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FBI agent Rachel Walling finally gets the call she's dreaded for years.The Poet has returned.Years earlier she worked on the famous case tracking the serial killer who wove lines of poetry into his hideous crimes. Rachel has never forgotten the Poet-and apparently he has not forgotten her. Former LAPD detective Harry Bosch gets a call, too, from an old friend whose husband recently died.The death appeared natural, but this man's ties to the hunt for the Poet make Harry dig deep.What he finds leads him into the most terrifying situation he has ever encountered. So begins the most deeply compelling, frightening, and masterful novel Michael Connelly has ever written, placing Harry Bosch squarely in the path of the most ruthless and ingenious murderer in Los Angeles's history.
- Connelly's Worst Book by Far
I'm a big time Michael Connelly fan and I've read all of his novels up to this one. Unfortunately, I found THE NARROWS to be a huge disappointment.
THE NARROWS contains little of the fine writing and rich characterization of Connelly's earlier work. Most of the characters in this book are bland and unlikable -- including Harry Bosch, who seems like a shadow of himself in this book. This is a very plot-driven book, but the plot isn't even remotely believable -- it's typical over-the-top "mad serial killer" stuff, very similar to what James Patterson does, but much more slower-paced and far less entertaining.
After reading this below-average effort, I'm really beginning to worry that Connelly has run out of good ideas for Bosch novels. I hate to say it, but perhaps he should start a new series with another character (maybe Mickey Haller from THE LINCOLN LAWYER).
In short, I would definitely not recommend making this your first Connelly novel. I would read definitely read THE POET first, since this book gives away the identity of the killer in that novel. It would also help to read LOST LIGHT and VOID MOON, since plot elements in those books are continued in this book....more info
- never mind
I am a big fan of M.Connelly but I was disappointed by this one to the extent that I did not finish it.
First, there are practically no investigative elements in this book. Second, the book consists mostly of an endless series of pissing matches between everybody involved. Third, most of the actions/decisions seem either unmotivated or way too dumb.
Never mind reading this one, it got its second star only because I had seen something worse....more info
- Just okay *spoilers*
2.5 stars. What is Connelly doing to Bosch? This story leaves a lot to be desired. Bosch is now dealing with the realities of being a father to a four-year old, however, the readers of this series are never told why Bosch's ex-wife hid a child from her then husband-but whatever. In this installment, Connelly decided to mesh Bosch with two other popular characters from independent books Agent Walling from the Poet and former FBI agent Terry McCaleb from Blood Work. A good idea-but Connelly doesn't quite pull it off. The profiling of the Poet continues to NOT make sense to this reader. And the surprise twist regarding McCaleb just left a bitter taste in my mouth. As for Agent Wallings, I seriously don't this lady should have a badge. Where Bosch's rogue behavior is at least explaned because he's a private detective-though he pretty much acted the same when had a badge, Wallings seems to let her emotions cloud her actions. One of Bosch's last lines about him not liking being lied to had me nearly doing a double take. This man rarely tells his friends, collegues, and partners everything his either thinking, suspecting or investigating during a case and yet he pulls this line? What about his ex-wife who lied for years--he's still trying to get with her. Did he tell Ed Thomas the truth? Walling threw a fit about her boss using her as bait and literally the next scene she using Thomas as bait. Whatever. I expected more--maybe next time....more info
- Connelly is a master of the genre!
The Narrows, by Michael Conolly, features Harry Bosch and FBI agent on the trail of Robert Baccus. Baccus was featured in The Poet, by Connelly. I didn't read The Poet, but enjoyed the sequel very much. You do not need to have read The Poet to be able to enjoy The Narrows. Connelly gives sufficient back story and information to allow the reader to be absorbed into the investigation of the latest murders by the Poet and how Bosch and Walling will catch him.
Walling has a history with Baccus, and was demoted to the remote FBI outpost in Minot, North (South) Dakota. Baccus send a GPS device to Walling via Quantico. The coordinates on the device give the location of a mass grave, full of bodies killed by the Poet. Bosch finds his own connection with the Poet when he begins investigating the apparent heart attack death of his friend Terry McCaleb. Bosch finds McCaleb had been constantly researching old cases, and come up with his own theories on the Poet.
That's it for plot synopsis. This is my third Connelly book and my favorite so far. These books are at times slow moving, with too many details and not enough action. But Connelly is such a good writer and the plot becomes intricate and deep at times without the reader even knowing. This novel comes from Bosch's point of view, Walling, and then Baccus, a method I hadn't seen in the other two Bosch novels I've read. This book contained a lot of Bosch's personal life, as he spent time visiting his daughter.
Connelly also refers to the movie "Bloodwork" regarding McCaleb, which is kind of humorous. Looking back, the novel's strength's are the strong characters and the passions that drive them.
I'll plan to read a lot more of Connelly. His books are easy to read, suspensful, and provide plenty of twists and turns.
- Middle of the Road.
