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The Poet

(Jack McEvoy #1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  89,206 ratings  ·  3,241 reviews
Denver crime-beat reporter Jack McEvoy specializes in violent death. So when his homicide detective brother kills himself, McEvoy copes in the only way he knows how--he decides to write the story. But his research leads him to suspect a serial killer is at work--a devious murderer who's killing cops and leaving a trail of poetic clues. It's the news story of a lifetime, if ...more
Paperback, 510 pages
Published July 1st 2002 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 28th 1996)
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Andy I would read The Poet first as is already suggested. But if you do it the other way around and read The Narrows first, then it's quite exciting knowin…moreI would read The Poet first as is already suggested. But if you do it the other way around and read The Narrows first, then it's quite exciting knowing the killer and trying to figure out along with Jack WHO The Poet really is.(less)
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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James Thane
Mar 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
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
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
Em Lost In Books

Ah 90s! Initially I kept thinking why nobody has the cellphone, why no one was using phone to check the breaking news, or tracking the suspect by the phone, and after few chapters I realized that the book came out in 96. Once I got past that bump it was a smooth ride, a little too smooth for my taste.

Two crime stories were intertwined here and only when one is solved that we get the clear picture. While the characters in here were likable but, imo, were not mashed together well. And the cr
Jack McEvoy is a newspaper reporter in Denver. When his twin brother, Sean, a homicide detective, is found dead in his car by what's ruled a self-inflicted gunshot, Jack decides he wants to write his story. But, the more he probes, his suspicions grow about it possibly being a murder. As he continues his research, Jack lands himself into an FBI investigation that points to a diabolical serial killer.

While this case is referenced in early Harry Bosch stories, Harry doesn't make an appearance her
Jul 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: english, crime
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. ...more
Scott Rhee
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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
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
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I received a recommendation from a Goodreads member to read "The Poet" by Michael Connelly. I am so glad I listened to their recommendation.This was an amazing novel...the best I have ever read by this talented author.

Jack McEvoy was a reporter for the Rocky newspaper, who wrote about murder stories."Death was his Beat." Sean,his twin brother,a veteran Denver Police detective was in charge into the slaying of a University student, Theresa Lofton, found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top, 2011, i-said

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,
Not too much to say here except this was kind of middling. This was one of the earlier Connelly books and he ended up inserting these characters into the larger Bosch world novels later on. They definitely worked better in a Bosch book than a Jack McEvoy book. I think it's because I honestly did not care for Jack. Some of his insights as we find are incorrect. He ends up doubting everything and everyone and is focused on not getting pushed out of the investigation. I also have to call BS that a ...more
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
Review to come
Sep 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
2.5-stars perhaps. Alternately exciting and absurd, full of outrageous plot holes, with a protagonist who seems lost much of the time....

I really struggled with this book, and almost put it down for good several times. - However, I was told that it is important for my next Harry Bosch The Narrows

And to be fair, about half of the book is superbly paced, but with the unsympathetic protagonist dragged along. The extremely repulsive villain, and again the subject of (view spoiler)
Loved this one and now starting on the second. Hope it is as good. Great story great characters.
Paul O'Neill
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a book. Excellent story, great attention to detail and fantastic characters.

Connelly has confirmed himself (in my mind) as the best in the game. Everyone else pales in comparison.
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, thriller

Michael Connelly is pretty much my go to guy at the minute for a solid crime thriller. The amount of books this guy has churned out is quite impressive but more so is the fact that there haven’t really been any duds (or none of which I have read to date) and it looks like soon he will be having his own TV series for his most prominent character “Bosch” airing on Amazon (the trailer looks good and I believe the first episode is free to air).

This book is a standalone and introduces new charac
Feb 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mara by: Richard
This is less of a review than it is a sort of caveat to my rating—the caveat being that I listened to this book. I don't know if there are multiple audio versions of The Poet out there, or if they just love to re-copyright things every few years, but the 1996 audible edition felt like it undermined the story's natural suspense. Don't get me wrong, Michael Connelly's brand of mystery/thriller writing isn't exactly subtle, but echo-chamber effects made moments of tension feel do ...more
kartik narayanan
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. Why? New character. Great serial killer mystery. Twist at the end. What's not to like about this combination.

