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Blood Work (Terry McCaleb #1)

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  33,542 Ratings  ·  843 Reviews
"Blood Work" -- that's what Terrell McCaleb used to call his job at the FBI. Until a heart condition forced him to take early retirement, he headed all investigations of serial murders in the Los Angeles area. Now he is recovering from a heart transplant operation and leads a quiet life. But McCaleb's calm seas turn rough when a story in the "L.A. Times" brings him face-to ...more
Hardcover, 392 pages
Published March 2nd 1998 by Little Brown and Company
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Supratim Bose
Feb 20, 2016 Supratim Bose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, mystery
The author never disappoints. I have enjoyed many of his Harry Bosh novels and also Lincoln Lawyer and this book was no exception but I have to say it fell short of being great.

The protagonist of the novel is Terry McCaleb - an ex-FBI agent who recently had a heart transplant and now is staying in a boat. One day he is visited by a lady, Graciella, who wants Terry to investigate her sister's murder. Terry, who has to avoid anything stressful is reluctant to take on the case, but when Graciella r
May 01, 2015 Richard rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, crime

This is one of those times that the book is let down by the authors name. For me, Michael Connolly is one of the best crime writers out there and I’ve not come across a poor novel from him. Until now.

High expectations don’t usually help when you go into a book but after reading about 10 or so of Connolly’s other work and every one of them a finely crafted crime tale with interesting main characters you think that you are in safe hands. I’ll also caveat that I had just finished Lonesome Dove
Jane Stewart
4 stars. Wow. This was good. A lot of things I didn’t expect. I didn’t want to stop reading.

McCaleb is 46 years old, retired from the FBI, and lives on a fishing boat in a Los Angeles Harbor. Two months earlier Gloria was killed in a convenience store hold up. Her organs went to several people. McCaleb got her heart. Gloria’s sister Graciela, a nurse, figures this out and asks McCaleb to help find the shooter. The police have stopped working on the case and are either incompetent or
Apr 23, 2016 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent book by Connelly. I'm reading his books in published order. This is the first featuring retired FBI agent Terry McCaleb who just got a replacement heart & spends this book finding out about that. Interesting character with severe physical limitations, but plenty of smarts. Made for a great, thrilling mystery. Mickey Haller is mentioned, but that's it.
This title was included in last year's World Book Night -- thousands of copies of reader favorites were published and distributed at no cost to encourage literacy. A stack of this one ended up at our public library (not enough takers?) and then donated to our prison book group. Connelly's written a lot of books, and since this was the only one of his on Book Night's list, I figured it must be representative of his best.
I'm not entirely disappointed. The plot is thick with detail, and the first
Dec 11, 2012 Vicki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Terry McCaleb, an ex-FBI agent, is recovering from life-saving heart replacement surgery when he takes on a pretty unlikely job. The sister of the woman whose heart now is keeping Terry alive wants him to help find the killer of her sister and the convenience store operator who was killed at the same time.

At first reluctant to take on the task, he is drawn in by Graciela's charm and persistence, and by the cuteness of Raymond, Graciela's nephew and the son of the deceased woman. When McCaleb sta
Best Connelly book ever! I could not stop listening to this book. Terrel MacCaleb is a retired FBI profiler who recently had a heart transplant. He gets a visitor at his boat, a woman who tells him his heart came from a murder victim. She wants him to find the killer since the police have hit a wall. He can't keep himself from feeling guilty and inserts himself in tot he investigation. Little does he know how connected he has been to the case all along.

The characters in this story are some of th
Albert Riehle
What I'm learning, as I continue to read these Michael Connelly books is that outside of his Harry Bosch books, he really tells a good story and this book is no exception. This one is the story of Terry McCaleb, a retired FBI agent and serial killer hunter. Heart disease forces him into early retirement and a it takes a transplant to keep him alive. When he finds out, during his recovery, that he got his heart from a woman who was gunned down in a senseless act of violence, his old instincts kic ...more
Quite an enjoyable read. After reading a few of the Michael Connelly novels and thoroughly enjoying the Mickey Haller series I thought I'd diverge a bit and try another storyline. While not quite as strong a character as Haller, McCaleb was enjoyable and perhaps more "normal." He lacks the caustic nature of Bosche (pronounced in Dutch as rhyming with dose--NOT rhyming with posche) and seems less conflicted than Haller, though there is some angst. For that reason I didn't think his character was ...more
Apr 13, 2014 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part detective tale, part police procedural, "Blood Work" is the story of a retired FBI agent who takes on one last case for a very personal reason. I finished it and enjoyed it well enough, but this book is not as good as the other Michael Connelly novels I've read. The main character is okay, and his rationale for taking on the case is believable. The 'love interest' stretches the bounds of believability somewhat.