This is the first Bosch novel I have read. I was looking for something in the private eye genre that had more of an edge to it then the Robert B. Parker Spencer novels. To a certain extent this book delivered. It was an intense story, although the characters were somewhat flat and predictable.
The basic premise of the book was good. A former cop looking into the death of his old partner at the request of his partner's wife.
My only complaint was that the book drags on longer then necessary. In an attempt to make the story more true to real life the author made parts of the investigation tedious. This book would have been better if he picked up the pace. 3 Stars....more info
- a serviceable thriller
The Narrows is a thriller that counts as part of the "Harry Bosch" detective series. Secondarily, it serves as the sequel to 1996's "The Poet" which found the detective after serial killer known by the books namesake. The book does not require having read the first installment, as I had not, although it likely would have helped.
I have read Harry Bosch novels before and as such am familiar with Michael Connelly. I also read a number of other mystery/thriller novels for which to compare my analysis of this book to. I found the Narrows to be a serviceable, if not predictable work. Connelly's writing style is very straightforward and the characters are not often developed beyond what is necessary to evoke some emotional response when the story calls for suspense. Therefore, I find it difficult to connect fully with the characters in this book, mainly Harry Bosch a (now retired) detective from the LA Homicide division) and Rachel Walling, an FBI agent who has heretofore found herself an outcast from the agency due to her actions from the last time she tangled with the Poet. Together, these two pursue the devious and intelligent serial killer who himself once was a profiler with the FBI.
Most of the story has the two detectives following the trail of potential clues left from the unearthed remains of 10 bodies in the desert. A mysterious link is established between the death of Terry McAleb, a friend of Harry Bosch's, and these bodies. Towards the end of the story, the suspense picks up and the storyline arc carries us toward the inevitable confrontation with the poet itself.
If you are a fan of Michael Connelly, or of the Harry Bosch series, you will most likely enjoy this book. You will also most likely enjoy it if you have read the first. I found this book very fast reading, due in equal parts to the pace of the story and the well spaced typewritten pages. Any fan of mystery thrillers will find this book satisfying although I wouldn't rate it among the best of the genre....more info
- Connelly and Harry Score Again
"The Narrows" is Michael Connelly's sequel to "The Poet" which left readers with a cliffhanger about the FBI agent, Backus, turned serial killer. When there is a severe rainfall in L.A., The Narrows is where the water overflow rushes down the channels out of the city.
As usual this Connelly book has very complex labyrinthine plotting by the author and a master criminal, but yet the novel has a straightforward, very compelling writing style. Connelly knows how to create suspense and keep his readers glued to the pages. He keeps you going, afraid to quit. Intensity builds, almost suffocatingly with an excruciatingly suspenseful tale.
In this one Harry Bosch is retired from the LAPD and is an unhappy private eye. The death of former FBI agent Terry McCaleb seems suspicious to his widow so she gets Harry to investigate. While he is investigating, a dual track story is developing with FBI agent Rachel Walling. The two plots merge, and the "fun" begins. He and Rachel join forces to catch The Poet.
Bosch is supposed to "stand down" to the FBI investigation, but because he's Harry Bosch, rebel and iconoclast par excellence, he never will. The FBI guys are, as usual, stereotypical bureaucratic obstructionist bad guys.
Harry as a homicide detective has a slogan, "Everybody counts or nobody counts." He has a mission in life. Without it, he would shrivel up and die. He has to find and destroy killers.
Did you ever notice that in a crime novel the detectives at crucial, life-threatening times, never call for back-up? What fun is it when you have an army facing the perp, when it is much more fun to watch one or two people facing the dangerous enemy? Isolate your detective protagonist and leave him to twist in the wind.
FBI case agents who have great empathy for the victims are called empaths. They are emotionally affected by the murders and carry the burden of the cases with them. Morphs are the unaffected agents. McCaleb was an empath as is Harry.
This is one of the more successful Connelly books with a great chase, great detection and an exciting, suspenseful ending.
- Kind of a stretch and not the best Harry Bosch
This installment of the Harry Bosch series is disappointing. Bosch and FBI agent Rachel Walling meet up to chase a serial killer - Walling's former boss who was head of the FBI division that profiles serial killers, and as such an expert in playing the head games associated with serial killers. Bosch is retired from the LAPD but investigating the suspicious death of a friend, a former FBI agent himself.
The Bosch series' realism works well for police procedurals, less so for the private-eye genre, contrived as it is. In reality private investigators go after cheating spouses or provide business-related security or espionage; only in novels do they solve murders. And the fictional necessities to make a novel out of the latter - the loneliness, the crossing of swords with just-don't-get-it police making it impossible to join forces or seek their help, the mano-a-mano with the bad guy, the following of lengthy trails of clues - are all too contrived to do justice to Bosch. Connelly has to stretch quite a bit to have Walling involved but on the outs with the main investigators, to have her and Bosch continually refuse help or seek backup. The bad guy is also a stretch, too perfect of a serial killing mastermind, and the FBI-agent-gone-bad part is just too much. Don't get me wrong, this book isn't bad, but it isn't as good as some of the others.
