Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Blood Work” as Want to Read:
Blood Work
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Blood Work (Terry McCaleb #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  37,535 Ratings  ·  1,002 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
Library Binding, 528 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by Turtleback Books (first published March 2nd 1998)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Blood Work, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
James Thane
Terry McCaleb was once a top-ranked F.B.I. agent, but then a heart attack brought him down and forced him into early retirement. After an interminable wait because of his very rare blood type, McCaleb has finally had a heart transplant and is recuperating aboard his boat which is docked in the harbor at San Pedro, California.

Terry is still early in his recovery when a beautiful woman named Graciella Rivers shows up at his boat and begs him to investigate the murder of her sister, Gloria, who wa
Terry McCaleb is a retired FBI agent in L. A. who's just undergone a heart transplant. He's recuperating on his boat and figuring out what he's going to do with his new lease on life. When he's approached by Graciella Rivers to help investigate her sister's murder, Terry's reluctant until she gives him a compelling reason to go all in.

Typical of a Connelly procedural, this story winds around the bend and back before things start to fall in place to make sense and provide motive. Still, I was a
Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥
Fantastic Read! I read this book to prepare for A Darkness More Than Night, Harry Bosch#7/Terry McCaleb#2 as I continue my journey through the Bosch series. Bloodwork introduces McCaleb thus leading into book #2, A Darkness More Than Night, where Bosch & McCaleb work a case together. I am so glad I didn't skip this book! It is suspense at it's best! Absolutely A Page Burner!
Feb 24, 2014 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
Sep 15, 2014 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
J.A. Kahn
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very neat, clever plot. Fast paced and gripping from start to finish, and boy what a beginning - so original. If you like detective stories this one is not to be missed.
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
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2016
Former FBI Agent Terry McCaleb is under doctor's orders to take it easy while recovering from a heart transplant. But Graciela Rivers has other plans. She appeals to McCaleb to find the man who murdered her sister in cold blood. Terry is reluctant to get involved, until he discovers that the new heart he was given belonged to Graciela's sister, Gloria Torres. Terry talks to the detectives on the cold case and reviews the file, including the security tape that shows the murder. Terry doesn't know ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life

3 STARS-2007

"'Blood Work' - that's what Terry McCaleb used to call his job at the FBI. Eight weeks ago he was a dead man, but now someone else's heart is keeping him alive. Then a newspaper report of his brush with death brings him an unwanted visitor. Graciela Rivers reveals to McCaleb that the anonymous donor of his heart was her murdered sister. Knowing that he lives because of a cold blooded killing, McCaleb takes the moribund investigation on. Nothing about the seemingly random kill
Dec 11, 2012 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
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
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
Apr 10, 2014 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
❆ Crystal ❆
5 stars. I loved it. Very suspenseful and I love how it all came together. It was perfect!
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
Mark Baker
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2017-audio, 2017
Terry McCaleb is a former FBI agent who was forced to retire when he found he had a bad heart. Now, against all odds, he’s trying to recover from a heart transplant. He has no desire to get back into investigations until Graciela Rivers shows up asking for help solving her sister’s murder. The hook that pulls Terry in? His new heart belong to the sister until she died. But can he find out what happened without affecting his health?

This book starts out simply enough, but as the layers are peeled
Marisa Meiga
Interesante libro de intriga, con muchos giros en la trama. Muy recomendable.
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
Sam Sattler
This 1998 novel introduced retired FBI agent Terry McCaleb into the Harry Bosch "galaxy," and is a wonderful standalone thriller on its own. For those keeping track of things like this, Blood Work is considered the 8th book in Harry's world because he and Bosch interact in books following this introductory one.