But little niggles here and there ding it. (Nobody would do that. That's just out
Webster Bull
Mar 26, 2014 Webster Bull rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm reading mysteries because I'm writing one. So I've read all of Raymond Chandler, and now I've read "Blood Work," by contemporary author Michael Connelly, who has cited Chandler as his primary inspiration.

There are worlds of difference between the two authors. To begin with, Connelly's detective, Terry McCaleb, is dry as dust compared with the observant, cynical, never less than poetic Philip Marlowe; and where Chandler's novels evolve like nightmares in which the author finds himself lost, C
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
I don't know how I missed this one. I thought I'd read all of Connelly's stuff. I was afraid I might not like this one as well because it's not Bosch, so I was pleasantly proven wrong.
This is an excellent story revolving around former FBI agent Terry McCaleb, who has recently had a heart transplant. He finds out that the heart he received came from a woman who was murdered, and the sister of that woman wants him to solve the murder.
Michael Connelly's imagination is impressive. The secrets reve
❆ Crystal ❆
5 stars. I loved it. Very suspenseful and I love how it all came together. It was perfect!
Apr 13, 2014 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not a Bosch novel, but the first in the ex-FBI Agent, Terry McCaleb series. I enjoyed this equally as much as the Bosch series. Michael Connelly novels are always well-written with multi-layered plots that instantly draw the reader in. And this is no exception. I thoroughly recommend it.
The audio book - simply bcs dick hill was the voice actor - made a long drive tolerable !
Apr 11, 2014 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Another fast-paced Michael Connelly thriller. This one introduces us to Terry McCaleb, former FBI profiler forced to retire because of his health. He's just had a heart transplant, but ignores his doctor's orders to take it easy when an attractive woman asks him to look into her sister's murder. Turns out it is the sister's heart that now beats in his chest, giving him a personal stake in the investigation.

I always enjoy it when I find nuggets in novels that relate to the Tampa Bay area (people
Joe Stamber
Nov 02, 2013 Joe Stamber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, read-2013
Not many authors do Crime/Mystery/Thriller as well as Michael Connelly. Having being a little disappointed by A Darkness More Than Night which I read as a Harry Bosch novel rather than a Terry McCaleb one, I wasn't expecting quite as much from this one.

However, without Harry around to confuse me as to who the protaganist is, Blood Work turned out to be much more enjoyable than its sequel. It has all the ingredients that make Connelley's Bosch novels so good but works in its own right. McCaleb is
Mar 15, 2013 Jo-Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always liked Michael Connelly's books so I wanted to read this one about Terry McCaleb. I was not disappointed.

Terry McCaleb is quite likeable. He is very, very good at his job, seeing things at crime scenes that others miss, but also he is a considerate person.

In Blood Work McCaleb was forced into early retirement because of a heart problem. Before retiring, he was a top FBI agent. He gets a heart transplant and lives quietly, nursing his new heart and restoring the boat which he lives o
Aug 18, 2011 Adriana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never paid any mind to this guy's books on the best seller list. Especially when I learned that they made The Lincoln Lawyer into a movie. I guess I have forever been turned off since the early '90's when John Grisham was better than the invention of the internet.

But I am a big fan of the ABC show Castle, which is based on the collaboration of a NY homicide detective and a famous mystery writer. And Mr. Connelly has made guest appearances as a poker buddy of Castle. So has James Patterson and
Franco  Santos
Feb 21, 2015 Franco Santos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es un libro del misterio que me gusta. No sabés el asesino y todo aparenta ser un sinsentido en grado sumo.

Desde la primera página la historia te roba toda tu atención. Tan es así que me leí casi toda la novela en unas horas.

Me resultó muy interesante el detective de este relato. Terry McCaleb: un exagente de policía que recibió un trasplante de corazón hace poco tiempo. Es un personaje genial.

