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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 he can get the story without losing his life.

510 pages, Paperback

First published January 28, 1996

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About the author

Michael Connelly

569 books28.2k followers
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 teachers was novelist Harry Crews.

After graduating in 1980, Connelly worked at newspapers in Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, primarily specializing in the crime beat. In Fort Lauderdale he wrote about police and crime during the height of the murder and violence wave that rolled over South Florida during the so-called cocaine wars. In 1986, he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of a major airline crash. They wrote a magazine story on the crash and the survivors which was later short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. The magazine story also moved Connelly into the upper levels of journalism, landing him a job as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, one of the largest papers in the country, and bringing him to the city of which his literary hero, Chandler, had written.

After three years on the crime beat in L.A., Connelly began writing his first novel to feature LAPD Detective Hieronymus Bosch. The novel, The Black Echo, based in part on a true crime that had occurred in Los Angeles, was published in 1992 and won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by the Mystery Writers of America. Connelly has followed that up with over 30 more novels.

Over eighty million copies of Connelly’s books have sold worldwide and he has been translated into forty-five foreign languages. He has won the Edgar Award, Anthony Award, Macavity Award, Los Angeles Times Best Mystery/Thriller Award, Shamus Award, Dilys Award, Nero Award, Barry Award, Audie Award, Ridley Award, Maltese Falcon Award (Japan), .38 Caliber Award (France), Grand Prix Award (France), Premio Bancarella Award (Italy), and the Pepe Carvalho award (Spain) .

Michael was the President of the Mystery Writers of America organization in 2003 and 2004. In addition to his literary work, Michael is one of the producers and writers of the TV show, “Bosch,” which is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Michael lives with his family in Los Angeles and Tampa, Florida.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,850 reviews
Profile Image for James Thane.
Author 9 books6,915 followers
June 2, 2017
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 truth, though, the author doesn't begin to inhabit the character of Jack McEvoy in the same way and to the same depth as he does the character of his more noted series protagonist, homicide detective Harry Bosch. McEvoy is well drawn, but he's not nearly as compelling or as interesting as Bosch.

The book opens with the apparent suicide of McEvoy's twin brother, Sean, a Denver homicide detective. Sean had been severely depressed, agonizing over his failure to solve a particularly brutal homicide. Everyone assumes that Sean was unable to live with his failure and so decided to take his own life. Jack is reluctant to believe that his brother would do such a thing, but the evidence seems overwhelming, and McEvoy ultimately accepts it.

As a reporter, Jack specializes in writing about homicide cases and he decides to do an article on his brother's death. In researching the subject, he discovers that a number of other homicide detective across the country have apparently committed suicide in ways similar to his brother, Sean. Jack now begins to have second thoughts and ultimately concludes that Sean did not kill himself but was, in fact, the victim of a serial killer who has been targeting homicide detectives.

Jack ultimately convinces several departments to reopen these cases and when it becomes clear that Jack is right, the FBI comes on board. Jack forces his way into the investigation and so has a close up view of the investigation and the hunt for the perpetrator who becomes known as The Poet. Along the way, Jack will become involved with a beautiful FBI agent named Rachel Walling and before all is said and done, Jack winds up putting himself in the sights of the deadly Poet.

This is a tense, well-written book that is especially illuminating about the methods that the FBI uses for profiling and chasing serial killers. It should appeal to large numbers of crime fiction readers, and even if it is not quite as good as several of Connelly's other novels, that's only because Connelly himself has set the bar so high.
Profile Image for Kemper.
1,390 reviews6,819 followers
July 29, 2014
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 like Jack McEvoy, it’s no wonder they went broke. Jack’s twin brother was a cop who apparently shot himself, but when Jack decides to exploit his tragic death by writing a story about police suicides, the research indicates that a serial killer has been stalking cops across the country and making it look like they killed themselves. Soon Jack has blackmailed his way onto an FBI task force chasing the killer by ruthlessly threatening to expose the hunt and maybe spooking the guy, but letting his brother’s murderer potentially go free is a small price to pay to get a really righteous scoop. He runs up a huge expense account bill by tagging along as the FBI tracks the killer across the country, and he never really does give the Denver paper the juicy exclusives they’re expecting. So it seems like the old Rocky Mountain News had some pretty sloppy business practices going on when it came to covering stories.

You can probably tell that I wasn’t overly fond of Jack as a character. I found him self-absorbed and incredibly stupid at times. It’s too bad, because this was a better than average serial killer story with new take on the premise and lots of good twists and turns to keep it interesting. If I would have found Jack more sympathetic, I probably would have liked it more.
Profile Image for Em Lost In Books.
872 reviews1,758 followers
March 15, 2021

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 criminal was predictable after a certain point and I couldn't enjoy it more.