- Sadly, It's Not the Poet
I do not understand why this book has gotten so many five star reviews. I gave it two, and I think I was being a little generous.
The Narrows is a sequel to The Poet, but any resemblance to its predecessor has been completely lost.
Harry Bosch, the main character in The Narrows, spends too much time on unnecessary and frivolous exposition. Throughout the book, he reminds us that "there is no such thing as a coincidence in an investigation," but during a slight "twist" at the end, we learn that Bosch's involvement in the Poet case stems from an enormous coincidence that he originally misinterpreted. Is this Connelly's idea of irony? If so, then the reader must question the validity of Bosch's entire investigation. In other words, if Connelly is demonstrating that there are times when a coincidence is just a coincidence during an investigation, then he should not have allowed Bosch to jump from point A to point B to point C based on pure assumption and still have those assumptions be RIGHT. Because the momentum of Bosch's investigation hinges on luck and intuition, Connelly's "twist" ending contradicts the entire book, making the novel feel disjointed, contrived, and somewhat schizophrenic. Plus, the "twist" undermines several of the book's plot points that surfaced at the beginning of the novel. It is hard to discuss these things without giving too much of the book away, so I'll just say: the Poet's boat ride/pictures of wife & kids/GPS theft, I defy anyone who gave this book a five star rating to logically explain those three elements in the context of the "twist" WITHOUT making the actions of the Poet seem completely ridiculous. In my opinion, Connelly just got lazy. He needed some kind of surprise at the end, but he didn't want to work too hard to develop it.
Another negative aspect of The Narrows is the caricatures of the returning characters. What happened to the hypnosis angle of the psychotic Poet? Did he just forget the one skill that made him such a successful killer in the past? Instead of a distinctive, three-dimensional antagonist, Connelly has turned the Poet into a flat, stereotypical mass murderer. Which brings us to Rachel Walling, Bosch's "partner" on this particular case. What happened to the Rachel Walling from The Poet? I actually liked her in that book AND I had some respect for her, too. In The Narrows, her dialogue is often immature and trite. Plus, you get the idea that she will sleep with ANYONE she works a case with after knowing them a day or two. Why does Connelly feel the need to force his main characters into a sexual relationship when they have absolutely no chemistry together and barely know each other? It's unrealistic. I let the "gladiator sex" slide in The Poet because it developed into a plot point at the end, but it serves no purpose in The Narrows. If Connelly included this as a means of character development, then it just made Rachel look easy and Harry look desperate. In reality, the sex in The Narrows is just the same, typical device Hollywood uses to sell its movies which is ironic considering that much of the exposition in this book criticizes Hollywood's take on the film adaptation of Connelly's Blood Work. Now, THAT'S irony....more info
- A little shallow
It's hard to be critical of a book that grabs you and makes you loose sleep finishing it in 2 days, but having been a fan of Connelly since The Black Echo I came out a little bit disappointed with the shallowness of this effort.
The short prelude of a couple pages sets a great tone, you know you're reading classic noir Harry Bosch. But after that first bit of blackness, Harry seems kind of pale in this episode. He's now a daddy and solved the mystery of his mother's death and that seems to have sucked a lot of the internal struggle and complexity out of him. His decision to rejoin the police force or not seems to be rather perfunctory and his musings on evil and darkness just don't seem to have the edge anymore. Maybe he's just mellowing as he ages or maybe it's the shift to first person. Another disapointment for me was the lack of the Poet in this book. Unlike the book of the same name, we seldom get into Backus' head in this novel, he's just kind of off running in the background most of the time. Again, just a lack of depth that could have been fleshed out a bit more.
It's enjoyable to encounter Rachel Walling, Buddy, and the McCaleb family again and the interactions there are interesting but I was also expecting to see something of Jack McEvoy. The inside references to the film of Blood Work are humorous at first but go on for too long, we've already encountered them in Angel's Flight, that's enough. The atmospheres that Connelly creates in Las Vegas and LA are great. The storm at the end and the flooding of the LA "River" (wash) take me back to when I was a kid and was always warned to stay away from there (never did, but that's another story).
Anyway, minus 1 star for depth but still highly entertaining and engrossing. I just hope that Harry might have a little more on his mind next time....more info
- Disappointing sequel to "The Poet"
While "The Poet" was an amazing rollercoaster ride, brilliantly crafted and left you wanting more, this follow-up really missed its mark (as truth be told most, if not all, sequels do).
As a stand-alone book, I may have given it higher praise since it is indeed interesting, fast-paced and has some twists and turns which keep you on your toes, however since it was based upon the original book, "The Poet" which was so phenomenal, it begs comparrison and I can't rate it higher.
***NOTE: if you haven't read many of his previous books, as I have not, this book seems to give away details of a few of them in particular, which was frustrating since I have them on my book shelf ready to read but now feel like I know how they'll end. I guess if you read Connelly, you have to read his books in order.
