I had purchased this book mainly due to the reviews that I had been reading. (Note: I do not normally read murder/mystery genra...I tend to lean towards historical and occult fiction, yet as a book fanatic, I try not to limit myself ;)
"The Poet" is the first I have read by M. Connelly, and I have to say of all the books that I have read, this one scared the bejeasus out of me!! I proudly would have stated that I can't be frightened by a book, I had read it all, there wasn't a hack and slash or horror out there I would have been surprised by...until now.
The story is centered around a reporter, Jack McEnvoy. It begins with Jack's need to question the motives surrounding his brothers suicide. In a reporters need to uncover the 'reason' for things happening, Jack finds odd clues that soon lead him to understand that his brother, (a Denver Homicide Detective), was really murdered and his death can be linked with the deaths of other homicide detectives around the country. (It is never that simple in fiction though is it?:) In each death, the detective was working on a high profile case involving the murder of a person/child who was killed in horribly brutal and violent ways, each case lead the investigators to a brick wall. Soon Jack realizes that there may be TWO serial killers out there working together, how could one guy do all this? He scrambles on a journey to 'catch a killer..' and find the answers that have been unanswered surrounding his brother's death.
The story catches your interest, keeps it hanging and blows you from one theory to the next. Just when you think you know the answer to 'who done it', he blows your theory out of the water. His writing is such that you don't get the heads up of what is going on much before the lead character, Jack, does. I found the dialog a bit stilted at times, but overall the book read more like a movie playing out than it did an actual novel.
The reason I had to give 5 stars was the scare factor. Although most of what I tend to read would creep the jadded readers out, MC writes about a horror that could be lurking in your town, right now. Reality, and the perception of the deviant minds of our fellow human beings was portrayed so well, that I was afriad to read the next page, but couldn't force myself to stop. When Steven King prefaced in the intro about 'sleeping with the lights on', he wasn't blowing smoke!! This book creeps you out in a way that no witch, demon, or blood ceremony can!! It makes you think that the guy you ran into at the grocery store or your English Professor could be "him....like that..". It makes you want the ability to read your fellow human minds just to be sure there isn't some kind of disturbed mind lurking in there just waiting to get out to butcher and slaughter you!
Sure that sounds a bit fanciful and a dramatic raving of a book, but as I said, I don't read this genra often. I think I will now though. Nothing says 'I am a 34 yr. old sleeping with the lights on' like a novel about the scariest monster/demon of all....the human!!