Overall I enjoyed the first mystery enough to go and read second book.
Profile Image for Justo Martiañez.
375 reviews117 followers
May 10, 2023
4.5/5 Estrellas

Absoluta obra maestra del género.

Magnífica en el desarrollo de los personajes, superlativa en la consecución de una tensión narrativa atrapante que no te deja soltar el libro en ningún momento y, cuando lo haces, estás soñando con volver a cogerlo, brutal en el desarrollo del método policial. Quizá demasiado canónica en el esquema de la trama y los principales giros, pero se perdona sobradamente por lo excelso del resultado final.

La parada y fonda en la serie de Harry Bosch, me ha llevado a otro de los personajes del universo Boschiano, Jack MacEvoy. Tengo que agradecer a M. Carmen que me recomendara esta parada antes de seguir a todo galope con la serie. Aquí no aparece Harry, pero el caso es espectacular, y creo que conecta con la saga en el siguiente: "Cauces de Maldad", porque si he de buscarle un pero al libro, es que la historia se queda inconclusa, quizá a la espera de la aparición de Bosch.

Asesinos en serie, suicidios de policías, mensajes inspirados en los poemas de Poe, FBI y un desconocido periodista que empieza a tirar de un hilo que nadie, nadie, había sido capaz de detectar.: MacEvoy. ¿le dejarán investigar? ¿Será capaz de convencer a los poderes fácticos de que hay gato encerrado? ¿lo utilizarán para sus fines y luego le darán una patadita en el culo?

Una de las cosas que más me gustan de haber llegado tarde a esta serie es ir viendo la aplicación de las nuevas tecnologías al método policial. En esta entrega (1995), vemos al personal ya con portátiles y móviles, tirando de internet vía módem y conexión telefónica. Qué tiempos aquellos ¿eh?. Pero esto también proporciona un inmenso campo de expansión a los malos.......

Lo dicho una jodida obra maestra del género y un clásico con todas las letras.

No puedo demorarme con "Cauces de Maldad", que lo tengo fresquito.
Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,204 reviews919 followers
November 24, 2016
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 here. But, it's important to get the background on the case origins before Harry does get involved so that's why it is part of the Harry Bosch Universe.

Now, regarding the story. This one is really different because Jack's a reporter, not a detective or private investigator so he doesn't have cop instincts. I had to check myself on occasion when Jack didn't react the way I thought he should have, like a cop. That's a tribute to Connelly because I think he got it right as a journalist. In addition to Jack's first person narrative, we also get the voice of the suspect, which was pretty awful due to the subject matter but quite essential to the story.

I enjoyed this twisting and turning, around-the-bend-and-back case. I must admit to being a bit shocked at the ending, even though I had growing suspicions. The narrator was fine but I associate Buck Schirner with the Monkeewrench series so that was a distraction. And, he sounds older than Jack. Otherwise, it was a very interesting story with lots of tangents.
Profile Image for Overhaul.
270 reviews606 followers
May 13, 2023
Jack McEvoy es un periodista especializado en crímenes. Su hermano, policía de homicidos, aparentemente se ha suicidado. Cuando se decide a escribir sobre el asunto, descubre el rastro de El Poeta, un asesino en serie que ha dejado junto a sus ocho víctimas, todas ellas policías, falsas notas de suicidio con versos de Edgar Allan Poe.

Su descubrimiento hace que intervenga el FBI. Una de las agentes, Rachel Walling, personaje habitual en las novelas de Michael Connelly, desempeña un papel fundamental en la investigación, aunque finalmente el asesino consiga escapar.

En Cauces de maldad continuará la persecución de El Poeta, algo que se lee en la introducción y no me gustó una mierda. Pues es un spoiler que yo personalmente no quería saber. Ya sabía que no sería caso cerrado. Y encima si no te gusta o entusiasma pues te quedas colgado queriendo saber pero sin querer leer más.

Sólo por eso pierde puntuación. Aunque no es la razón principal . Y es que para mi ha sido en definitiva, un thriller del montón.

Lo que más destaca del libro y del autoe es el procedimiento policial o del propio protagonista. Es muy bueno en ese aspecto. Mucho. Es detallado y muy conciso a su vez. Aprendes sobre la marcha.

Bien narrado. Una trama dura y fría. Toda la crudeza de la trama que termina volviéndose tan ágil como adictiva. Pero no es lo mejor que he leído ni me ha soprendido ni de lejos, pero bueno, es aceptable.

Quizás demasiadas expectativas. Quitando que me parece del montón, mi problema fueron los personajes sobretodo el protagonista. Ni fu, ni fa. Eso resta mucho.

Tiene una adecuada capacidad de enganche que nos transmite por saber quién, porqué y cómo.