If you're interested in Michael Connelly, I highly recommend "The Lincoln Lawyer" and "The Poet," which can be read without regard to his earlier works. ...more info
- Much more enjoyable than The Poet
In Harry's second outing as a private eye, he's settled into the life a little more, the constant yearning for the badge tempered by his involvement with his young daughter. This goes by the wayside when he's asked to look into the death of a friend and goes toe to toe against a serial killing ex-FBI agent.
This match against the Poet is more likable in that Harry and Rachel are more likable than Jack McEvoy is. Also, Harry seemed recharged by the prospect of going back to the LAPD. Good book....more info
- Is It A Good Book?
Bob Backus is back! This time he is in Las Vegas, the place where Harry Bosch is living. This heart-thrilling adventure is probably one of the best crime-fiction books anyone has ever written. Although there are a few down points in the story, most of the time it pretty much captures your interest. The story starts of with a phone call. FBI Agent Rachel Walling has received word that Bob Backus has yet again murdered 6 people. At the same time, LAPD retiree Harry Bosch has also gotten a phone call, but from the wife of Terry McCaleb. Ms. McCaleb has asked Harry to investigate Terry's death. Terry was found murdered in his boat, off the coast of Los Angles. The story goes on and Rachel Walling and Harry Bosch join forces to find the whereabouts of Bob Backus, the killer. The main story is quite interesting. It grabs your attention and makes you want to read the rest of the story. Once again Michael Connelly shows us that he can write internal conflicts as well as external conflict. The story drags on and on, and towards the climax, you get a bit bored by reading the same repeated information over and over again. The ending is the most disappointing part of the story where we find out that Backus didn't not actually kill Terry McCaleb. The whole story revolves around one assumption; Backus killed Terry. This assumption happens to be false. This makes the book seem extremely useless. You spend days and days reading it and find out that the whole book was just a hypothesis. Another down point is how Backus kills himself in the end. He opens his mouth and lets water drown himself to death. This is the most unlikely death for a serial killer. He murdered more than 14 people in his life and he dies by drowning and killing himself in a fast flowing river. That I found out to be quite pathetic. In Michael Connelly's book, The Poet, Backus is said to die in a sewer, where he spent 5 months in captivity. This is a more "realistic" death for mass murderer. ...more info
- Less LA, otherwise the usual suspense
"The Narrows" is Connelly #4 for me and it's right there with the others, which make a decent sampling, as each one has some differences as well as themes and details you quickly come to expect. The core attributes of Harry aren't going to change. Having read the four out of order was a minor disruption, although awareness of some backstory helps. For example, reading "A Darkness More Than Night" before "The Narrows" would be better than the other way around, yet isn't fatal.
Again, Harry works the LA area and psychology dominates the story, with emphasis on motive and analysis more than conventional plot twists. "What" is never enough. Even some of the side topics, such as visits to his ex and their daughter, are mostly about emotions and reasons.
The novel's connection to LAPD and the ins and outs of the business is slight this time, partly because Harry is not on the force and the interstate angle pulls in the FBI. Connelly gives us enough insight into the inside of the FBI to be interesting, without too much detail. His characters are almost always flawed and occasionally annoying, which could become tedious if overdone.
I have not been disappointed with Michael Connelly yet and expect to keep chipping away at his catalog. He's clearly one of the top detective novel writers in America....more info
- Narrowly missed 2 sleepless nights!
My first book by Mike Connolly. Very intense, but the end was worth the wait. Final scenes were exciting and nail biting. I found it a nice read and will definitely read another to see if this author can do it again for me. Perhaps I began his books too late in the Harry Bosch series. I hope not....more info
- A review of the audiobook
Fans of Harry Bosch know that he is named for the Renaissance painter Heironymous Bosch. Bosch the painter specialized in sweeping panoramic paintings of hell, with details of how individual sinners were being gouged, burned and otherwise tormented by gleeful demons. Connelly has commented many times that Harry Bosch is meant to be our tour guide through the hellish side of Los Angeles - the world of serial killers, hidden sins and chaos. Interestingly, Bosch the detective sits in his house high in the hills of Los Angeles looking down on the panorama of it all, just as the viewer of a Bosch painting sees hell.
In this edition, Bosch spends a great deal of time in Las Vegas. It would not be inappropriate to say that Vegas is "Sodom" to LA's "Gomorrah" - twins in sin. Bosch is worried that his daughter is growing up in Las Vegas and he is living there part-time trying to be the best father he can be. But, mostly he's in and out of Vegas on business in this story. Bosch investigates the death of a friend, confronts the FBI, encounters hookers, bikers and just some plain old lost souls all while hunting a killer and trying to be a dad. Besides being a Bosch book, it's also the sequel to two other books in the Connelly family of books: "The Poet" and "Blood Work".
I listened to this as a book on tape and found it thoroughly enjoyable and a welcome diversion during my daily commute. Len Cariou narrates and he does a fantastic job of finding Bosch's "voice". 5 stars for Cariou. The audiobook is unabridged and lasts about 11 hours....more info
- Simply an excelent book...but read The Poet first!!!
