John Connolly (author)

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John Connolly
John Connolly at the 2011 Miami Book Fair International
John Connolly at the 2011 Miami Book Fair International
Born (1968-05-31) 31 May 1968 (age 53)
Dublin, Ireland
OccupationNovelist, short story writer
GenreCrime fiction, horror fiction, fantasy, science fiction, drama
Notable awards

John Connolly (born 31 May 1968) is an Irish writer who is best known for his series of novels starring private detective Charlie Parker.


Education and early career[edit]

Connolly was educated at Synge Street CBS[1] and graduated with a BA in English from Trinity College, Dublin,[2] and a Masters in journalism from Dublin City University.[3] Before becoming a full-time novelist, he worked as a journalist, a barman, a local government official, a waiter and a gofer at Harrods department store in London.[4]

Writing career[edit]

After five years as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper, he became frustrated with the profession, and began to write his first novel, Every Dead Thing, in his spare time (he continues to contribute articles to the paper, most frequently interviews with other established authors).[5]

Every Dead Thing introduced readers to the anti-hero Charlie Parker, a former police officer hunting the killer of his wife and daughter. It was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel and went on to win the 2000 Shamus Award for Best First Private Eye Novel, making Connolly the first author outside of the US to win.[6]

Connolly has since written further books in the Parker series, 19 as of 2019, and a non-Parker thriller, as well as venturing outside of the crime genre with the publication of first, an anthology of ghost stories and later, a novel about a young boy's coming-of-age journey through a fantasy realm during World War II England. Film and television adaptations of his works are currently in development; the earliest to appear to audiences was partially based on the short story "The New Daughter", and starred Kevin Costner and Ivana Baquero.

Connolly also tours to promote the launch of his books. In 2007, he made book store appearances in Ireland, United Kingdom, United States, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Taiwan to promote The Unquiet.

John Connolly signing a copy of The Black Angel, 2005

The seventh book in the Charlie Parker series, The Reapers, was published in 2008. It differs from the earlier books in that the story is told from the point of view of Parker's close friends and allies in combat, Louis and Angel. Louis and Angel are an unlikely couple whose quibbles and good humour are sometimes the source of comic relief. Louis is an enigmatic, large black man who was a hired killer but who now seems to be in semiretirement; Angel is a small part-Latino man and ex-burglar. They appear episodically throughout the Charlie Parker books as his only close friends, revealing themselves when Parker is in need of help and professional protection from his enemies.

The ninth Parker novel, titled The Whisperers, was published in 2010; the tenth, The Burning Soul, in 2011. The Wrath of Angels, the eleventh Charlie Parker novel, was published by Hodder & Stoughton in the UK in August 2012,[7] and was released by Atria/Emily Bestler Books in the US on 1 January 2013.[8] The Wolf in Winter, published in 2014, represented a shift from Charlie Parker's customary first-person narration to a third-person point of view,[9] a shift that continues in A Song of Shadows (2015)[10] and A Time of Torment (2016).[11] A Book of Bones (2019) marks the end of the sequence that began with the novella "The Fractured Atlas," included in Night Music: Nocturnes Vol. 2 (2015), and is a true sequel to The Woman in the Woods.[12]

2009 marked the publication of Connolly's first novel specifically for younger readers, The Gates.[13][14] A sequel was published in 2011 as Hell's Bells in the UK[15] and as The Infernals[16] in the US. The third book in the Samuel Johnson series, The Creeps, was published in 2013.[17] Connolly also collaborated with his partner, journalist Jennifer Ridyard, on The Chronicles of the Invaders, a fantasy trilogy for teen readers: Conquest (2013), Empire (2015), and Dominion (2016).[18]

Connolly collaborated with fellow Irish author Declan Burke to edit Books to Die For: The World's Greatest Mystery Writers on the World's Greatest Mystery Novels, a nonfiction anthology published in August 2012 by Hodder & Stoughton[19] and in October 2013 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books.[20] Books to Die For was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America,[21] won the Agatha Award for Best Non-fiction,[22] and won the Anthony Award for Best Critical Nonfiction Work.[23]

In 2017, Connolly turned a decades-long fascination with the comedian Stan Laurel[24] into the novel he, a fictional exploration of the comedian's last years.[25] Horror Express, a monograph based on the 1972 film,[26] was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction.[27]


