John Connolly is the best-selling Irish author behind multiple gripping crime thrillers, including the critically acclaimed Charlie Parker detective series.
Before becoming a world-renowned novelist, Connolly worked as a freelance journalist for The Irish Times newspaper. But in 1999, he quit the profession to pursue his literary dreams and published his award-winning debut novel, Every Dead Thing.
Since then, he’s become one of the most recognized names in the crime thriller genre. Dubbed “a master of the macabre” by RT Book Reviews, he’s penned numerous gripping titles for adults and younger readers. He’s still releasing chart-topping novels to this day.
John Connolly Books
John Connolly has an extensive and varied bibliography, but with so many books to explore, knowing where to begin isn’t easy. So, below, I’ve listed every title the author has ever published, in both reading and publication order, so that you can decide where to begin your reading journey.
|Sr. No.||Title||Publication Date||Print Length||Publisher||Where to Buy|
|1||The Charlie Parker Books||May 11, 1999||400 pages||Simon & Schuster||Amazon|
|2||The Samuel Johnson vs. The Devil Books||October 6, 2009||304 pages||Atria Books||Amazon|
|3||The Chronicles of The Invaders Books||February 11, 2014||448 pages||Atria/Emily Bestler Books||Amazon|
|4||John Connolly’s Standalone Novels||March 23, 2004||400 pages||Atria||Amazon|
|5||The Nocturnes Short Story Collections||January 1, 2004||416 pages||Hodder & Stoughton||Amazon|
|6||John Connolly’s Non-Fiction Work||October 1, 2018||160 pages||PS Publishing||Amazon|
The Charlie Parker Books
John Connolly’s most famous series to date follows anti-hero Charlie “Bird” Parker, a former New York City cop turned private investigator.
When we first meet Charlie in book one, Every Dead Thing, he’s consumed by grief, guilt, and rage. Some months prior, his wife, Susan, and his daughter, Jennifer, were brutally murdered by a psychotic killer known as the Traveling Man. Now, he’s hell-bent on seeking revenge.
Hence, in the aftermath of the tragedy, Parker sunk into drunken despair as his whole life unraveled before him. But now, he’s finally ready to pick himself up and take action.
So, he quits his job at the NYPD, leaves the confines of New York City, and heads south searching for the Traveling Man. Parker will stop at nothing to track him down, and the rage inside him propels him to start over as a private investigator.
While relentlessly pursuing his target, he takes on another seemingly unrelated, missing person’s case. But soon, he realizes that the man responsible for the disappearance of the girl he’s looking for is the same man who violently took his wife and daughter from him. And suddenly, he’s one step closer to the vengeance he craves.
Every Dead Thing is John Connolly’s debut novel, which kicked off one of the most lauded thriller series of the twentieth century. The book received praise from readers and critics alike. And as the Charlie Parker series progressed, the glowing reviews continued, with The Independent calling it “the finest crime series currently in existence.”
The Charlie Parker Books in Reading and Publication Order
Every title in the Charlie Parker series can be read as a standalone. Still, the characters’ lives evolve and intertwine with each new book. So, to get the most out of the series, it’s best to read these novels in the order they were published, listed below.
- Every Dead Thing (1999)
- Dark Hollow (2000)
- The Killing Kind (2001)
- The White Road (2002)
- The Black Angel (2005)
- The Unquiet (2007)
- The Reapers (2008)
- The Lovers (2009)
- The Whisperers (2010)
- The Burning Soul (2011)
- The Wrath of Angels (2012)
- The Wolf in Winter (2014)
- A Song of Shadows (2015)
- A Time of Torment (2016)
- A Game of Ghosts (2017)
- The Woman in the Woods (2018)
- A Book of Bones (2019)
- The Dirty South (2020)
- The Nameless Ones (2021)
- The Furies (2022) (a compilation of two novellas)
The Charlie Parker Non-Fiction Book
Fans of the Charlie Parker series won’t want to miss this non-fiction companion book.
It includes exclusive introductions to each of the first fourteen novels in the series, providing a fascinating insight into the author’s imagination and writing process.
Plus, there are musical CDs accompanying six of the novels, which are presented alongside essays for each song.
