Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Blood Work (Terry McCaleb, #1; Harry Bosch Universe, #8)” as Want to Read:
Blood Work (Terry McCaleb, #1; Harry Bosch Universe, #8)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Blood Work

(Terry McCaleb #1)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  46,683 ratings  ·  1,444 reviews
New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly presents his most ambitious, most gripping achievement to date--a novel of masterly suspense and righteous obsession that will never let you go.

When Graciella Rivers steps onto his boat, ex-FBI agent Terrell McCaleb has no idea he's about to come out of retirement. He's recuperating from a heart transplant and avoiding any
Paperback, 498 pages
Published October 1st 1998 by Warner 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
Jeffrey Greek Michael Haller had already been mentioned as the lawyer half-brother of Harry Bosch in a previous book. I believe it was just Connelly sowing seeds fo…moreMichael Haller had already been mentioned as the lawyer half-brother of Harry Bosch in a previous book. I believe it was just Connelly sowing seeds for future use. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  46,683 ratings  ·  1,444 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Blood Work (Terry McCaleb, #1; Harry Bosch Universe, #8)
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
kartik narayanan
Blood Work is a decent Michael Connelly novel till about the end and then it elevates itself in the last few chapters.

The standard Michael Connelly attributes are present in this novel with one twist - this time the main character is literally 'broken'. Terry McCaleb is a retired FBI agent who undergoes a heart transplant. He is tasked by the sister of the heart donor to provide some closure for her murder. And this leads to a deep mystery that showcases gritty detective work as well as the inc
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must read & movie!!!

IMDb - movie review

YouTube - Official Movie trailer

Two years ago, Terrell McCaleb, had a bad heart problem & needed a new heart with his rare blood. He was lucky, a organ donator with the rare blood was found & heart transplanted.

Two years later as a retired FBI agent, he comes home to his boat in LA’s San Pedro marina, where Graciela Rivers waits on his boat. Recent newspaper articles lead her to him.

Graciela tells him, his
Feb 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, thriller
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
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! ...more
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.
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 Dov
Mohammed M. Sheikh
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american, thriller
More reviews at----

Terry McCaleb a former FBI agent had undergone a heart transplantation recently and now is on a recovery process in his boat "Following sea". He got the organ from a organization called BOPRA, and the patient is actually don't have any idea where he/she got the organ from. but when Graciela Rivers sister of victim Gloria Toress walks on to the boat and seek help from Terry McCaleb, he is now on the move to catch the killer despite his physi
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: serial-thrillers
Number one in the Terry McCaleb series.
First up,this is a great read.
It takes the donor organ theme and turns it evil.
Terry is a retired FBI agent and the recipient of a new heart, the reason for his early retirement.
Terry is approached by the sister of the donor of Terry's heart. The reason Terry was able to receive his new heart was because the donor was murdered. Graciella Rivers, the donors sister, now wants Terry to find her sisters killer. Graciella is at her wits end because the police a
Jane Stewart
4 ½ 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 o
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, after Elmore Leonard, a good novel like this seems drawn out, but this novel does build with steady power, and I like it. The narrator's voice for McGaleb's neighbor is awful, but otherwise okay.
There's some of Harry Bosch here, too, and I like that, but in the length of the thing the hero gets repetitious. It's just too long for the characters if not for the plot.
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
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
Apr 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: oakdale-prison
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
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
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
** Continuing my read and review of Michael Connelly’s work **

Blood Work is the second time that Michael Connelly steps away from his favorite Los Angeles homicide investigator, Harry Bosch. Published in 1998, Connelly introduces Terry McCaleb, a former FBI agent, now retired and spending his time restoring his father’s boat in a Los Angeles marina. Terry is recovering from recent heart transplant and trying to avoid anything that will add stress to his life. Being about 8 weeks since his surger
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
I love this author. He is one of my faves. I enjoy the way his mind works when he sits down to write a novel. He weaves great twists into the plot and of course, he writes great characters.