It is rare when an author switches back and forth between first and third person point of view, but Connelly pulls it off beautifully!
I would strongly recommend reading the Poet first, it will give you background to the Narrows.
Simply one of the top ten best books I've ever read. Suspense, humor and multiple surprises around every corner. ...more info
- A disappointing book from an excellent author
I was so disappointed in this book. I kept feeling that Connelly was so upset with the way Blood Work had been handled as a film he killed off the main character and derided it in nearly every chapter of this book. The characters were flat, Harry was almost unappealing as a character, and there was very little suspense until the end. It's not a terrible book, but it's certainly not what I'd have expected of an otherwise excellent author....more info
- So-So but it ties up the plot line from The Poet and other books
I've read and enjoyed all of the Harry Bosch novels and the Poet but this was my least favorite of the series. Frankly, I had a hard time finishing this book and I ended up skimming through the last chapters. This is the first and only time that I found myself rolling my eyes at the plot of a Michael Connelly novel. I got the distinct impression that Connelly was just trying too hard to tidy up several plot lines in The Narrows. Still there are many of Michael Connelly's wonderful character vignettes and artfully described settings to reward the reader.
I thought that Connelly pulled off the mixed narration with chapters of Harry in first person and a third person narration for the events involving others. I did not find it annoying.
Fans who prefer The Poet over the Harry Bosch series may find The Narrows more enjoyable since it brings back the Rachael Walling character. If you are an obsessive Harry fan, it is also worth reading since it ties up some loose ends in Harry's personal life. ...more info
- My First Harry Bosch Novel
I have not read any other novels in the Harry Bosch series so I am not sure if my reading experience would have been heightened or diminished if I would have read "The Poet."
Harry Bosch is a retired LAPD Homicide detective. He is asked by the wife of a deceased friend to look into his death although it appears to be of a natural cause. Harry's detective work, albeit somewhat lengthy and dry for this reader, reveals a suspicious character whom should be investigated.
Harry's analysis of his friend's, an ex FBI profiler, notes leads him to the barren desert outside Las Vegas. This happens to be the site of a mass grave, consising of six men believed to have been killed by the Poet, an ex FBI agent himself who also happens to be a serial killer. It is there he reunites with Rachel Walling and together they go about solving the case.
I think what I enjoyed most about this book is the fact that Harry is a regular guy who struggles with lifes problems. He does not appear to be a particularly happy guy and recently learned he has a young daughter who lives in Las Vegas. In fact his entire life centers around her.
I found the first half of the book to be rather slow. The latter part of this novel is fast paced and a good read. The finale, although a little far fetched, will keep you glued to your seat....more info
- ONCE UPON A MIDNIGHT DREARY.........
Most Michael Connelly fans will remember FBI profiler and heart transplant survivor Terry McCabe, from the book Blood Work (and some may have seen the movie of the same name starring Clint Eastwood), as well as L.A.P.D. detective Harry Bosch (The Closers, Trunk Music, etc.) currently retired from the department and working as a P.I.. Then of course there is Robert Backus, villain extraordinaire with a penchant for the poetry of Edgar Alan Poe, who horrified us with his dirty deeds in The Poet.
In The Narrows, Connelly brings together all the characters from these previous novels and adds another, FBI agent Rachel Walling, to the mix as she and Bosch attempt to determine whether the death of Terry McCabe is "by natural causes" as reported on his death certificate or, as his wife suspects, was in fact a deviously planned and executed murder.
Connelly is famous for his character driven plots and of course the world weary Harry Bosch is the driving force in this investigation. Connelly does however deviate from his previous works by delivering the story from the perspective of three characters rather than just one. Throughout, he completely involves the reader by leading us into the labyrinth, throwing us a curve here and there, and slowly feeding us clues that culminate with a solution to the mystery.
Although, in my humble opinion, not the best book Connelly has ever written, it is a solid mystery/thriller that is head and shoulders above a lot of the material currently rolling off the presses at some publishing houses.
- Not his best
My major complaint with this book is Connelly's failure to plausibly mesh high-profile characters and all their ensuing flaws and backstories into one coherent plot line. This is difficult to do under the best circumstances when you have a riveting story and fast-paced action to hold things together. Unfortunately "The Narrows" has neither. I continually found myself either bored with long pages of dialogue that did little to carry the plot or wondering how he expected the reader to believe certain actions and plot twists. Many characters from previous novels show up for less-than-stellar cameos... wandering in and out of the plot and causing one to wonder what exactly they contributed to the overall story. In addition, most of these cameos, and some of the main characters, are treated with less than the usual respect and effort by Mr. Connelly and end up little more than two-dimensional caricatures of their previous renderings.
