Publication Date: October 2, 2006 | Series: Harry Bosch #10
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.
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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…
While in Kansas earlier this year, I mentioned to my sister-in-law that I had just finished reading The Poet and she said she had the follow-up book, The Narrows, and would I like to read it. Of course I said yes. And so I brought it home, read it and found that the author had neatly pulled together all the loose ends and ended the career of the serial killer, The Poet. The next time I visit my sister-in-law I will return her book because she keeps all her Michael Connelly books safely stored on her book shelf. She feels about Michael Connelly books the same way I feel about my Stephen King books. They are treasures.