El final es deslumbrante. Yo no me lo esperaba ni un ápice. Muy buena conclusión. Como debe ser en lo
George Paul
Nov 09, 2015 George Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael Connelly, Blood Work (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1998). Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle

When I purchased Blood Work online, I thought I was buying the sequel to Trunk Music. “The Also By Michael Connelly” page in the front matter of Trunk Music listed Connelly’s books by publication date, however, not by which character series they were part of. So, when Blood Work arrived, I was surprised to be reading about former FBI agent Terrell “Terry” McCaleb instead of LAPD detective Hier
Nathan Moore
I haven't read a crime thriller since college. This was a fun one. Good pacing, unexpected twists, and minimal cheese. It was kinda nice to zone out on a book, but it also made me appreciate my "other books." No offense Connelly.
Dec 08, 2014 Paul rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm a fan of the Harry Bosch novels, and when a bookseller recommended Blood Work to me, I jumped at the chance to read it. Like many of Connelly's best novels, Blood Work is propelled by the plot. There aren't many slow spots in the novel, and the pacing is good throughout. However, as much forward momentum as the plot has, the formulaic aspects of the plot structure show through: when McCaleb hits his nadir about 2/3 of the way through, it's evident that Connelly was following the formula. The ...more
Tony Gleeson
By now I've come to expect that Michael Connelly is going to take me into improbable territory, with character decisions and plot twists designed to test my fealty, and crimes and criminals designed to be grotesquely repellant. Luckily he's easily a good enough writer and compelling enough storyteller to keep my allegiance, and he brings sufficient realism to the overall tale to convince me to suspend my disbelief in the particularly outrageous . This time he introduces Terry McCaleb, a former F ...more
Dan Cooper
May 09, 2011 Dan Cooper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 08, 2013 Gina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened
Blood Work by Michael Connelly.

This was a pretty good story, former FBI agent Terry McCaleb has received a heart transplant. The donor's sister finds Terry to ask him to investigate her sister's murder and of course Terry "feels a stirring deep inside that he hasn't felt before". McCaleb seems to get all emotional over stuff that doesn't strike me as real. Cheesy lines and boring romance parts but the actual story is pretty good. Why do authors think they have to put a romance in these legal/my
Heather Pearson
May 14, 2011 Heather Pearson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just two month post transplant and Terry McCaleb is recovering on his boat which is moored in the Los Angeles Harbor. Retired from his job with the FBI, Terry is under doctor's orders to do nothing other than rest and recover. He finds this a reasonable task until the day a women comes to his boat pleading that he investigate the murder of her only sister. When presented with the intimate details, Terry finds it hard to resist.

This is one of those stories that grabs onto the reader early on, and
Deana M
May 30, 2011 Deana M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book! Terry McCaleb is retired FBI. He was the owner of a bad heart which caused him to retire early from his job with the bureau. Because he had a very rare blood type, he had to wait 2 years for a transplant. Approximately 9 months after the surgery, a woman confronts him on his boat which is called THE FOLLOWING SEA. The woman knows he is retired FBI, who worked on serial killer cases out of their LA office, and wants him to investigate the murder of her sister. Terry says no way; h ...more
Nov 04, 2013 Dana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery, crime
I would love to give this book 4.5 stars if I could. It's my 8th book by Michael Connelly and it is my favorite so far. It is also the first of the "Terry McCaleb" books, though he has made an appearance in another book. (I love how these books tie into each other & I'm glad I'm reading them in order!) One thing that I really enjoyed about this book... for once I figured out some of the mystery before the detective did!

In "Blood Work", Terry McCaleb is a retired FBI agent who has recently re
Dodol Surodol
Aug 23, 2012 Dodol Surodol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's actually 4.5 stars; it's that good.

Probably the and definitely among the best crime novels I have ever read. I sort of followed Harry Bosch stories until I ran out of them and decided to check out this non-Bosch title.

Terry McCaleb is the main character, an ex-FBI agent with a career made in solving serial killer cases. [Only after I finished the book did I realize I had come across McCaleb not once, but twice, in two of Bosch' cases.] I like how he left the Bureau because of his heart fail
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add/update details 3 16 Mar 12, 2016 04:44PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads' database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Michael Connelly decided to become a writer after discovering the books of Raymond Chandler while attending the University of Florida. Once he decided on this direction he chose a major in journalism and a minor in creative writing — a curriculum in which one of his teache
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Other Books in the Series

Terry McCaleb (2 books)
  • A Darkness More Than Night (Harry Bosch, #7; Terry McCaleb, #2; Harry Bosch World, #8)

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