The Poet: A Novel
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The Poet: A Novel (Jack McEvoy #1)

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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  40,588 ratings  ·  1,233 reviews
An acclaimed novel by the Edgar Award-winning author of The Concrete Blonde follows crime-beat reporter Jack McEvoy as he tracks down a versifying serial killer who preys on police detectives.
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Published April 29th 2003 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 1996)
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Kemper
Oh, mid-‘90s, how quaint you seem in this book published in ‘96 with your dial-up internet connections, faxes, pagers, landline phones, and new-fangled digital cameras.

Perhaps the thing dating this the most is the idea that The Rocky Mountain News editors’ biggest concern is that they’ll get scooped by another newspaper in the fast paced world of print journalism, and not that their entire industry will collapse and they’ll be out of business by 2009.

Of course, if all their reporters acted lik...more
Georg
I really liked this book. It has a strong beginning and a lot of credible characters. What I liked most was the fact that it seemed to end on page 450. I thought: Ok, not a bad solution, but a bit obvious. But then I noticed there were still 100 pages to go. Finally I realized the end was not the end, but only a fake end, and then the "real story" was about to begin. Very strong and surprising until the very last page.
James Thane
Measured against the standard set by most crime fiction writers, this is a pretty good book, but based against the standard set by Michael Connelly it's sort of average, somewhere in the middle of the pack of the large number of books he has now produced.

This seems a bit odd, because the protagonist in this book is a newspaper reporter and Connelly was himself a reporter for a good number of years before he became a novelist. One would think that Connelly would have this character nailed. In tr...more
Arah-Lynda

Wow, from the opening line Death is my beat. to the chilling conclusion, this haunting tale grabs you by the scuff of your neck and never lets go.

Meet Jack McEvoy a reporter who makes his way covering murder stories. Little does he know that the next story he will write involves the death of his own brother, an apparent suicide. Jack has a difficult time accepting that his brother Sean, a homicide detective, would take his own life, further still he does not understand his brother's last words,...more
Scott Rhee
Some things are better left unsaid, so the saying goes.

I personally disagree with that sentiment. While very few topics are considered “taboo” anymore, a few cultural taboos still linger; subjects upon which many writers still fear to tread due to its general unpleasantness. Cancer used to be taboo. So did adultery and homosexuality. Taboos succeed in creating an atmosphere in which feelings never get expressed and problems never get solved. Taboos generally make things worse.

Pedophilia is, in s...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 3.5 very pleased stars of five

Connelly's Harry Bosch series will either make you want to read this book, or run from it. I liked the Harry Bosch mysteries well enough, but I really respond more to Jack McEvoy, Denver journalist and crusader for the rights of victims of crime.

This is the first appearance by McEvoy. He's hot on the trail of a cop-killer, one whose talent for murder makes him able to turn a crime scene into a suicide scene. Jack's brother, a homicide cop, is dead...and natu...more
Cathy DuPont
“For her passivity in these horizontal moments was diametrically opposed to her demeanor in our vertical moments.” Quote from Jack McEvoy from The Poet.

Sentences like that just capture my heart. It could be easily said to be trite or ordinary, maybe, but sometimes I like ordinary, at times, anyway. And I always, always love Michael Connelly’s writing. He’s the best contemporary writer today, in my opinion.

The Narrows was next on my list, and it was Tay, Anthony or Tiftoboy…one of them suggested...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I read The Lincoln Lawyer about a week ago and have been on a sort of "Michael Connelly marathon" ever since. I like the writer and I like his books. I think I still like The Micky Haller character best of his creations but this is my favorite book "outside that series" so far.

The Poet is a psychopathic killer who has been killing for a fairly long time. Not sure how long because see, his victims have so far been mistaken for suicides. That is they were until one of them was Jack McEvoy's broth...more
Becky Chambers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Becky
It's been a long time since I've read a straight-up police procedural style thriller... and I've missed it. I love the fast paced style, the clues, trying to figure things out along with the characters, seeing inside the system, all of it. I don't know why I don't read more of these, but I think this book has just reminded me how much I enjoy them, and why I should read more of them.

