Thursday, April 10, 2014

book review: The Poet by Michael Connelly

The backstory: I've been racing through Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch novels and loving them. I decided to read all of his novels in the order in which they were published rather than just the Bosch novels. The Poet is the first non-Bosch mystery.

The basics: When Jack McEvoy, a Denver newspaper journalist, hears his twin brother, a police officer, committed suicide, he doesn't believe it and starts investigating his death as a possible murder.

My thoughts: The best stand-alone mysteries are the stories that couldn't be told the same way if the usual crime-solver caught the case, and The Poet is a stellar mystery. Admittedly, I'm a fan of journalist-fiction, and McEvoy is a smart, savvy journalist (and character) to root for. In many ways The Poet is the best of both worlds: solving mysteries inside and outside of law enforcement. McEvoy has access to some clues that may have been missed, while he also relies on law enforcement at other times. The result is a compelling, compulsively-readable mystery I'm still marveling about. Fans of Connelly will enjoy a few delightfully subtle Easter eggs that those who don't know Bosch wouldn't even notice.

The verdict: The Poet may be Michael Connelly's best mystery yet. This mystery is twisty even by his standards, and I hope McEvoy (and other characters from The Poet) pops up in another Connelly mystery down the road.

Rating: 5 out of 5
Length: 528 pages
Publication date: January 1996
Source: library

Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy The Poet from an independent bookstore, the Book Depository or Amazon (Kindle edition.)

Want more? Visit Michael Connelly's websitelike him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter.

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