A ‘honeycomb world’: John Connolly’s Charlie Parker Series
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Cliff focuses on the way in which John Connolly’s novels featuring the detective Charlie Parker blur genre distinctions, interweaving supernatural themes with the structures of mystery fiction. Connolly has often referenced not only the Californian noir of Ross Macdonald, but also the British supernatural stories of M.R. James, an unusual fusion within the often formally conservative mystery genre. This play with conventions is unique in Irish mystery fiction, and is essential to the strengths of Connolly’s work. The Parker novels extend the boundaries of both Irish writing and detective novels, developing the series’ central image of a ‘honeycomb world’, which embodies both empathy and a broader moral landscape.