Finally, this was probably one of the most dismal, depressing, and unsatisfying endings I have read in a very long time. The book should have ended two chapters sooner. I'm debating whether or not I'll try the next one. In the meantime I'm glad I got this one out of the bargain bin and didn't pay full price....more info
- Another Solid Connelly Effort
This is my third Connelly novel and my first featuring Harry Bosch. I did not realize that it was a sequel until I was well into the book--otherwise, I would probably have tackled "The Poet" first.
As with the other two Connellys I have read, "The Narrows" reads well and keeps the reader fully engaged. I read it in a couple of sittings because I could not put it down. In fact, I was near the end when an airplane trip ended, and I sat in the baggage area finishing it before going to pick up my car.
Having said that, I still rate "The Lincoln Lawyer" as the best of the three I have read with "Chasing the Dime" as number two. Both of those books had more depth than this, which is pretty much just an exciting, well written serial killer detective story. (Of course, there is nothing wrong with an exciting, well written serial killer detective story.)...more info
- She was in darkness, floating on a black sea, a starless sky above...
And so begins Connelly's installment of The Harry Bosch series. In fact, Connelly makes this a sequel for "The Poet" as well as "Blood Work" and "A Darkness More Than Night" (which is also a Harry Bosch book). At first glance, this would seem like it COULD be a disaster - putting so many characters from all your books sounds like Connelly wanted to make some easy money. But here's the catch. This book exceeds all expectations.
Make no mistake, though. This is Harry Bosch's book. And Bosch is still, well, he's Bosch. You're not going to get a lot of emotion from him. But you're going to get great detective skills with interesting backstories. One thing about this book is there are parts that are funny. For example, Connelly mentions the movie "Blood Work" with Clint Eastwood several times in the book as the case led to a movie. He refers to Eastwood as being much to old to play the real Terry McCaleb (of course, the real McCaleb is a fictionalized Connelly character!). Also, Connelly brings Buddy back in this book, who is upset that the movie decided to make him the killer when he wasn't the killer in the book "Blood Work." And Rachel, who takes a backseat to Bosch in this book, begins to play a larger role as the book progresses. Connelly leaves you enough clues to make you think you know what is going on, but in the end, you'll probably be wrong.
One thing I wished was that we would have more insight into The Poet. Although we learn some things about Backus' father, I wish we had some good first person dealings with Backus (as the first person point of view switches from Bosch to Rachel). But oh well. I also wish that Jack from "The Poet" had made a small appearance, investigating the new dealings with the Poet, but I think that would have been too much.
All in all, this is a great book, and I found Zzyzx Road to be very interesting. I would recommend familiarizing yourself with some Bosch books (if you haven't already done so) and then reading The Poet, Blood Work, and A Darkness More Than Night before you read this book. That way you won't be confused and write a review complaining about details that Connelly has already told us in previous books!...more info
- Not "The Poet," but not the worst either
Compared to "The Poet," which introduced the title character of that book, "The Narrows" feels mechanical. The significance of the title does not even become clear until near to the end of the novel, and then the relationship to the rest of the book is tenuous to say the least.
Connelly's signature hero Harry Bosch meets FBI agent Rachel Wallings, and a new complicated set of events takes off, which includes the substitution of medication for a heart transplant patient, the possible reintegration of Bosch into the LAPD, his struggling and sinking relationship with Eleanor Wish (the mother of his daughter), a heap of bones in the desert, also an oasis there that suffices as a legalized site for brothels, a wannabe gumshoe assistant, etc. etc. Too much, too little, too late. In addition, I found annoying Connelly's habit of referring to the movies, etc., that had been made from his own books.
Still, he is a master mystery writer, and I didn't regret the day I spent hunched over this page-turner. I just didn't find it either as mesmerising or as well constructed as some of his other books....more info
- Not for me
This book was given to me as a gift. I'm not an experienced reader of the Mystery genre and yet this book still felt like it was churned from a formula. The characters felt more like clich¨¦s than interesting people that I cared about. I'll stay away from any more books by Connelly and leave them for others to enjoy. Folks who had the same reaction as me may enjoy a great mystery by Michael Chabon titled: The Yiddish Policeman's Union....more info
- A sequel to The Poet ...
[***** = breathtaking, **** = excellent, *** = good, ** = flawed, * = bad]
... which is not quite as good as "The Poet", but then that would be asking a lot. The serial killer known as the Poet has returned to taunt the FBI, and he makes sure to draw disgraced agent Rachel Walling into the case. Her fortunes have declined since the events of "The Poet" and your heart goes out to her.
