The first Michael Connelly book I read was the Black Echo, starring Harry Bosch. My husband moved swiftly on to Black Ice, Concrete Blonde and beyond, but I stalled on book one--not that I didn't enjoy it; it just felt too long and hard to follow as I read between tasks during the day. Blood Work was good, but I still wasn't hooked. But now The Poet has won. I shall be raiding my husband's bookshelves for months to come, catching up on all I've missed.
The fact that Stephen King wrote the introduction probably put me in the right mood. But Connelly's writing had me hooked right from the start. That first sentence is certainly a killer. And the voice it creates continues to speak, constantly in character, genuine, likeable, mistaken and foolish, or strong and powerful.
The story alternates between first person narrative (from journalist Jack McEvoy) and third person. And it works! I think it might be the first book I've read where the point of view switch really does add to the story. I never felt like the author was hiding things, even though he had to know what's going on. I never felt like I was being misled, even though what I thought I knew turned out to be wrong. I never felt cheated.
The reporter chases his story and investigates his brother's death, steering a path between pleasing his editor and being fair to the people he knows and loves. Meanwhile a killer steers his own path, living in shadows and seeking the limelight of fame. But is the press the right tool to shine on him?
I loved the mixed motives, tangled emotions, and honest commentary in this book. I came to care for the characters and found myself still seeking answers every time I put down the page. By the end, shocked and startled by those final revelations, I find I'm eager for more. So where's that list of which book comes where, and what should I read next.
Yes, dear husband, I'm finally hooked on Michael Connelly.
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About the reviewer
Sheila Deeth (SheilaDeeth)
Sheila Deeth's first novel, Divide by Zero, has just been released in print and ebook formats. Find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, etc. Her spiritual speculative novellas can be found at … more
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Jack McEvoy is a Denver crime reporter with the stickiest assignment of his career. His twin brother, homicide detective Sean McEvoy, was found dead in his car from a self-inflicted bullet wound to the head--an Edgar Allen Poe quote smeared on the windshield. Jack is going to write the story. The problem is that Jack doesn't believe that his brother killed himself, and the more information he uncovers, the more it looks like Sean's death was the work of a serial killer. Jack's research turns up similar cases in cities across the country, and within days, he's sucked into an intense FBI investigation of an Internet pedophile who may also be a cop killer nicknamed the Poet. It's only a matter of time before the Poet kills again, and as Jack and the FBI team struggle to stay ahead of him, the killer moves in, dangerously close.
In a break from his Harry Bosch novels--including The Concrete Blonde and The Last Coyote--Edgar-winning novelist Michael Connelly creates a new hero who is a lot greener but no less believable. The Poet will keep readers holding their breath until the very end: the characters are multilayered, the plot compelling, and the denouement a true surprise. Connelly fans will not be disappointed. --Mara Friedman--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.