The Samuel Johnson vs. The Devil Books
This thrilling three-part fantasy series is written with children in mind, but adults will enjoy these page-turning books just as much as younger readers.
The stories center around young Samuel Johnson and his loyal dachshund, Boswell. In book one, The Gates, Samuel and Boswell kick-start their Halloween early, exploring the neighborhood on a trick-or-treating adventure three days before the 31st.
But they’re not the only ones getting a head start on the spooky festivities. The Abernathy family at 666 Crowley Road have unwittingly summoned Satan himself from the underworld. And now, the gates of Hell have opened up, and a whole host of terrifying creatures are about to be unleashed on the human world.
So, it falls to Samuel and his dog to defeat the darkest forces of evil in the universe and save humanity from destruction.
The Samuel Johnson vs. The Devil Books in Reading And Publication Order
The three books in the Samuel Johnson vs. the Devil series can be read as standalone. Still, the characters’ lives evolve and intertwine with each new book. So, to get the most out of the series, it’s best to read these novels in the order they were published, listed below.
The Chronicles of The Invaders Books
In 2013, John Connolly teamed up with his partner, Jennifer Ridyard, to create this bestselling young adult science fiction trilogy.
In book one, Conquest, Earth has been invaded by a ruthless alien species known as the Illyri. Much of humanity has surrendered, but the young people of Earth have formed a powerful resistance, and they’re getting stronger by the day.
Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Syl Hellais, the daughter of the ruling alien leader, rescues a pair of Resistance fighters from certain death at the hands of the Illyri. And suddenly, she finds herself hunted by her kind.
The Chronicles of The Invaders Books in Reading And Publication Order
The three books in the Chronicles of the Invaders trilogy are interconnected. So, to get the most out of the series, it’s best to read these novels in the order they were published, listed below.
John Connolly’s Standalone Novels
Alongside the bestselling series listed above, John Connolly has also penned three thrilling standalone titles. Here they are in the order they were initially published.
John Connolly’s Short Stories And Novellas
John Connolly is best known for his fast-paced thrillers and young adult fantasy novels. But the author has also written multiple short stories and novellas, all of which feature the classic elements of mystery and suspense that Connolly is famous for.
Below, you’ll find a complete list of all these shorter reads in the order they were originally published.
- The Inkpot Monkey (2004) (featured in the anthology Like A Charm: A Novel In Voices)
- Mr. Gray’s Folly (2005) (featured in the anthology Dangerous Women)
- The Cycle (2005) (written under the pseudonym Laura Froom, featured in the anthology Moments: Short Stories by Irish Women Writers in Aid of the Victims of the Tsunami)
- A Haunting (2008) –(featured in the anthology Downturn Tales: Stay-Up-All-Night Stories from Your Favorite Bestselling Authors)
- Lazarus (2010) (featured in the anthology The New Dead)
- The Wanderer in Unknown Realms (2013) (novella)
The Nocturnes Short Story Collections
John Connolly has also published two short story collections showcasing some of his most beloved quick reads.
Book one, Nocturnes, is a compendium of supernatural-themed novellas and short stories, including ‘The Reflecting Eye,’ which features the author’s famous private detective, Charlie Parker.
In the follow-up collection, Night Music, the thrills and chills continue as Connolly offers the second volume of chilling tales of myths, demons, monsters, and hauntings. It includes the critically acclaimed novellas, The Caxton Private Lending Library & Book Depository, and The Fractured Atlas.
John Connolly’s Non-Fiction Work
In 2018, John Connolly penned this captivating non-fiction book celebrating his favorite horror movie, Horror Express.
He explains how this underrated and flawed movie shaped his love of the genre as a child and inspired him to become one of the most celebrated crime thriller authors of today.
John Connolly is one of today’s leading crime thriller writers, with a unique storytelling ability that sets him apart from the rest.
So, if you’re looking for a new series packed with macabre action, adventure, and a sprinkling of the supernatural, you won’t want to miss this acclaimed author’s work.
Are you already a fan of John Connolly’s books? If so, I’d love to hear your reviews and recommendations. Please drop me a comment in the box below!