I really, really enjoyed this one. I can't give it a full 5 star rating, because I had just a few issues with it,...more
Rex Fuller
Outstanding. This may be the best Connelly book of all. It is the best that I have read, even though the beginning (first 10% or so) was slow and repetitive. McEvoy is not as strong of a personality as either Bosch or Haller. But the book overall is stronger than the Bosch and Haller books I've read.
Randy
In catching up on some Connelly I'd missed, I came across this, what I believe is the first of the McEvoy novels. Mid stream, I turned to my wife and confessed that I was taking it slow because this book, was candy. Connelly is a great writer, a great character sketcher and this book bears testament to that. What it doesn't bear testament to is the sensible finishes that Connelly generally includes. I don't mean that you're left with unfinished business, just that by the time I hit the end of th...more
Dolphe
"The Poet" shows that Michael Connelly is certainly a very capable writer. The first half of the book is an incredibly interesting read despite some elements you can see coming a mile away. That may be intentional -- a nod to the Miss Marple in all of us who exclaim "AHA, skullduggery afoot!". The twists and turns of the story are handled expertly enough, yet the second half of the book still falls apart. Much of that is due to the odd murder scenario which seems to belong more to a supernatural...more
Michael
My love affair with Michael Connelly ends.

The plot leaves so many threads unresolved that it feels like Connelly just cheated. I usually don't notice things like this, so it must be pretty egregious.

Whatever speaks to me about Harry Bosch, Jack McEvoy ain't got it. I think the Bosch books work better because the mysteries are so intertwined with Bosch's experiences. There's an attempt to set up the same situation here with McEvoy's sister, but it fell flat for me.

Finally, the book is about a p...more
Jack
Aug 09, 2007 Jack rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thriller / crime lovers
Shelves: jackrecommends
There are a lot lot of serial killer novels out there. Michael Connelly's "The Poet" rests a cut above much of the slasher genre. "Poet" tells the story of Jack McEvoy, a crime reporter for the Rocky Mountain News, in Denver. His twin brother Sean, a homicide detective for the Denver police has just committed suicide, despondent over his inability to solve a grisly murder.

Connelly crafts his story with quiet force - in the hearse traveling to the funeral with Sean's widowed wife Riley, Jack thi...more
James
I had previously read and enjoyed novels in the "Harry Bosch" detective series by Michael Connelly but I was not prepared for the intensity of suspense that he delivers in this thriller. The protagonist is Jack McEvoy, a newspaper reporter, who is introduced with these opening lines: "Death is my beat. I make my living from it. I forge my professional reputation on it. . ."
With these words the story moves into what seems like hyper drive as the reader is presented with the reporter's single-mind...more
Tracy
Mar 08, 2008 Tracy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
This review is for the abridged audio cassette version of the book. You don't need another description of the plot, because you can find it in multiple reviews already.

This was a good read (listen). Abridging the novel to approx. 3 hours was a bit severe - there were quite a few jumps in "detection" that were probably explained more believably in the book.

I can see how this has the potential to be pretty creepy in its full figure.

The reader was not intrusive - I didn't find myself noting empha...more
Bill
For years I've been following Susan Dennis' mystery reviews website.
It was through there that I had first heard of Michael Connelly. His Heironymous Bosch series is excellent and I urge you to read them, starting with Black Echo.
Now, The Poet is a departure from this series, this time the lead character is a crime reporter (Connelly's profession; write what you know, right?). This novel is about a killer who leaves clues referring to Edgar Allan Poe. There's also an extremely creepy pedophile an...more
Terri
I have three favourite crime thrillers. This is number one. (Jeffery Deaver's The Bone Collector and Coffin Dancer are no 2 & 3)I have read this book a few times and get a buzz out of it every time. It just has something. That something that many authors try to capture but only a few can. It is not a tangible something, it is just a combination of skill, plot and character formation.
I won't tell you what this book is about, because it is the uniqueness of the story unfolding that draws you i...more
David
Outstanding Mr Connelly. So many layers, so many twists, and possibly even a touch autobiographical. I am loving my literary journey with Michael Connelly. This is one of the best and I can't wait to start the next title.
Velvetink
3 and half stars. Kept me entertained. Could not guess the outcome.

