel and Charlie – this was a very personal journey for all three of them and the villainous content for it had to be bang on and boy it absolutely was.

I cannot mention all, there are layers upon layers, the main villain of every piece inevitably draws other evil towards him (or her) and whilst I want to give a flavour to give all away would be unthinkable. But there is one more I simply must pay homage to – that would be The Collector.John Connolly B&W (new)

The Collector is absolutely my favourite character outside of our main core group – for reasons that may not make sense to anyone but me, he has a place in my heart, so many levels you cannot get an actual handle on him but there he is. The relationship that develops between him and Charlie is yin and yang, up and down – the power he yields within the narrative is atmospheric and fascinating. In the latest stories the upper hand held is changing – and to finish this off I’d like to say out of all the darkest, scariest and most fearful characters imaginable it is possible that in fact Charlie and his daughter will end up being the most terrifying of all.

We shall see. This series is unpredictable, it is enticing and will endure – where it is going I cannot say. All I can say is I’m in it to the bitter, beautiful end.


Article written by Liz of Liz Loves Books

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Posted April 5, 2016 by Gordon in category "Guests