Reporter Jack McEvoy does not make a reapperance in this book, but that's okay because one of the true pleasures of "The Narrows" is that it manages to rope in the tough and complex Harry Bosch from Connelly's highly-regarded series set in Los Angeles. Seeing Rachel and Harry work together is a treat. Longer review available at the Mystery Books site at BellaOnline (BellaOnline-dot-com)....more info
- Connolly hits it again
I guess I'm getting addicted to Connolly. This is my 4th book of his I've read in the last 3 months. This one is a "sequel" to "The Poet". Harry Bosch joins the hunt for the serial killer that we all knew wasn't dead at the end of the previous book. The plot humms along. Great characters, creative plot lines, crisp writing. This is as good as it gets in the mystery/ thriller genre....more info
- Good Read
I liked this book a lot. I have read three others in the Bosch series and I liked this one the best. Complex mystery that keeps you involved. Very few slow spots. Reading "The Poet" first is not required, nor can I see how it would make reading this book better. If you like Bosch, you will like this book...more info
- Connelly can do much better than this
Connelly has such a talent for realism, it's sad to see him fall under the influence of Patterson. When a character in a novel dies, leave him dead. Don't go to ridiculous lengths to resurrect him.
Connelly is able to make his characters live and breathe. They seem like real people, usually. Because they seem so much like the people around us, the readers' interest is captured, to see why these people so much like us are so much unlike us.
Backus is not somebody you can believe in, so you don't really care much about him. Connelly went to so much trouble to explain how Backus didn't die when he was dead; for the same amount of ink, he could have portrayed a believable new villain without jeopardizing his credibility. I personally thought naming the murderer The Poet sounded like something out of Batman and Robin. Maybe Bosch should have found some kryptonite to after Backus with.
Exaggeration is easy. Placing murderers in ordinary citizens, and making the readers understand and believe, is infinitely harder. Connelly can usually do it, but this book is a great disappointment.
While I'm at it, I'd like to ask, what was going on with the lady in the next room watching the planes? If she didn't have anything to do with the story, why make her so mysterious and then just drop her? I think Connelly simply forgot about her. He didn't try very hard with this book. I just hope Backus is really dead this time. Maybe they should drive a stake through his heart. ...more info
- One More for the Master!
In the match-up we have all been waiting for, Harry Bosch takes on the Poet. The Poet is the best of Connolly's breaks from the Bosch series and was screaming for a sequel. Called on to investigate the death of a former FBI profiler, Harry quickly picks up the Poet's trail and hits the road from Southern California across the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas and then the action really gets heavy. FBI agent Rachel Wallings from The Poet joins the case resulting in some interesting, exciting, and of course bittersweet, interaction between her and Bosch. Despite her high skills, Wallings is in partial disgrace after the Poet fiasco eight years before and is summoned from her Siberian posting in Sioux City because of her prior connection with The Poet. The Poet is fixated on her and what the FBI really wants is to use her as bait. The FBI tries to push Bosch out of the case, but he and Wallings buck the bureaucracy and go off on their own thread. The result is another great story from Connolly that has the usual twists, turns, and surprises. The Narrows could have easily ended at chapter 38 and the result would be been a solid, entertaining thriller. Connolly, however does not look for easy, quick endings, and his books are brought up to a much higher level as a result. Sometimes I have to remind myself that Harry Bosch is make-believe. If I sound like a one man Michael Connolly cheering section, it's because I am!...more info
- It's all in the details
Harry Bosch is a likeable guy. Tough without being perfect. Able to table his own emotions while getting a job done. He's seen it all and still retains his humanity and integrity, although happiness has always eluded him. And most of the time, he has the courage to be genuine. Even with books in series, I like to approach each one individually and judge it on its own merits. And The Narrows is strong enough to stand on its own. One of the factors that makes it an intriguing cop story is that Harry can sometimes - not always - figure out how killers think. Logic, intuition, and experience combine in his mind to allow him to think outside the box. Author Connelly is adept at leading his readers step by step through the fascinating ins and outs of attacking a crime, narrowing down the possibilities, and discovering the whos, whats, and whys of Harry's cases. The balance between action and intellect is always satisfying, and makes The Narrows a gritty, enthralling winner....more info
- A NOVEL THAT WILL GET YOU HOOKED ON THE "BOSCH" SERIES!!!
Though I've never been a big fan of the novels by Michael Connelly (I've only read two others so far), his newest paperback release, THE NARROWS, hooked me line and sinker. I bought it, thinking that it would be an average read, but then found myself caught up in the hunt for the Poet by Harry Bosch and FBI agent Rachel Walling. I ended up reading the book in just two days and now want to go back and get the earlier novels in the "Bosch" series. I also intend to get THE CLOSERS when it comes out in hardcover. If you haven't read anything by Mr. Connelly, then this is the one that will get you addicted to his writing. And yes, I couldn't help but find myself seeing Clint Eastwood as the late Terry McCaleb. I loved the way Connelly incorporated the screen version of BLOOD WORK into the novel and how it made Terry McCaleb famous by having Clint portray him in the movie. Excellent writing and lots of fun for those of you who enjoy reading similar books by the likes of Thomas Harris and James Patterson....more info
- Three and a half stars...
I have not been disappointed with any of the Harry Bosch mysteries written by Michael Connelly, but The Narrows was not without some problems. Overall, I'd give it three and a half stars out of five. Part of the problem is that Connelly takes a non-Bosch mystery, The Poet, and continues the story as part of his Bosch series in The Narrows.