Connolly was drawn to the tradition of American crime fiction, because it seemed the best medium through which he could explore the issues of compassion, morality, reparation and salvation. He credits veteran authors Ross Macdonald, James Lee Burke, and Ed McBain as influences, and is often praised for writing in a rich and introspective style of prose.[28]


Charlie Parker series[edit]

  1. Every Dead Thing (1999)
  2. Dark Hollow (2000)
  3. The Killing Kind (2001)
  4. The White Road (2002)
  5. The Reflecting Eye (2004) (novella contained within Nocturnes)
  6. The Black Angel (2005)
  7. The Unquiet (2007)
  8. The Reapers (2008)
  9. The Lovers (2009)
  10. The Whisperers (2010)
  11. The Burning Soul (2011)
  12. The Wrath of Angels (2012)
  13. The Wolf in Winter (2014)
  14. A Song of Shadows (2015)
  15. A Time of Torment (2016)[29]
  16. A Game of Ghosts (2017)
  17. The Woman in the Woods (2018)
  18. A Book of Bones (2019)
  19. The Dirty South (2020)[30]
  20. The Nameless Ones (2021)

Parker : A Miscellany (2016)[31]

Samuel Johnson series[edit]

  1. The Gates (2009)
  2. The Infernals (2011), published as Hell's Bells in the UK[32]
  3. The Creeps (2013)[17]

The Chronicles of the Invaders trilogy[edit]

  1. Conquest (2013)[33]
  2. Empire (2015)[34]
  3. Dominion (2016)[35][36]

Other novels[edit]

Short story collections[edit]

  • Nocturnes (2004) – a collection of supernatural tales book-ended by two novellas, 9 of which are transcripts of stories written for presentation on BBC Radio Four Five Ghost Stories By John Connolly: The Erlking, Mr Pettinger's Demon, Mr Gray's Folly, The Ritual of the Bones, Nocturne.[37]
  • Night Music: Nocturnes 2 (2015)

Short stories[edit]

  • "The Inkpot Monkey" (2004) – in Like A Charm: A Novel In Voices – an anthology of short stories from 15 mystery writers, (also featured in Nocturnes). Edited by Karin Slaughter.
  • "Mr. Gray's Folly" (2005) – in Dangerous Women – an anthology of short stories from 17 crime writers. Edited by Otto Penzler.
  • "The Cycle" (2005) – under the pseudonym Laura Froom (after the titular vampire in a story from Nocturnes) in Moments: Short Stories by Irish Women Writers in Aid of the Victims of the Tsunami. Edited by Ciara Considine.
  • "A Haunting" (2008) – in Downturn Tales: Stay-Up-All-Night Stories from Your Favorite Bestselling Authors.
  • "Lazarus" (2010) – in The New Dead – an anthology of zombie stories edited by Christopher Golden.[38]
  • "The Caxton Lending Library & Book Depository" (2013) – a Bibliomystery published as e-text, paperback and limited edition hardcover by The Mysterious Bookshop, New York[39]
  • "The Wanderer in Unknown Realms" (2013) – a novella published electronically by Hodder & Stoughton[40] and Atria/Emily Bestler Books[41] and in limited hardcover edition by the author.


  • Connolly, John (Editor) & Burke, Declan (Editor) (2012). Books to Die For. Hodder & Stoughton.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  • Connolly, John (2018). Horror Express. PS Publishing.

Film adaptations[edit]

  • The New Daughter (2009) – partially based on a short story of the same name from Nocturnes, starring Kevin Costner and Ivana Baquero, directed by Luiso Berdejo, with a screenplay by John Travis
  • (Prospective) The Gates, The Infernals, and The Creeps — acquired for development by DreamWorks Studios as a possible franchise, November 2015[42]