El personaje principal no me gustó demasiado para seguirle a lo largo de todo el libro. Tengo más esperanzas en su otro y mucho más conocido protagonista. Pero sin prisa.

Un libro tenso, duro y bien escrito es bastante esclarecedor sobre los métodos que utiliza el FBI para perfilar y perseguir a los asesinos en serie.

"El Poeta" es un asesino psicópata puro que ha estado matando durante bastante tiempo. No se sabe cuánto tiempo porque todas y casa una de sus víctimas, hasta ahora, fueron en su día confundidas con suicidios.

Así era hasta que uno de ellos era el hermano de Jack McEvoy. Jack es reportero y, como tal, la policía no le hace demasiado caso, hasta que presente pruebas que sean irrefutables de que su hermano no solo no se suicidó, sino que su muerte está relacionada con otras muertes.

Jack es reportero, no es un detective ni un investigador privado, por lo que no tiene los instintos ni la preparación.

No es un protagonista que me haya llamado la atención o gustado. Muy regulero. Mucho.

En ocasiones me quede diciéndome, qué haces, cuando Jack no reaccionaba de la manera que debería haberlo hecho. Eso está bien. Pero no es suficiente.

Además de la narración en primera persona de Jack, tenemos la voz del sospechoso, que fue intensa debido al tema pero bastante esencial para la historia.

No está mal, no es un Augusto Ledesma pero es que tampoco me sorprendió lo que me esperaba al principio.

Además de un tema que a mi me da mucho asco y es una de las poca cosas que su lectura no me agrada, todo lo contrario, no me gusta leer sobre ello. Niños y ya os haréis una idea de a qué me refiero.

Un thriller psicológico bueno, con un asesino en serie suelto. Misterio y algún giro.

Trama compleja, bien hilada y bien escrito. Que para mi pasa sin pena ni gloria, tiene mi enhorabuena junto las flores no el hacha, pero no me ha entusiasmado ni siquiera soprendido como me esperaba.

Seguiré con Connelly, quizás, por curiosidad dada su reputación. Quizás. Too many books.

Ahora vamos a lo importante, mi seguridad, Xabi, sigues disponible como mi padrino antes de que me empiecen a retar a duelos?.. ✍️🤣🎩
Profile Image for Scott Rhee.
1,843 reviews68 followers
December 29, 2013
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 some ways, still a taboo subject. It’s probably taboo for a good reason, as the word itself is cringe-worthy. It stops conversations dead, makes everyone feel uncomfortable, and brings to mind nothing but disturbing thoughts and images. It’s understandable why pedophilia is a taboo subject, but it’s also important to note that it’s an issue that needs to be addressed. Keeping quiet and turning a blind eye is what got the Catholic church in trouble regarding this issue, so it’s not an issue that can simply be swept under the rug anymore. Of course, tactfulness and discretion is always in order.

Outside of memoirs and other nonfiction, pedophilia is not an issue many fiction writers are willing to tackle. The few writers willing to confront the subject matter often find ways of doing it subtly; bringing it up without actually having to bring it up. Those few writers who don’t tiptoe around the subject are often accused of being too “in your face” or “graphic”. It’s a tough subject to deal with in writing.

Michael Connelly, in his riveting but disturbing novel “The Poet”, attempts to write about pedophilia without walking on eggshells. It’s graphic and horrifying and makes the reader naturally uncomfortable, which are the book’s strengths AND weaknesses. I consider “The Poet” a successful failure of a novel. To explain: Connelly uses the subject matter of pedophilia to create a taut, edge-of-the-seat crime thriller, something which he succeeds in doing. He also succeeds in creating a thoroughly unpleasant read, precisely because of the subject matter. “The Poet” is an excellent thriller, but it is not a fun read.

Of course, I may be coming at this reading with a unique perspective, one that I did not have a year ago. Indeed, if I had read this book a year ago, i’m sure that may appreciation for this book would have been much different. What’s changed?

Well, for one, I’m now a father.

Prior to having a child, I never fully appreciated or understood how truly life-changing it was to become a parent, nor how completely in love one person can be with another. In my child’s face I see a perfect genetic blend of my wife and me. I see my past and my future, and I see a hope for the human race. I also now understand the intense feelings of protectiveness that inherently comes with parenthood. I would do anything to shelter and protect my little girl from the evils of the world.

Pedophiles are the natural enemies of parents. They are a parent’s polar opposites: Whereas parents want to nurture and see grow, pedophiles want to defile and destroy. Whereas parents want to keep pure, pedophiles want to sully and contaminate.

Prior to having my child, I was, perhaps, somewhat of a “bleeding heart” liberal and a Christian in my views toward pedophiles: maybe they CAN be rehabilitated and cured of their sickness, and it is the judicial system’s and the church’s duty to try. Pedophiles aren’t monsters, after all. They are still human beings, albeit flawed, and, most likely, victims themselves.