Started this last night. Needed a change so I didn't have to think about every sentence - just get carried along by the story and this certainly fit.

Library chuck out.
Ed
I really liked the hard-nosed, relentless newspaper reporter at the now defunct (sadly) Rocky Mountain News. The pacing was good for a big book with a few nifty twists at the end.
Book Concierge
Audio book read by Buck Schirner

Jack McEvoy is the ace crime reporter for the Rocky Mountain News, so he’s used to dealing with violent death. But when his twin brother, a homicide detective, commits suicide he just cannot let it rest. Trying to come to grips with how Sean could become so despondent, Jack begins to research suicide among law enforcement officers and notices an unusual pattern.

Connelly is a master at crafting a suspenseful thriller / mystery. There are plenty of clues – and misc...more
Deborah Edwards
Michael Connelly is a excellent writer. This book was well-paced, well-plotted, and completely engrossing for all of 352 pages. Unfortunately, the edition I read had 434 pages, and that's wherein the problem lies. If you haven't read "The Poet," but you intend to do so, I do not want to dissuade you from that endeavor, because Connelly really is a very good writer with an inventive mind and an evocative style. On the other hand, you may want to skip the rest of this review, as it is about to con...more
Abhishek
The Poet is one of those books that has a strong potential to be a 5/5 type of book but eventually turns out to be a 4/5. Which itself is not that bad a thing, right? With an opening that runs like this "Death is my beat. I make a living from it", coupled with suicide stories that do not seem right, a curious journalist who has lost someone close to him, a FBI squad run by a young and dynamic personality and a gorgeous but tough female agent, and you feel that the book has what it takes to make...more
F.R.
This is undeniably an efficient thriller, albeit one that uses far too many huge red herrings. Thrillers are of course supposed to use red herrings to confuse and distract, but the ones in this novel stand on top of a piano, dressing in neon lights, singing “Red Herrings are here again!” Okay, they don’t give away who actually dunnit, but it’s perfectly clear that they are not the answer to the puzzle.

A journalist investigates the suicide of his brother and discovers there’s a serial killer targ...more
Sheila
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 introduc...more
Jen
When reporter Jack McEvoy learns his twin brother, a police detective, has committed suicide, he starts to notice some "hoaky" details. Those details soon lead him to discover that Sean's death was only made to look like a suicide - in reality it was murder, part of a nation-wide serial spree by a Poe-quoting killer. Jack sets off to find his brother's killer and the story of a lifetime.

I was convinced that Connelly was going to let me down on this book. It was getting to the end of the novel an...more
Amiee
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ron Grunberg
He's my favorite mystery/thriller writer. His most featured protagonist, Harry Bosch, is the most human of lead characters in this genre; less video-game like mow-'em-down violence, more cerebral of an approach.

This is a compelling drama: the search is on for a vicious killer who leaves poetic clues behind. A lot of twists and turns. High energy unfolding.

I won't give away anything. The only caveat I have, which I have with a lot in this genre, is that endings can have too many twists and turns...more
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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...more
More about Michael Connelly...
The Lincoln Lawyer (Mickey Haller, #1) The Black Echo (Harry Bosch, #1) The Fifth Witness (Mickey Haller, #4) The Last Coyote (Harry Bosch, #4) Blood Work (Terry McCaleb, #1)

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“In the long run, all wrongs are righted, every minus is equalized with a plus, the columns are totaled and the totals are found correct. But that's in the long run. We must live in the short run and matters are often unjust there. The compensating for us of the universe makes all the accounts come out even, but they grind down the good as well as the wicked in the process.” 23 likes
“It’s lucky no one else knows what our most secret thoughts are. We’d all be seen for the cunning, self-aggrandizing fools we are.” 5 likes
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