The Narrows Hardcover – Large Print, May 3 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*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.
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Top Customer Reviews
Instead, we get the irrepressible Harry Bosch, hero of many of Connelly's books, paired with FBI agent Rachel Walling, who was a key player in THE POET. Connelly wisely uses the media again in that in this book they mention quite often the movie BLOOD WORK, which is based on Connelly's own novel, revolving around the heart-transplanted cop Terry McCabe. Buddy Longbridge's reference to Jeff Daniels' interpretation of his character is slyly brilliant. Which is a shame..Connelly is brilliant, and this book certainly entertains. I just wish I could understand why Connelly has let something so important be taken for granted without any supporting narrative evidence. Maybe we'll get it again? Anyway, definitely a must for fans, but if you're a new reader, you may be let down a little too.
Harry Bosch had worked homicide with LAPD for what seemed like a lifetime until he resigned after much frustration with police politics in City of Bones. Now, Harry is a private detective with a lot of time on his hands.
Harry's life has a new direction after learning at the end of Lost Light that he is the father of four-year-old Maddie by his ex-wife, Eleanor Wish. Eleanor enjoys earning a living as a high-stakes poker player in Las Vegas, and doesn't enjoy Harry's company all that much. Harry is trying to split his time between LA and Lost Wages, but is feeling drawn to the southwest more and more.
Harry stumbles into the serial murder investigation after looking into the suspicious death of an ex-partner whose heart medicine was tampered with. Naturally, the FBI wants him out of their hair . . . but Harry is always at least one step ahead of them. With a clever killer tweaking their curiosity, can Harry hope to survive between the twin anvils of a deadly murderer and the heavy-handed bureaucracy?
Because of the serial killing aspect, the book has a pace and beat that aren't always present in the Harry Bosch novels. This story built up nicely into an exciting ending that made this book qualify more as a thriller than as a detective story.
I haven't read The Poet, and I followed this story just fine. I have no idea how you will feel about this book if you did or didn't like The Poet.
Conelly's switch from first to third person throughout the book was a little distracting at first, but once I got used to it, I grew to like the style. Bosch seems like an old friend, and Connelly manages to keep the character interesting and fresh. Loved the connection Bosch has to his small daughter and the feelings he expresses about her.
Another great book by Connelly.
But his wife calls Harry when she discovers that powdered shark cartilage was substituted for Terry's essential heart medication. Terry had never stopped working murder cases and Harry, looking for his killer, soon homes in on one file in particular - six missing men - which has the hallmarks of a serial killing.
Meanwhile FBI agent Rachel Walling ("The Poet"), assigned to the boonies since the debacle of that serial killer case, gets a long-dreaded call. Robert Backus, the Poet killer and former FBI bigwig - he was her and Terry McCaleb's old mentor at the FBI - has resurfaced, in the form of a GPS unit sent to Rachel at her old office. Following the GPS coordinates, the FBI is turning up bodies in the desert.
Harry and the FBI collide when Harry, piecing together the clues in Terry's file, happens on the FBI's desert dig. Naturally the FBI has no intention of sharing, but Harry connects with Rachel, and warily, egos and agendas clashing, they pool resources. The action picks up as they track Backus to a desert brothel enclave, a grisly murder scene, and his next victim.
Harry's narration drives most of the story, but point of view shifts to Rachel and Backus, keeping us informed from all angles. Subplots include Harry's growing relationship with his 5-year-old daughter, a tentative romance with Rachel, and a possible return to the LAPD.
The investigation is smart and forensically intriguing, and the characters are prickly and complex, while Backus is truly scary, in an underplayed fashion. Connelly, a master, remains at the top of his game.
Most recent customer reviews
Well written. Great character development and interesting story plot. Michael Connelly is one of my favorite writers.Published 5 months 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 11 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 19 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 20 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
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