Nowadays, to that I say: Bullshit.

Pedophiles are evil and incomprehensibly so. Whatever possesses a human being to do something so ugly and inhuman to a child is beyond comprehension and beyond my sympathetic and empathetic capabilities. I don’t care if they were victims themselves. I no longer care or believe that they can be rehabilitated, because I would never allow a known pedophile---rehabilitated or otherwise---anywhere near my child. And, despite my Judeo-Christian upbringing and belief in tolerance and nonviolence, I would have no hesitation or guilt in defending my daughter, even if it includes killing a pedophile. It frightens me to say that, but it is true.

In “The Poet”, one of Connelly’s characters, a seasoned FBI agent named Rachel Walling, expresses similar views to the protagonist, Jack McEvoy. He and the reader are, I suppose, expected to feel shocked and appalled by her statement. She is, after all, an agent of the Law. She is beholden to upholding the Law and supporting the basic moral tenet that murder is wrong and unforgivable, and yet she admits to having no problems wanting to put a bullet in the brains of a pedophile. I found myself surprised to feel no shock or disgust at what she was saying. I whole-heartedly agreed with her.

There is a certain genius in Connelly’s writing talent that one is never sure how one is “supposed” to feel about anything in the book. There is no manipulation of emotions. He leaves it up to us, the readers, to bring our own sense of morality to the reading.

Take the protagonist, Jack McEvoy, for example: He is a Denver journalist who, after the very controversial and publicized suicide of his older brother (the lead homicide detective of an investigation into the brutal murder of a young schoolteacher), stumbles upon evidence that the police originally missed that confirms that his brother’s suicide was actually a murder. McEvoy quickly does more research that reveals a serial killer’s trail across the country.

While his investigative skills carry the investigation, the reader is never fully convinced that he is doing it for the right reasons. Is he doing all this to avenge his brother, or is he simply hoping to find that Big Story, the one that may finally get him a Pullitzer Prize and a higher-paying job as a staff reporter for a newspaper like the Chicago Tribune or the Los Angeles Times? At times, McAvoy seems like a good guy, just trying to clear his brother’s reputation. At other times, he looks like a self-aggrandizing asshole. Connelly refrains from making any editorial judgment.

The killer himself is an interesting character study in duality. At once perverted and vicious, the killer’s life is gradually revealed in bits and pieces that are meant to help us understand, if not necessarily sympathize, with why he does what he does. From an objective standpoint, the killer’s life is a sad one, and he appears (like almost all pedophiles) to have been a victim of gross sexual abuse as a child himself.

From a subjective standpoint, I didn’t give a shit. I hated him, and my hatred made me uncomfortable. It is not a side of myself that I liked seeing. Sadly, this discomfort carried over to the rest of the novel, tainting what I would have otherwise considered an excellent thriller. Through no fault of Connelly’s.

I respect Connelly for not walking on eggshells and for telling it like it is. I admire the fact that he was not afraid to be graphic when necessary because turning a blind eye to this kind of inhumanity is, in my opinion, just as dangerous as those who perpetrate this type of inhumanity. While some things may very well be better left unsaid, continued physical and sexual abuse of children should never be one of those things that are swept under the rug or dismissed or simply ignored because it’s “too uncomfortable” a subject matter.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Georg.
Author 1 book41 followers
August 3, 2009
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.
Profile Image for Sue.
1,330 reviews5 followers
November 7, 2012
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 wound.Sean McEvoy was found in his unmarked car...an apparent suicide. There was a note written on the windshield that said, "Out of Space. Out of Time." But both Jack and Sean's wife, Riley, didn't believe that he would commit suicide.It didn't add up!

Then Jack decides to dig deeper...and find out what really happened to his brother. He joins forces with the FBI to solve the mystery.

The FBI began a manhunt for a serial killer who had claimed as many as seven homicide detectives as his victory.He was named "The Poet" because he left notes containing lines of poetry from the work of Edgar Allan Poe, at each murder scene, disguising the deaths as suicides.

This was an amazing psychological thriller, a serial killer on the loose...It was so well written, and I was glued to the book from the beginning.If you enjoy reading mystery suspense thrillers with a twist...get this book. You won't be disappointed.
Profile Image for Paul Weiss.
1,221 reviews168 followers
April 12, 2023
Connelly's vacation from Harry Bosch!