Unfortunately, I came to this book knowing the ending as I had read its spiritual successor first. So the twist was sort of ruined for me. But, I enjoyed the book in spite of this since the journey is excellent. There is some great detective work involved - which is to be expected since this is written by Michael Connelly. Another trademark of his writing is that most
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
In Denver, crime reporter Jack McEvoy’s (Rocky Mountain News) finds his twin brother, Det. Sean M. (Denver police) was found dead - killed/suicide by shotgun? His car with a “fogged” windshield message had – "Out of space, out of time" – audit trails of Edgar Allan Poe’s poems leading to other police murders/suicides? The Murderer is becoming known as The Poet.

Det. Sean McEvoy was under extreme stress investigating a University of Denver student, Theresa Lofton, found in 2 pieces by gunshot woun
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first non Harry Bosch by Connelly & I'm impressed. Jack is a great character & the plot was fantastic, especially twisty. Great characters, very realistic. I loved the way so many cases were handled & how easily other interpretations could come of the results. Good could be bad or maybe not. Connelly really knows how to walk the gray lines & made this quite a unique mystery thriller. I'm definitely looking forward to continuing his books. Next up is Harry Bosch #5, Trunk Music. ...more
Jun 18, 2017 rated it liked it
While there are lots to like in this story, there are a few issues that leave this listener unfulfilled. The main protagonist is whiny, weak and dense at times. Overall, a solid if not completely satisfying novel. 7 of 10 stars
Abbas Fardil
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Plot selection of Connelly for this book surprised me. That was totally unpredictable conclusion for me. There were not a rainfall of plot twist, but the whole story was a great TWIST!!!! Um, Connelly bro needs to avoid excessive and irrelevant adult scenes.
Jan 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Becky by: Terri
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,
Becky C. Hennessy
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, mystery
Newspaper Reporter Jack McEvoy is having a hard time coping with the suicide of his twin brother, Detective Sean McEvoy. Sean was found in his police vehicle, dead from a gunshot wound. A short note was scrawled on the windshield. Jack tries to deal with the situations by writing his brother's story. But research into police suicides leads Jack to believe that his brother may have been murdered. Jack begins to see a pattern between a series of homicide detective deaths. They were all working on ...more
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Poet is a pretty hefty novel, weighing in at 501 pages. Don't let that dissuade you from reading it. It's one of Connelly's best novels. It is well written and fast paced. Read this one before Reading The Scarecrow which picks up Jack and Rachel's story many years later. Also. Read this before reading the Narrows where Bosch and Rachel chase a serial killer. The story begins in Denver with Jack McEvoy, a reporter, whose brother, a pice officer, placed a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigge ...more
Richard Derus
Jan 16, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Jul 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Michael Connelly can write and make the world take notice. His Bosch and Heller series are, by all accounts, some of his best work. He is also known to weave characters in from his different series and make it a real party. He did some of that here, though, truth be told; both major characters originate here and turn up with Bosch and Heller in their books later on. Some interesting work in this, a quasi-first person perspective of a journalist chasing a killer while a great many things pan out ...more
Toni Osborne
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book #1 in the Jack McEvoy series

Not surprising Mr. Connelly is a bestselling author. “The Poet” is an intense and captivating mystery of a reporter’s single-minded pursuit of the serial killer who murdered his twin. This was his first departure from his crime novels featuring Harry Bosch, we all came to know very well. This novel was published in 1996 and won the Anthony Award and the Dilys Award the following year. Why did I take so long to read it? (Too many books on my TBR list).

The story is
Cathy DuPont
Sep 10, 2012 rated it liked it
“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
Jennie  Veazey
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Entertaining! I loved this book and Jack McEvoy is my new favorite character. Next, The Scarecrow. Book two in the series. Waiting for the next installment from Michael Connelly.

Jack McEvoy is a Rocky Mountain news reporter who writes the crime-beat. News comes through to him that his twin brother a Denver homicide detective has committed suicide. Upon further investigation Jack begins to look at this differently and begins investigating other supposed cop suicides. I listened to the audible ve
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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

Other books in the series

Jack McEvoy (3 books)
  • The Scarecrow (Jack McEvoy, #2; Harry Bosch Universe, #19)
  • Fair Warning (Jack McEvoy, #3; Harry Bosch Universe, #33)

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