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The Poet by Michael Connelly

The Poet (1996)

by Michael Connelly

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Jack McEvoy (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,120811,789 (3.94)154
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» See also 154 mentions

English (73)  French (3)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (80)
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
This book has aged very badly. The dialog might have been okay when the book was written, but now it just falls flat. The main character might have been appealing at one time, but now he's kind of weird and off-putting.

There's just not enough realism in this book. There were too many threads dangling for any hope of tying them together for a resolution. Plus, I wasn't invested in the main characters enough to seek out more books for a resolution. I can live without it. Bleh. ( )
  authenticjoy | Mar 29, 2019 |
I was mostly bored with this book but I'm not sure why. Ho hum characters and a predictable story line , guess. I usually like thrillers and have read other books by Michael Connelly that I've enjoyed. Just not this one right now. ( )
  melanieklo | Jul 25, 2018 |
The Poet
3 Stars

As the crime reporter for a Denver newspaper, Jack McAvoy is used to violence and death. That said, he is shocked to the core when his brother, a homicide detective, is found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. In an attempt to cope, Jack decides to write a story about police suicides and inadvertently stumbles upon a malicious serial killer targeting cops and leaving cryptic poetic clues.

Series note: Even though this is one of Connelly's earlier works, it slots in as book #11 in the Harry Bosch Universe, which I am slowly working my way through. Consequently, it invites an inevitable comparison with the Bosch books and does not fare as well.

Unlike Bosch, Jack is a reporter and not a detective. This requires him to manipulate situations in order to be in on the investigation and some of his tactics are questionable. Nevertheless, he is an appealing character and one cannot help but feel for the losses he has suffered.

In terms of the writing, the pacing is slower and the action, tension and suspense are noticeably lacking. Too much attention it paid to descriptions of settings, conversations and procedures, and the book could have been shorter and tighter.

Jack's relationship with Rachel Walling demonstrates once again that Connelly does not write romance at all well. Although Jack claims that there is something deeper than physical attraction to their connection, it does not come across that way and their intimacy feels forced.

The serial killer plot has tremendous potential and is ultimately satisfying although there are numerous unanswered questions regarding the killer's motivations. These will apparently be resolved in the next Harry Bosch book, The Narrows, which I look forward to reading soon.

A final note on the audio narration. Buck Schirner has a deep baritone, which is excellent for the male characters, but his voices for the women are truly awful.
( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
Great mystery thriller, that has twists and turns and keeps you guessing even as you know the who dun it. Easy good read - listened as an audio book which the narrator did a great job. ( )
  booklovers2 | Mar 10, 2018 |
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 told mainly in the first person narrative from the perspective of reporter Jack McEvoy and his nemesis the mysterious character named “Eidolon”, Mr. Connelly switches to the third person when the story is told from the view point of Gladden, the pedophile. The transition from one character to the other is professionally done and very smooth. I really like how Michael Connelly takes us into the world of reporting. His experience as a former writer for a newspaper makes the reporter stuff such as deadlines and chasing down leads sound so authentic. Being written a long time ago makes some of the technology outdated but if you were around then you will definitely remember the phone booth, the sound of a modem dialing…a bit of nostalgia…does no harm…

Of course death is at the heart of this novel. A serial killer is at large, his target: homicide cops and the killer’s calling card is a quotation from the woks of Edgar Poe. When Jack decides that the best way to exorcise his grief is by writing a feature on police suicides he soon finds himself involved in an FBI investigation of a serial killer referred to as the Poet….Jack meets Rachael Walling, the lead investigator.

This is a page-turner I had a hard time to put down so captivated I was to see how Jack would manage to pull through the intricate web of conspiracy he found himself in. The mystery has great characterization, a plot line that moves along at a steady pace, rich and colourful narration and strong dialogue. No wonder this was and still is a winner. ( )
  Tigerpaw70 | Jan 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Connellyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Montanari, GianniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
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Related movies
Awards and honors
This is for Philip Spitzer and Joel Gotleb -- great advisors and agents, but most of all great friends
First words
Death is my beat.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Our hero is Jack McEvoy, a Rocky Mountain News crime-beat reporter. As the story opens, Jack's twin brother, a Denver homicide detective, has just killed himself. Or so it seems. But when Jack begins to investigate the phenomenon of police suicides, a disturbing pattern emerges, and soon suspects that a serial murderer is at work - a devious cop killer who's left a coast-to-coast trail of "suicide notes" drawn from the poems of Edgar Allan Poe. It's the story of a lifetime - except that "the Poet" already seems to know that Jack is trailing him. . .
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0446690457, Paperback)

Jack McEvoy is a Denver crime reporter with the stickiest assignment of his career. His twin brother, homicide detective Sean McEvoy, was found dead in his car from a self-inflicted bullet wound to the head--an Edgar Allen Poe quote smeared on the windshield. Jack is going to write the story. The problem is that Jack doesn't believe that his brother killed himself, and the more information he uncovers, the more it looks like Sean's death was the work of a serial killer. Jack's research turns up similar cases in cities across the country, and within days, he's sucked into an intense FBI investigation of an Internet pedophile who may also be a cop killer nicknamed the Poet. It's only a matter of time before the Poet kills again, and as Jack and the FBI team struggle to stay ahead of him, the killer moves in, dangerously close.

In a break from his Harry Bosch novels--including The Concrete Blonde and The Last Coyote--Edgar-winning novelist Michael Connelly creates a new hero who is a lot greener but no less believable. The Poet will keep readers holding their breath until the very end: the characters are multilayered, the plot compelling, and the denouement a true surprise. Connelly fans will not be disappointed. --Mara Friedman

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:07 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Death is reporter Jack McEvoy's beat. But this time, death brings McEvoy the story he never wanted to write -- and the mystery he desperately needs to solve. A serial killer of unprecedented savagery and cunning is at large, His targets: homicide cops, each haunted by a murder case he couldn't crack. His latest victim: McEvoy's own brother. And his last may be McEvoy himself.… (more)

» see all 18 descriptions

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