Jack McEvoy is a reporter on the crime scene in Denver. His twin brother, homicide detective Sean McEvoy, has recently been found dead, presumably a suicide, by a shotgun blast to the head. The suicide note is a cryptic excerpt from a macabre Edgar Allan Poe poem, certainly focused on death but so enigmatic as to be almost meaningless as a final message to the world. In the course of gathering material for a feature article he wants to write on the alarmingly high frequency of stress-related police suicides, Jack discovers evidence which leads him to believe that Sean was murdered by the child-killer that he had been investigating. A skilled and resourceful investigative reporter, Jack uncovers a series of puzzling contradictions. Now believing that Sean was not the only victim of this false suicide MO, he takes his evidence to the FBI and the hunt is on for a deranged serial pedophile killer who targets children AND the police officers investigating the murders.

Maybe Michael Connelly wanted a break or perhaps he felt his fans needed a breather. In any event, THE POET is a slight departure from his string of runaway success Harry Bosch novels. It certainly takes place in the same gritty US crime atmosphere - FBI agent Rachel Walling is even an import from previous Bosch novels - but McEvoy as a character is a little more grounded, a little more professionally certain of himself, a little less angst ridden, a little less sure of his relationships with the fairer sex and - well, just different than Harry! In short, he's a fine addition to the Connelly pantheon of fascinating characters and I'll certainly be looking forward to a return appearance in a future novel.

I recently wrote a review of Tess Gerritsen's THE SINNER in which I suggested that she had failed to clear the bar that she had set for herself in her previous novels. I think I can make the same comment about THE POET. While it was a thoroughly enjoyable read, it simply didn't drag me kicking and screaming into the wee hours reading with bleary eyes the way that his previous Harry Bosch novels did. But a poor day with a Michael Connelly crime novel still beats the stuffing out of most of his competition on their best days and I'm happy to award this one four stars.


Paul Weiss
Profile Image for Mike (the Paladin).
3,145 reviews1,813 followers
May 29, 2021
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 brother. Jack is a reporter and as such the cops (nor the FBI) wants to listen to him, that is until he comes up with irrefutable proof that not only was his brother not a suicide but that his death is tied in with other deaths.

The story is very well constructed and the book is what is usually termed a "page turner". I like it greatly and highly recommend it.

So...why then do I give it a 4 instead of a 5? Well, as some of you (who've read many of my reviews) may know I'm really not into emotional stories. A romance will get the ole "heave-ho" from me in a heartbeat and if a romance or emotionally loaded character line takes over a book I'm still prone to "move on". Well, the romance doesn't actually "take over" here but it does "weigh heavily".

Mr. Connelly has a couple of flaws (at least to/for me) that tend to show up in his books. Now and then the characters do something totally illogical...well, or fail to do the common sense thing. Also they have emotional baggage, I mean BIG emotional baggage. If these people take a plane cross country they probably have to pay extra for all that baggage...it does get old.

Still that aside it's a good book and I really can recommend it, I like it greatly. Enjoy.

Read this a while back but had my attention drawn back to it...and found a (to use a technical term) "BUNCH" of typos...oops.
Profile Image for Arah-Lynda.
337 reviews524 followers
June 24, 2013

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, written by his hand just before death " Out of space. Out of time" He begins to investigate the possible meaning in that message and in the process uncovers other deaths and other quotes, left by a suicidal hand. It would seem that other detectives also quoted Edgar Allan Poe in their final dying moments.

As Jack's investigation continues it becomes clear that he is on the path of a serial killer of unprecedented savagery. On more than one occasion as I followed Jack on his hunt for the killer I was sure I had it figured out. Not! This one keeps you guessing, delivering unexpected twists and turns as you navigate the final chapters, most likely white knuckling each page at break neck speed. A haunting and irresistable thriller!

Profile Image for William.
675 reviews324 followers
March 17, 2019
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 (which I tried mostly to skip over), left me ill.

I did enjoy Rachel Walling, most of the time, but what she sees in McEvoy is completely beyond me.... Some supporting characters were good while others were laughable - right out of high school *facepalm*

The first climax of this book was acceptable, but then, as Connelly often writes, there is a twist. Then another, then another, with the final resolution not being a resolution at all. (And then more short chapters after that *Godzilla Facepalm*)

A roller-coaster of a mess. Ugh.
Profile Image for Obsidian.
2,735 reviews938 followers
April 20, 2020
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 reporter would even be allowed into a FBI manhunt for a serial killer but of course it makes sense when you get to the ending.

"The Poet" follows Jack McEvoy who is left reeling after his twin brother's suicide. When Jack starts digging though, he ties his brother's investigation into a cold case to links to other suicides of police with cases they could not solve. When Jack stumbles upon a probable serial killer, he is pulled into the FBI investigation. He meets Special Agent Rachel Walling and her boss/supervisor Robert Backus along with some other FBI agents. Connelly also explores another point of view in this story, we follow William Gladden who is a pedophile that a link to the cases that Jack and the FBI is trying to solve.

