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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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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 Narrows as an ex-FBI agent, Robert Backus (aka The Poet), tracks his ex-protégée, Rachel Walling, in a sequel to the non-Bosch book, The Poet.

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.

Very nice!
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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 Not the best Harry Bosch in my view. July 15 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good crime story and I like Bosch but I felt too much time on his family matters and ending sort of ridiculous. Who keeps a spare tire not bolted down especially in a Mercedes SUV and on top of jumper cables?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome June 3 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a Michael Connelly addict. I just stumbled upon this author by accident but from the first book I read I was hooked. The main character is just a stand up cop and he always gets his man or woman! :-)
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4.0 out of 5 stars my first Bosch book July 18 2004
By John-78
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. I wasn't aware this was the latest of a series, but that didn't bother me. Some of the plot development towards the end didn't garner four star ratings, but the writer is so good at what he does I could see myself re-reading this book in the future. I'd put this on the same level as James Patterson "1st To Die" Very Good!
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3.0 out of 5 stars I dunno....tries to cover a LOT of bases July 10 2004
1) Tries to group all past characters and plots from past novels but it seems more like a contrivance to poke fun at Hollywood.
2) Author is usually terrific at making his books feel like they were conceived and written in one burst of energy, but this is more like a smorgasbord of ideas rather than a nice dinner.
3) Much of the book reads quickly.
4) Ending is exciting
5) Bosch does some decent detective work at the end...although it seems he's a little more lucky than he is smart.
6) FBI is still stereotyped as a bunch of media-hungry morons...if that's really true, it hasn't been presented with any originality.
7) I will still look forward to Connelly's next always.
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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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