Blood Work introduces Terry as a shell of a man who almost died waiting for the heart transplant that barely happened in time to save his life. Now he is living on the boat he inherited fr
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heart-driven suspense

Terry McCaleb faces life anew as he works to find the man who killed Graciela's sister in cold blood. Using inner and outer resources and skills that he has garnered in his past career as an FBI agent, he applies himself to the task—not an easy job; boring at times, thrilling at others. He brings about a satisfying conclusion for himself, and for the reader. Good work for an experienced author who has created another flawed, and likable character.
Webster Bull
Mar 18, 2014 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
Maureen DeLuca
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another very good book by Michael Connelly. This one introduces us to Terry McCaleb an ex-FBI agent who is current recovering from heart surgery. While Terry is recuperating on his boat, a woman by the name of Garciela Rivers asks to speak with him. She's read about his career and new heart in the paper and wants him to privately take on the murder case of her sister, Glory, who was shot in the head and killed during a convenience store robbery. A bit confused by the request he then finds out th ...more
Franco  Santos
Sep 15, 2014 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
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
Apr 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1st book in the Terry McCaleb series by Michael Connelly.
I had already seen the film but being a big Michael Connelly fan wanted to read the book as well.
With the excellent writing it was easy to get engrossed in this book and knowing the story did not spoil it for me. I read this in 24 hours because I just couldn't put it down.
I did get caught out at the end due to it being different to the movie. Maybe I am in the minority but I did prefer the films ending although I enjoyed the book more over
Mar 19, 2014 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 !
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Credo che, fra tutti gli autori di thriller letti finora, Connelly rappresenti, insieme a Deaver, la migliore incarnazione del classico thriller all’americana, con tutti i suoi pregi e difetti (qui per fortuna più pregi che difetti): l’uno, Deaver, forse più abile nella creazione di suspense e colpi di scena, l’altro, Connelly forte del suo passato di giornalista e criminologo, forse più improntato alla descrizione dei dettagli dei casi stessi, che paiono veri e propri fatti di cronaca, e alle p ...more
Sally Lindsay-briggs
This was an audio book that I listened to while doing errands around town. It did keep me intrigued. Terry is a former FBI agent who is recovering from a heart transplant. A woman comes to his houseboat and wants him to investigate her sister's murder. Reluctant to pursue this challenge but intriqued by the information and the clues he gets from the recorded video of the robbery and shooting; he finds there is much more to this crime, than meets the eye. This story is well written and full of ac ...more
Marty Fried
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The basic premise of this book could be "No good deed goes unpunished." Ex FBI profiler Terrell McCaleb starts out by half-heartedly trying to look into a case for a strange woman who found out that his heart transplant came from her sister, who was shot in a seemingly random store robbery. She thought he'd perhaps put in more effort than the police, since the victim gave him her heart. He wasn't supposed to do things like that so soon after his surgery, and wasn't even allowed to drive. Additio ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question F 19 5 Jul 25, 2016 09:49PM  
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question C 10 6 Jul 25, 2016 09:27AM  
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question O 6 5 Jul 25, 2016 06:19AM  
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question N 9 5 Jul 25, 2016 06:18AM  
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question M 5 4 Jul 25, 2016 06:17AM  
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question L 5 4 Jul 25, 2016 06:16AM  
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question K 5 5 Jul 25, 2016 06:15AM  
  • Sunset Express (Elvis Cole, #6)
  • Darkness, Take My Hand (Kenzie & Gennaro, #2)
  • A Stained White Radiance (Dave Robicheaux, #5)
  • The Unquiet (Charlie Parker, #6)
  • Naked Prey (Lucas Davenport, #14)
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 about Michael Connelly...

Other Books in the Series

Terry McCaleb (2 books)
  • A Darkness More Than Night (Harry Bosch, #7; Terry McCaleb, #2; Harry Bosch Universe, #9)

Share This Book

“anything” 0 likes
“need a driver for the next few days, maybe more. You want to do it, the job’s yours. I’m paying ten bucks an hour plus any meals. You’d have to bring a book or something because there will be a lot of sitting around waiting for me.” 0 likes
More quotes…