The character of Jack, eh. I really didn't care for him. Comparing him to Bosch he was definitely just okay. Having an entire book about him and his hunt for the truth was kind of boring. I think mostly because Jack's reasons for staying involved with the case were not really noble. He says it's for his brother, but really it's for the story and glory of what he is getting involved with. His "insights" into things was laughable too. He goes and pesters people and starts notes, but when he is working with Rachel and others, they are the ones who are putting things together. I also didn't like the relationship with Rachel, probably because Jack was questioning it and her almost immediately about what did it mean and were they together. He seemed to be written in a way to fit whatever Connelly was trying to do and not really as a developed character. The Jack we meet at the beginning of the book didn't really seem the relationship type.

The other characters are so-so with regards to development. Gladden was developed very well and his sections were hard to read. I think the book would have worked better if we didn't see inside his head though. Just make the focus be on Jack like it usually is on Bosch for the Bosch books.

The writing was all over the place. I have to say certain things didn't make sense and the flow didn't help things. Jumping from Jack to Gladden was a lot to wade through (this book was 528 page) and I was glad to be done.

The setting of the book jumps all over and I can't even recall the cities/states right now. The ending didn't really work. Things get resolved with regards to the Poet in "The Narrows" though and I liked that one much better, I gave it 4 stars. I will read the next book in the McEvoy series soon, that's called "The Scarecrow."
Profile Image for Sarah.
351 reviews96 followers
June 28, 2022
This is a really solid, plot-driven crime story with a surprising twist I did not see coming.

The writing itself isn't phenomenal, though there are a few one-line character descriptions so good I had to write them down for later reference.

Mostly, it's a fast-paced beach (or airplane) read you can blow through in a couple days.

Also fun is the fact it's set in the mid-90s, when high-tech meant plugging a telephone line jack into your computer and waiting three minutes for your laptop to mate with your "computer's mailbox." 😂 Also... beepers!

Profile Image for Fred.
572 reviews73 followers
June 22, 2020
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 wounds in the Rocky Mountain National Park.
Jack & Racheal Walling(FBI) help find police murders/suicides across many cities .....Chicago, California, etc.
Jack & Racheal develop some love during their crime investigations.

They find murder(s) are sexually attracted & leave naked pictures of victims behind. The suspect(s) are stupid, seem different, separate schemes? But suspects murder together? Good end.

YouTube - Audiobook-part 1
YouTube - Audiobook-part 2

Profile Image for Paul O’Neill.
Author 3 books174 followers
June 17, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Becky C. Hennessy.
26 reviews1 follower
March 5, 2013
This is a reasonably well-written book and, in places, a true page-turner with a solid premise. That said, ultimately I couldn't get past the book's weaknesses. For one, it's simply implausible that the victims -- homicide detectives, no less -- could be rendered helpless by such innocuous substances as cough syrup (seriously?) combined with hypnosis (of all things)? I had a problem with this, as I did with key character McEvoy's unrealistic involvement with the FBI investigation.

Was anyone else bothered that McEvoy's character felt inconsistent and underdeveloped, that his astute insights didn't match his seeming passivity? For much of the book the guy was shoved around and bland, a dud with little to say -- to the point where I felt ticked off, and never "got" Rachel's interest in him, not remotely. Also: I was nodding off over the trifling details in the conversations among the various characters; the book easily could have been pared back by a third, or so.

This is my first Michael Connelly book, but it doesn't seem like his best effort; sorry, but he didn't care enough (or his editor didn't) and that's unacceptable to me. He writes better than many authors and, as such, I'd read another of his books, but not without consulting with a good number of reviews first.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Mara.
400 reviews280 followers
May 31, 2015
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 downright hokey.

That being said, the many twists and turns made it a worthwhile experience (and I definitely still trust Richard's recommendations*). Jack McEvoy's role as a reporter makes him into a different sort of leading man. McEvoy is a storyteller by trade, so it feels natural that his narrative voice frames the tension so well.
“Most homicides are little murders. That’s what we call them in the newspaper business. Their effect on others is limited, their grasp on the imagination is short-lived. They get a few paragraph on the inside pages. Buried in the paper the way victims are buried in the ground…Theresa Lofton’s was no little murder. It was a magnet that pulled at reporters from across the country. Theresa Lofton was the girl in two pieces.”
There were moments at which I had to make a concerted effort to suspend disbelief, but in the end, it was an enjoyable read, just not a recommended listen.

*I take full responsibility for going “off-piste” by listening to the audio version.
Profile Image for Tim.
2,131 reviews200 followers
June 19, 2017
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
Profile Image for HR Habibur Rahman.
232 reviews30 followers
July 18, 2022
প্রায় ৫০০ পৃষ্টার একটা মোটাসোটা বই। একবার বইয়ের ভেতর ঢুকে গেলে সেটাকে সামান্যই মনে হবে। মনে হবে আরও ১০০ পৃষ্টা বেশি হলোনা কেন!

