The first Michael Connelly book I read was the Black Echo, starring Harry Bosch. My husband moved swiftly on to Black Ice, Concrete Blonde and beyond, but I stalled on book one—not that I didn’t enjoy it; it just felt too long and hard to follow as I read between tasks during the day. Blood Work was good, but I still wasn’t hooked. But now The Poet has won. I shall be raiding my husband’s bookshelves for months to come, catching up on all I’ve missed.
The fact that Stephen King wrote the introduction probably put me in the right mood. But Connelly’s writing had me hooked right from the start. That first sentence is certainly a killer. And the voice it creates continues to speak, constantly in character, genuine, likeable, mistaken and foolish, or strong and powerful.
The story alternates between first person narrative (from journalist Jack McEvoy) and third person. And it works! I think it might be the first book I’ve read where the point of view switch really does add to the story. I never felt like the author was hiding things, even though he had to know what’s going on. I never felt like I was being misled, even though what I thought I knew turned out to be wrong. I never felt cheated.
The reporter chases his story and investigates his brother’s death, steering a path between pleasing his editor and being fair to the people he knows and loves. Meanwhile a killer steers his own path, living in shadows and seeking the limelight of fame. But is the press the right tool to shine on him?
I loved the mixed motives, tangled emotions, and honest commentary in this book. I came to care for the characters and found myself still seeking answers every time I put down the page. By the end, shocked and startled by those final revelations, I find I’m eager for more. So where’s that list of which book comes where, and what should I read next.
Yes, dear husband, I’m finally hooked on Michael Connelly.