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There's a gravitas to the mystery/thrillers of Michael Connelly, a bedrock commitment to the value of human life and the need for law enforcement pros to defend that value, that sets his work apart and above that of many of his contemporaries. That gravitas is in full force in Connelly's newest, and as nearly always in the work of this talented writer, it supports a dynamite plot, fully flowered characters and a meticulous attention to the details of investigative procedure.There are also some nifty hooks to this new Connelly: it features his most popular series character, retired L.A. homicide cop Harry Bosch, but it's also a sequel to his first stand-alone, The Poet (1996), and is only his second novel (along with The Poet) to be written in both first and third person. The first-person sections are narrated by Bosch, who agrees as a favor to the widow to investigate the death of Bosch's erstwhile colleague and friend Terry McCaleb (of Blood Work and A Darkness More Than Night). Bosch's digging brings him into contact with Rachel Walling, the FBI agent heroine of The Poet, and the third-person narrative concerns mostly her. Though generally presumed dead, the Poetthe serial killer who was a highly placed Fed and Walling's mentoris alive and killing anew, with, we soon learn, McCaleb among his victims and his sights now set on Walling. The story shuttles between Bosch's California and the Nevada desert, where the Poet has buried his victims to lure Walling. The suspense is steady throughout but, until a breathtaking climactic chase, arises more from Bosch and Walling's patient and inspired following of clues and dealing with bureaucratic obstacles than from slash-and-dash: an unusually intelligent approach to generating thrills. Connelly is a master and this novel is yet another of his masterpieces.
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*Starred Review* Too often when crime novelists bring together characters from different series or combine plot strands from earlier novels, the results seem awkward (like inviting two separate groups of friends to the same party). Not so with Connelly, whose latest Harry Bosch novel seamlessly intermingles material from the author's previous work. Readers of Connelly's The Poet (1996) have known that Bob Backus, former FBI profiler turned Poe-spouting serial killer, would be back eventually, and here he is, attempting to stage-manage a grand finale. Bosch, now a PI after retiring from the LAPD, becomes involved when the wife of FBI agent Terry McCaleb (Blood Work and A Darkness More Than Night) hires him to determine if her husband's death was suicide or murder. The trail leads quickly to Las Vegas and the resurfaced Backus, who is being tracked by his former FBI colleagues, including his onetime protege Rachel Walling (also from The Poet). Expertly juggling the narrative between Bosch's brooding, hard-boiled voice and a broader third-person perspective that takes in the points of view of Walling and the Poet, Connelly builds tension exponentially through superb use of dramatic irony. A stunning finale in the Narrows--the cement-lined Los Angeles River, which transforms itself during a storm from a harmless puddle into a rampaging death trap--works on multiple levels, satisfying both plot-hungry suspense addicts and character-driven Bosch devotees, who will stick with their hero--he of the "seen-it-all-twice eyes"--on his journey into the metaphorical narrows, where evil "would grab at me like an animal and take me down into the black water." This is Connelly at the top of his game. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Well written. Great character development and interesting story plot. Michael Connelly is one of my favorite writers.Published 4 days ago by O Smarmy 1
the book ordered 26 dec 2014. order no.D01-9057883-9231241. the book cover is on kindle but no insert. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Robert Guilbault
Good crime story and I like Bosch but I felt too much time on his family matters and ending sort of ridiculous. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Hyperion
I am a Michael Connelly addict. I just stumbled upon this author by accident but from the first book I read I was hooked. Read morePublished 15 months ago by B Mason
When I ordered it I didn't realize iit was that far back in the series so quite a bit of it was "old Hat"Published on May 12 2013 by don riley
This was my first book by the author and for me it was a good read. I'd recommend this to anyone who likes good page-turning suspense. Read morePublished on July 17 2004 by John-78
1) Tries to group all past characters and plots from past novels but it seems more like a contrivance to poke fun at Hollywood. Read morePublished on July 10 2004 by clutchhitter