নির্জনতায় আবাস আমার
কোলাহল পূর্ণ ধরনী সবার
আমার আত্মা যেন স্তব্ধ স্রোত

থ্রিলার পড়ার এই এক মজা যে হাজারটা এন্ডিং কল্পনা করা যায়। প্রতিটা চ্যাপ্টারে চ্যাপ্টারে মনে হয় যে এটাই আসল রহস্য। তারপর মনে হয় হেস ভুল ছিলাম। ওইটা না এইটা আসল রহস্য। অনেক ক্ষেত্রে আন্দাজ মিললেও প্রায় বেশিরভাগ ক্ষেত্রেই মেলেনা। এই বইটাও তার ব্যতিক্রম নয়। এটাতে বরং এতো টুইস্ট আছে যে পড়ার পর মনে হবে ভাইরে ভাই কী পড়লাম এটা!

I dwelt alone
In a world of moan
And my soul was a stagnant tide

গল্পটা আত্মহত্যার ভাবনা দিয়ে শুরু আর খুন দিয়ে শেষ। এত বড় একটা বইয়ের একটা পেইজও অপ্রাসঙ্গিক মনে হবেনা। তাতে আবার FBI এর বিহ্যাভি���রাল ইউনিটের কথা এমন ভাবে গল্পের সাথে আটানো যেটাতে মনে হবে এটা ফিকশান গল্প না। এটা মনে হয় আসলেই কোনো নন-ফিকশন গল্প। মনে হবার কারন গল্পের নিঘুত বর্ননা। Mindhunter দেখে বিহ্যাভিওরাল ইউনিট সমন্ধে প্রথম ধারণা। আর সেই ডিপার্টমেন্টকে গল্পের সাথে গল্পটা এমন ভাবে সাজানো যে পড়ার মাঝখানে একবার চেক করে নিতে হইছে যে আসলেই এটা ফিকশন তো!!

গল্পের মাঝ বরাবর যাবার পর গল্পের পেসের সাথে নিজের হার্টবিটেরও প��স বেড়ে যাবে। এই বুঝি ধরে ফেললো! এই বুঝি ফেঁসে গেলো খুনি!! এই বুঝি এন্ডিং চলে আসলো। কিন্তু এখোনি এন্ডিং চলে আসলে আরও যে অনেক পৃষ্টা সেগুলোর কী হবে!! এরকম ভাবনা দিয়েই পুরা বই শেষ হবে। এক কথায় এক মহুর্তের জন্যও মনে হবেনা ধুর এই পৃষ্টাটা দেওয়া বৃথা হইছে বা সময় নষ্ট হলো।

গল্পটা মূলত সিরিয়াল কিলিং এর। And Amaricans love serial killer :'. শহরে একের পর এক আত্মহত্যা।  সাথে এডগার এলেন পো এর কবিতার চিরকুট। কিন্তু জনের নিজের ভাইয়ের আত্মহত্যাই ঘুরিয়ে দেয় মোড়। তারপর শুরু হয় রহস্য আর রহস্যের খেলা। ভেতরে এতো এতো টুইস্ট পাবেন যে মনে হবে মাথার নিউরন সব ছটফট করতিছে। তবে শেষের দিকে একটু তাড়াহুড়া হয়ে গেছে। কিলারের নিজের সম্পর্কে আরও বেশি জানার ইচ্ছা ছিলো। এখন আবার পরবর্তী বই পড়তে হবে সেটা জানার জন্য 🤦‍♂️।

আর অনুবাদের কথা বলতে গেলে সালমান হকের অনুবাদ যেমন হয় তেমোনি। এটা যে অনুবাদ সেটা মনে উঁকিও মারবেনা একবারের জন্যও।

হ্যাপি রিডিং 😉

বইঃ দ্য পোয়েট
লেখকঃ মাইকেল কনেলি
অনুবাদকঃ সালমান হক
Profile Image for Richard.
452 reviews104 followers
February 2, 2015

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 characters and locations. Crime reporter Jack McEvoy is the lead and is left unsatisfied with the verdict that his brother has committed suicide and decides to do what he knows best, start researching and putting strands together to find out the truth. Not long into the story those strands turn to webs and lead to things getting pretty hectic. Before you know it, Jack Mac is in with the FBI globetrotting around being the main guy in the investigation and on the hunt for the elusive “Poet” with several potential enemies.