I enjoyed this one, but the title kind of gave this one away from the very beginning. It took awhile for the story to get to it. Once it got there, I enjoyed it more. And a friend told me this was a movie too, so I'll have to dig that up on the internet. So 4 stars.
4.5 stars.

I read this first installment of the Terry McCaleb novels last, as I doubled-backed to read the sidebar Bosch Universe novels. I wasn't blown away by McCaleb as a character in A Darkness More Than Night and The Narrows, but I enjoyed him much more in Blood Work.

Great plot and excellent writing, as is the case with all Connelly books. I really like Jaye Winston as a character so it was nice to be exposed more to her in what was also her introduction to the Bosch Universe.

It's telling th
Jeff Dickison
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent introduction to Terry McCaleb, ex-FBI agent. Book is very fast paced and intricately plotted. The only flaw I found: I do not believe a new heart recipient could have kept up the pace McCaleb did without compromising his health severely. Recommended to action fans.
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
Aaron Bellamy
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite Michael Connelly novel I’ve read so far. Excellently plotted. Rich in character detail. And still unbelievably fast paced. From the ten or so of these books that I’ve read, I’d recommend this as the perfect place to start. The Bosch books that come before are excellent, but slower paced. The Poet, for me, felt a little far-fetched, but Blood Work hits its target dead center.

Admittedly, Connelly still struggles slightly with the romance. Maybe its me, but the love scenes in al
Mark Harrison
Very good thriller. Ex-cop has heart transplant but is then hired to find who killed the girl who donated that heart. Full of nice twists and a decent array of characters. The hero has none of the grit and menace of Harry Bosch but it is fast paced and, although a tad predictable, has enough surprises to make it worth all the effort.
Hari Hara
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, it's a good thriller.
Mark Baker
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Sumeetha Manikandan
After a long time, I really enjoyed a racy thriller. The last thriller that I read was Dan Brown's Lost Symbol which was a predictable stereotypical book. I had seen this movie long back but was not really happy with Clint Eastwood as the ex FBI agent. He looked perfect as a heart transplant patient but too old to do anything else.

The book was taut and racy. All the right adjectives for a thriller. This was the first book that I read of this author. I am going to check out whether any other titl
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Previous Connelly non-Bosch book that I read wasn't as good as the Bosch series but this one was right up there with them. Terry McCaleb was a very interesting character and the storyline of him trying to solve the murder of the woman whose heart was used for his heart transplant was developed in a very clever way. As usual with Connelly books, the story got more and more gripping the further in you got. Looking forward to reading more in this series and intrigued to read how he interacts with B ...more
Jun 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read, unusual circumstances for Terry McCaleb, and I liked the other characters, especially his neighbor friend. But I found the book to be a slow read due to way too much information about details.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2-3-4 Challenge B...: Question F 19 6 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  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Walk the Wire (Amos Decker #6)
  • Masked Prey (Lucas Davenport #30)
  • Camino Winds (Camino Island #2)
  • Blue Moon (Jack Reacher, #24)
  • A Minute to Midnight (Atlee Pine #2)
  • Redemption (Amos Decker, #5)
  • Bloody Genius (Virgil Flowers, #12)
  • Cajun Justice
  • Reading Order: Michael Connelly: Harry Bosch in Chronological Order
  • One Good Deed
  • The Midwife Murders
  • Long Road to Mercy (Atlee Pine, #1)
  • The Guardians
  • The Order (Gabriel Allon #20)
  • blacklist (#12)
  • Half Moon Bay (Clay Edison, #3)
  • The Last Trial
  • Long Range (Joe Pickett #20)
See similar books…
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

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

Related Articles

If you love a page-turning mystery, you are in for a treat this month. We're seeing a great assortment of highly anticipated mysteries and...
67 likes · 24 comments
“Okay, well a following sea is the one you have to watch out for. It’s the one that comes up behind a vessel. You don’t see it coming.” 0 likes
“anything” 0 likes
More quotes…