  1. ^ "Master of the grisly murder scene". The Irish Times. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  2. ^ "English Literature (JH) - Courses - Trinity College Dublin".
  3. ^ "John Connolly".
  4. ^ "John Connolly represented by Darley Anderson Literary Agency | Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film Agency, London, UK".
  5. ^ Bol, John. "Laurel wreath for a woman?". The Irish Times.
  6. ^ "The Shamus Awards: A Literary Award for Crime Fiction".
  7. ^ "Find your favourite Book, eBook or Audio from Hodder and Stoughton Publisher". Hodder & Stoughton. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  8. ^ Connolly, John (1 January 2013). The Wrath of Angels. ISBN 9781501122699 – via
  9. ^ "Staying a step ahead of the pack". Herald Scotland.
  10. ^ "Book Review: In 'Song of Shadows,' a recuperating Charlie Parker takes on a monster - The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram". The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram. 27 September 2015.
  11. ^ "John Connolly - A Time of Torment - Hodder & Stoughton". Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  12. ^ "A guide to John Connolly's Charlie Parker | Crime Fiction Lover". 9 April 2018.
  13. ^ Connolly, John (October 2009). John Connolly - The Gates - Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 9781848944831. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  14. ^ Connolly, John (30 August 2011). The Gates. ISBN 9781442429338 – via
  15. ^ Connolly, John (2011). John Connolly - Hell's Bells - Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 9781444724967. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  16. ^ Connolly, John (10 April 2012). The Infernals. ISBN 9781451643091 – via
  17. ^ a b Connolly, John (22 October 2013). The Creeps. ISBN 9781476757100 – via
  18. ^ "John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard - Empire - Headline Publishing Group". Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  19. ^ Connolly, John; Burke, Declan (25 April 2019). John Connolly and Declan Burke - Books to Die For - Hodder & Stoughton. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 9781444756517.
  20. ^ Connolly, John; Burke, Declan (2 October 2012). Books to Die For. ISBN 9781476710365 – via
  21. ^ a b "Edgar Award Winners and Nominees Database".
  22. ^ a b "Malice Domestic Convention - Bethesda, MD". Archived from the original on 21 January 2017.
  23. ^ a b "Bouchercon World Mystery Convention : Anthony Award Nominees and Winners". Archived from the original on 7 February 2012.
  24. ^ "The love affairs of Stan Laurel: "If I had to do it over again things would be different"". 18 August 2017.
  25. ^ Zinoman, Jason (1 June 2018). "Imagining the Unhappy Life of Stan Laurel". The New York Times.
  26. ^ reviews, Horror ExpressReview-Love Horror film; Says, News (11 February 2019). "100 Pages of Horror –Horror Express by John Connolly | Love Horror film reviews and news".
  27. ^ a b "The Bram Stoker Awards".
  28. ^ "Review: Thriller: The Wrath of Angels by John Connolly".
  29. ^
  30. ^ Hughes, Declan. "John Connolly: The Charlie Parker saga reaches a culmination". The Irish Times. Retrieved 22 April 2019.
  31. ^ [1]
  32. ^ "John Connelly: Bestselling Author". Author's Website. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  33. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 December 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  34. ^ "CI02: 2015: EMPIRE - THE COLLECTOR - a guide to the works of John Connolly".
  35. ^ "John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard - Dominion - Headline Publishing Group". Headline Publishing Group.
  36. ^ Connolly, John; Ridyard, Jennifer (3 January 2017). Dominion. ISBN 9781476757193 – via
  37. ^ "Five Ghost Stories By John Connolly". 10 January 2000. Retrieved 5 November 2021.
  38. ^ "Christopher Golden".
  39. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  40. ^ "ISBN Unavailable". Hodder & Stoughton.
  41. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 June 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  42. ^ Anita Busch (3 November 2015). "DreamWorks Studios Buys Trilogy Of Novels For Possible Franchise". Deadline.
  43. ^ Stoker Awards Archived 19 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  44. ^ a b c d "Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine- Barry Awards". Archived from the original on 23 April 2012.
  45. ^ "Sorry, pal…". The Thrilling Detective Web Site. 28 March 2021.
  46. ^ "Crime Writers' Association: Dagger Awards". Archived from the original on 31 August 2010.
  47. ^ "Hughes and Hughes Irish Novel of the Year 2007 Nominee". Archived from the original on 4 October 2011.
  48. ^ "CRIMEFEST - crime fiction convention in Bristol, UK".
  49. ^ "Winners and Nominees". Bouchercon. 10 August 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
  50. ^ "Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine- News".

External links[edit]