Instantly you can tell that Michael Connelly used to be a crime reporter with the way he writes like a man who knows what he’s talking about. The plot zips by as usual and before you know it you’ve read the majority of the book and are deep into the investigation. It’s not his most impressive work but for a quick read and a look into the world of media in the 90’s/early 00’s then it’s pretty interesting and enjoyable. The tech (which was probably top notch back then) is quite laughable but forget about that and get into the story and go with it. Dial up modem, ha. How I laughed.

There are a few red herrings and some plot twists but that is expected with this sort of book and leads to a solid conclusion if not a totally unpredictable one. Highly enjoyable and another top rated read. I look forward to getting back into the Bosch series.

If you like this try: “The Bone Detective” by Jeffery Deaver.
Profile Image for Abbas Fardil.
47 reviews31 followers
August 13, 2019
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.
Profile Image for Dave.
3,012 reviews331 followers
July 9, 2017
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 trigger. Jack hasn't been close to his brother lately, but he doesn't buy the suicide and starts looking into the case, particularly the Edgar Allen Poe verse scrawled on the windshield. When he finds a similar cop suicide in Chicago, Jake heads to DC to view an FBI study on cop suicides and runs into Rachel Walling, the toughest and most beautiful special agent ever. From there, the race is on to get the Poet before he kills again. Few other authors could make a novel of such length read so easily. A great crime novel with good character development.
Profile Image for Jim.
Author 7 books2,028 followers
March 1, 2016
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.
Profile Image for Antonella  M..
922 reviews82 followers
July 7, 2021
"La morte è il mio mestiere, ci guadagno da vivere, ci costruisco la mia reputazione professionale. Io tratto la morte con la passione e la precisione di un becchino: serio e comprensivo quando sono in compagnia dei familiari in lacrime, ma freddo osservatore quando sono solo. Ho sempre pensato che il segreto nel trattare con la morte consistesse nel tenerla a debita distanza. Questa era la regola: non permetterle di avvicinarsi sino a sentirne il fiato sul collo."

Era da tempo che non leggevo un thriller così avvincente, che non ti permette di staccarti dalle pagine e che, anche quando lo fai, sei sempre lì a pensarci su. Una storia adrenalinica, una corsa contro il tempo per la cattura di un serial killer, con tanto di FBI che, a mio avviso, aggiunge quel pizzico di fascino in più ai polizieschi. Il soggetto da catturare viene soprannominato "Il Poeta" perchè la sua firma, se così possiamo definirla, è un verso tratto dalle poesie di Edgar Allan Poe.
L'incipit citato all'inizio della recensione è la voce narrante della storia, quella del giornalista Jack McEvoy che, suo malgrado, spinto da questioni personali, si ritrova a essere parte attiva nell'indagine dell'FBI.
Di Connelly ho letto diversi romanzi, ma posso affermare con certezza che questo, per ora, è il mio preferito.
Profile Image for Rohun.
100 reviews34 followers
March 18, 2021
If you asked me to say in a sentence, 'The reading journey was really amazing.'
But if you want to hear anything in tiny detail, I would say_
THE STORY WAS NOT ABOUT JUST A CRIME, DARK PSYCHOLOGY, IT WAS VERY PERSONAL.. The eternal cold, grief and darkness that is quite overwhelming and unbearable to me. I Don't know how much long I am gonna remain sinking in gloom.
Highly Recommended with caution. The read could be an amazing journey but It will not be gorgeous either.
Profile Image for Karen.
388 reviews21 followers
April 20, 2023
I first encountered Jack McEvoy in “A Darkness More Than Night” where he is an L.A. Times journalist who interacts with detective extraordinaire, Harry Bosch. If my crush, Bosch, likes and respects McEvoy, then I would too, I decided.

In this book, McEvoy’s twin brother (a cop, himself) seems to have committed suicide in his home city of Denver. Jack (who at this time is a reporter for the Rocky Mountain News) is suspicious and starts looking into it. His amateur sleuthing gets him involved with an FBI investigation. The plot moves along well and, being a Connelly book, it’s never dull. However I think I was expecting the same level of intensity as a Bosch book, which is unrealistic for a book written from a reporter’s perspective.

The plot was fine, the red herrings were plentiful. Jack’s romantic dalliance seemed unrealistic, however, Michael Connelly has said that McEvoy "… is easily the most autobiographical character I have ever written about". That’s another reason I want to read the McEvoy books. Connelly was an L.A. Times reporter and I wanted to understand that perspective.

I’m not sure I bought the ending although it was surprising and well written. A bit unbelievable, but I’ll accept it. As for Jack, it’s good to get to know him a bit. I’m still interested to read the next one.

The audiobook narrator, Buck Schirner, was a new one for me. He was good! He did a lot of voices, but my favourite was the store owner, near the end, an old guy, and Schirner’s portrayal made me lol.

Recommended for fans of the Harry Bosch universe and fans of crime beat reporters.
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