Terry McCaleb was a retired FBI agent running a fishing charter boat when he dropped dead of heart failure. Having had a heart transplant, this did not raise suspicions. But when his wife (a nurse) had his medications analyzed after his death, she found that they were tampered with. McCaleb's wife hires Harry Bosch to investigate his death. Bosch, formerly a LAPD homicide detective, is now retired and working as a PI. McCaleb worked in the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Department, creating personality profiles of suspects. Many unsolved cases haunted the agent, and he continued to investigate them after he retired.
When Bosch combs through McCaleb's computer and written files, he discovers evidence that a serial killer that was presumed dead is actually alive and back at work. Unfortunately, the killer is a former Behavioral Sciences agent, Robert Backus. Bosch ends up teaming with FBI agent Rachel Walling (of The Poet). Backus mentored Walling and he seems to be targeting her. The serial killer always seems to be one step ahead of the investigators, and Bosch is always one step ahead of the FBI. Bosch is pretty sharp when it comes to figuring out the criminal mind, but he also has help from his "silent partner," the notes of Terry McCaleb.
Unfortunately, I did not read The Poet first. Since The Poet is not listed as a Bosch mystery, I didn't realize The Narrows is actually a sequel. Also, Connelly seems to have gotten a little goofy with Bosch's personal life (I don't want to give away any details). He's certainly much different than in earlier novels.
Still, Connelly is an accomplished writer. Some of his visual imagery is superb. In describing the natural disasters (floods, fires, landslides) that plague Los Angeles, he writes "Living in LA sometimes felt like you were riding shotgun with the devil to the apocalypse." He also understands the psyche of the FBI. Bosch describes it as being an arrogant institution that "cares too much about its reputation and it carries too much weight in politics." Yet he also recognizes it as "the most thorough, well-equipped and relentless law enforcement agency in the world."
I am a big Connelly fan, but will take more care to read his books in order.
This was one of the most predictable, least interesting books that I have read. It had all of the common elements of a detective novel, but the story went nowhere. It was passed around my workplace, and all of my coworkers had the same reaction. There was no emotional depth to the characters, escpecially the villain....more info
- Very thrilling!
This was my first Michael Connelly book, and I absolutely loved it. It was one I couldn't put down. I'm excited to read the others in the Harry Bosch series. ...more info
- A Plot that Plays With Your Psyche
From the very begining you 'think' you know what is going to happen, but you will be wrong. Connelly tells his story, then he adds a twist then a turn. Complications occur at every turn, some anticipated, some not.
Bosch is one of my favorite detectives (retired or not), he goes all the way, never leaves a stone unturned even when he KNOWS what's under it. Even when he knows it could be the last stone he'd turn. Along with the mystery, the wonderful characters and scenes is Bosch's signature personality trait that I find captivating; he's forever disturbed by the crimes people commit and that has left an indelible emotional scar right across his soul. He knows this about himself, but keeps on keeping on.
Marvin Wiebener, author of The Margin...more info
- Exquisite blendng of famiiar characters
This definitely is one of the fascinating aspects of Connelly's work, the bringing in characters from different past novels.Harry Bosch towers above the others as usual and Connelly is to be given considerable credit in so portraying him so we can understand why he irritates others. He is unapologetically himself and we can identify with both the positive side and the negative side of his nature.A case in particular is Harry's treatment of Buddy Lockridge. We know Buddy from the Terry McCaleb books and hey, he deserved better treatment than that received from Harry, but then that's Harry and part of what makes him a living and breathing character.One should read or even re-read THE POET before this one, but even if you don't, it's a very satisfying read....more info
- Read "The Poet" First!
This book is a sequel to "The Poet" and reading this first will lessen enjoyment of the better "The Poet".
This is a taut, well-written page-turner. Harry is now retired (but by mid-book considering returning to the force under the "three-year plan" i.e. you have three years to return without loss of benefits)and is asked to investigate the death of Terry McCalab, by McCalab's wife. Everyone else thinks McCalab's heart simply gave out but the wife thinks otherwise (and is subsequenlty proven correct). This investigation leads to the trail of a serial killer known as "The Poet".
A couple of complaints. The book is written in both third person and in first person, at first in separate chapters but then toward the end, uses both in the same chapter which was a bit disconcerting. Also toward the end a very convenient clue survives destruction (the one thing needed to put Harry on the correct trail) while all else (just about) is burned to a crisp. A little too convenient. Still a very good page-turner and superior writing for this genre. Hard to put down once the Poet is in the mix. ...more info
- Connelly just keeps getting better
Mr.Connelly is at the height of his powers in this novel. Harry Bosch is one of those rare charcters who gets more interesting the longer Mr.Connelly writes about him. This novel ties together many plot points from previous novels as Harry matches wits with the poet, the serial killer from the novel "The Poet" The tension in this novels builds to a explosive climax that will keep you on the edge of your seat. If your interested in the best writing in crime fiction you can't do any better than Michael Connelly....more info