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The Narrows [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Michael Connelly
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 3 2004 Harry Bosch
FBI agent Rachel Walling finally gets the call she's dreaded for years, the one that tells her the Poet has surfaced. She has never forgotten the serial killer who wove lines of poetry in his hideous crimes--and apparently he has not forgotten her.
Former LAPD detective Harry Bosch gets a call, too--from the widow of an old friend. Her husband's death seems natural, but his ties to the hunt for the Poet make Bosch dig deep. Arriving at a derelict spot in the California desert where the feds are unearthing bodies, Bosch joins forces with Rachel. Now the two are at odds with the FBI...and squarely in the path of the Poet, who will lead them on a wicked ride out of the heat, through the narrows of evil, and into a darkness all his own...

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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 Poet—the serial killer who was a highly placed Fed and Walling's mentor—is 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.

From Booklist

*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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Poet's Back March 20 2005
By Donette
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Robert Backus, former FBI agent turned serial killer who calls himself the Poet, is back, targeting FBI agent Rachel Walling. Harry Bosch gets into the action when he is asked to investigate the possible homicide of his friend, Terry McCaleb. Bosch begins going through McCaleb's files and finds information that leads him to the Poet. Together, Walling and Bosch join forces, against the FBI's wishes, and do their own investigating.
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.
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3.0 out of 5 stars GOOD BUT.... July 7 2004
Alright, THE NARROWS once again proves why Michael Connelly is so successful. With an eye for narrative flow (both in first and third person), and a deep understanding of his characters (not always likeable), he continues to mesmerize. But isn't anybody else out there bothered by this novel's biggest flaw: we STILL don't know why Robert Backus (aka THE POET) killed all those homicide detectives in the THE POET. And now he's back and killing again, but with no real reason for these murders either. There is a slight mention of Backus' stern father and apathetic mother, so we understand perhaps why he's a serial killer, but Connelly let me down by not explaining the why of his victims. Connelly also should have brought Jack McEvoy back, as he was the real hero in THE POET.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bosch, McCaleb and the Poet July 5 2004
As absorbing and satisfying as ever, Connelly's 10th Harry Bosch thriller finds the former LA homicide cop investigating the death of another Connelly series character, Terry McCaleb. Terry ("Blood Work"), a former FBI agent and heart-transplant patient, died of a heart attack while on his boat, an apparently natural death.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Harry's back. July 5 2004
Michael Connelly continues to amaze. The tenth book in the series that goes way back should not bowl you over as hard, maybe even more so, than the first. Yet "The Narrows" does just that.
Connelly tries other characters, he introduces different attitudes and issues, his characters don't always treat others well, but if I'm stuck in Newark Airport trying to get home . . .I'm heading to the 'C' section of fiction in the bookstore.
I'm not certain I like Harry. I mean, I like him, I just don't want him to be my next door neighbor. Too brooding. Too tough on himself and others. I have the feeling if I borrowed his lawnmower and didn't return it on the day I said I would, he'd mention it to my wife in an off handed way three years later.
I don't like the way he treats Buddy Lockridge for example. Buddy's an innocent scoundrel, true, but Harry uses him, abuses him and dumps him. And Rachel Walling, who might well be a female mirror image of Harry . . . he continually holds her to higher standards than he holds himself and blames her for doing things he himself does. But . . . .
But what an interesting character. Is there anyone like him in the genre today? Maybe Dave Robicheaux. Maybe early Spenser. Here Graciela, Terry McCaleb's widow, suspects Terry did not die of natural causes. Harry agrees to "look into it" but Connelly conveys a 'less than confident' Harry helping out the widow of a friend. Of course he's hooked like the Black Marlin Terry was trying to find on his last charter, trying to interpret the meaning of notes Terry wrote in the margin of a map, receipts on the floor of his jeep, puzzling over what certain photographs Terry kept on his computer meant.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Harry Bosch in my view.
Good crime story and I like Bosch but I felt too much time on his family matters and ending sort of ridiculous. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Hyperion
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
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 more
Published 3 months ago by Brenda Mason
3.0 out of 5 stars what is this?
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 16 months ago by don riley
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting Away with Murder . . . But Craving an Audience
I find mysteries about clever serial killers to be especially satisfying. The sub-genre often features a killer who is stalking the police, and that's exactly what happens in The... Read more
Published on June 30 2008 by Donald Mitchell
4.0 out of 5 stars my first Bosch book
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 more
Published on July 17 2004 by John-78
3.0 out of 5 stars I dunno....tries to cover a LOT of bases
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 more
Published on July 10 2004 by clutchhitter
5.0 out of 5 stars The Story Continues
Harry Bosch agrees to investigate the death of Terry McCaleb (Blood Work) for his widow, Graciela McCaleb. Read more
Published on July 3 2004 by N. Sausser
4.0 out of 5 stars Master storyteller
This is the tenth book in the Harry Bosch series, and in my opinion, the best. Connelly is probably one of my all-time favorite authors. Read more
Published on July 2 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced dramatic crime novel
After reading all of the Harry Bosch series, Michael Connelly still keeps me wanting more, enjoying every minute of his books. Read more
Published on July 1 2004 by Theresa W
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