Jane Stewart's Reviews > The Narrows

The Narrows by Michael Connelly
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's review
Sep 17, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: crime-mystery
Read in September, 2011

Another engaging and well done mystery in the series.

I am impressed with this author consistently writing such good stories. I’m happily doing one right after the other in this 17 book series. Most of my ratings are 4 and 5 stars. The main difference is the emotional feeling I have at the end. A couple of books had me feeling excited and elated at the end. Another book had me feeling hurt for victims and wanting more justice and revenge which I didn’t like and gave it fewer stars. My emotional reactions are the main reasons for star differences.

In each book when the story begins, I have absolutely no idea how I would investigate or solve it. It seems so impossible. So I just keep reading, waiting to be enlightened. And I always am.

This book #10 can be read as a stand-alone. But it is much better if you read “The Poet” first, which is a non-Bosch book. In The Poet, Jack McEvoy (a newspaper reporter) is the main investigator. He meets and works with FBI agent Rachel Walling. At the end of “The Poet,” they discover who the bad guy is. They stop him. There is a good chance the Poet is dead. It’s a good ending. Bosch is not in that book. In “The Narrows,” Bosch is the main investigator. He discovers that the Poet is not dead and continues to kill. Bosch works with Rachel Walling to try to catch him.

I’m used to Bosch doing such smart things. So I was not pleased that he hesitated and didn’t do what was necessary to restrain the bad guy when he had a gun on him. I was also disappointed that Rachel did something stupid when walking through the bad guy’s home. Bosch yelled at her not to do something, but she did it anyway and caused a problem. If I could change anything I would change those two scenes. I prefer my heroes competent and smart. Connelly is great at having Bosch outthink others which I love. So these two instances were blips on the screen – not what I prefer.

I really enjoyed Bosch’s thinking and actions concerning his 5 year old daughter Maddy. This was a pleasant warm sprinkling into the story (a couple of times).

The author used inconsistent dates. I believe the setting for this book is 2003 since the following years were stated in the book. It is 6 years after the heart transplant in “Blood Work” (1997). It is 2 years after Bosch quit the police force which was at the end of “City of Bones” (2001). It is 1 year after “Lost Light” (2002). But, two inconsistencies were: The book says it is 8 years after “The Poet” 1994 which would put this as 2002. The Poet’s copyright was 1996 but the setting was 1994. In “Lost Light” Maddy was 3 ½ which makes her now 4 ½ since this is one year after Lost Light. But the book says Maddy is “almost 6.”

McCaleb is a retired FBI profiler. He investigates crimes as a hobby, volunteering his services to help local law enforcement agencies. He recently died. His wife discovers that someone tampered with his medication causing his death. She asks Bosch to investigate. Bosch retired from the police force and now works as a private investigator. Bosch studies the cases McCaleb was working on. One of them was the Poet. Someone had been following and taking pictures of McCaleb’s wife and children. Bosch believes the stalker could be the Poet. Bosch’s investigation takes him to a location where the FBI is digging up several dead bodies (victims of the Poet). There he meets FBI agent Rachel Walling. They investigate together.

The narrator Len Cariou is excellent. My only hesitation is that his Canadian accent doesn’t fit a “west coast Harry Bosch.” For example “talk” sounds like “tahk.” Other than that he does a good job with both men and women. A couple seconds of sound between some of the chapters was nice. When on the boat I heard water lapping and sea gulls. Other times it was jazz music.

Unabridged audiobook length: 10 hrs and 57 mins. Narrator: Len Cariou. Swearing language: strong but not frequently used. Sexual language: none. Number of sex scenes: one, referred to not shown. Setting: probably 2003 Los Angeles, California, Las Vegas, Nevada, and other areas in those states. Book Copyright: 2004. Genre: crime mystery. Ending: Not exciting, but positive.

I recommend reading the Harry Bosch books in order, but it would be ok to try “The Last Coyote” or “Lost Light” first just to see if you like the style. Then go back and read the rest in order. Following is my recommended reading order.

3 stars. The Black Echo
3 ½ stars. The Black Ice
4 stars. The Concrete Blonde
5 stars. The Last Coyote
4 stars. Trunk Music
4 stars. Angels Flight
4 ½ stars. Blood Work (McCaleb series #1) Bosch is not in this.
3 ½ stars. A Darkness More Than Night (McCaleb series #2) McCaleb is the primary investigator, but he interacts with Bosch.
3 ½ stars. City Of Bones
5 stars. Lost Light
5 stars. The Poet (McEvoy series #1) Bosch is not in this. Read this any time before “The Narrows.”
4 stars. The Narrows (sequel to The Poet) Bosch is the main investigator.
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Reading Progress

03/24 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Ellen No one can say your review isn't thorough! I also listened to The Narrows on CD read by Len Cariou. I like his performance very much. Thanks for the heads up about the Poet. I'll have to look that one up.

Jane Stewart It is kind of long. Thanks Ellen :)

Ellen I found it at my library and they also have on CD.

Ellen I just finished listening to the CD and I agree with your review about the book and the narrator. I agree with the two 'blips'. Harry should have acted when he had the Poet in his sights instead of talked! Oh, Well, we wouldn't have had that dramatic struggle in the raging river!

Jane Stewart Ellen, Weeee.... I'm glad you agree.

message 6: by Carol (new) - added it

Carol Like your style, like your review.

Jane Stewart Carol wrote: "Like your style, like your review."

Thanks :-)

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