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The Poet Paperback – July 1, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

In a departure from his crime novels featuring LAPD's Harry Bosch, Connelly (The Last Coyote) sets Denver journalist Jack McEvoy on an intricate case where age-old evils come to flower within Internet technology. Jack's twin brother, Sean, a Denver homicide detective obsessed with the mutilation murder of a young woman, is discovered in his car, dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot, with a cryptic note written on the windshield. Jack's investigation uncovers a series of cop suicides across the country, all of which have in common both the cops' deep concerns over recent cases and their last messages, which have been taken, he quickly determines, from the writings of Edgar Allan Poe. As his information reopens cases in Chicago, Baltimore, Dallas, New Mexico and Florida, Jack joins up with a team from the FBI's Behavioral Science Section, which includes sharp, attractive agent Rachel Walling. Connections between the dead cops, the cases they were working on and the FBI profile of a pedophile whom readers know as William Gladden occur at breakneck speed, as Jack and the team race to stay ahead of the media. Edgar-winning Connelly keeps a surprise up his sleeve until the very end of this authoritatively orchestrated thriller, when Jack finds himself in California, caught at the center of an intricate web woven from advanced computer technology and more elemental drives.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (July 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446690457
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446690454
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (685 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #307,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Connelly was born in Philadelphia, PA on July 21, 1956. He moved to Florida with his family when he was 12 years old. Michael 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 followed up with three more Bosch books, The Black Ice, The Concrete Blonde, and The Last Coyote, before publishing The Poet in 1996--a thriller with a newspaper reporter as a protagonist. In 1997, he went back to Bosch with Trunk Music, and in 1998 another non-series thriller, Blood Work, was published. It was inspired in part by a friend's receiving a heart transplant and the attendant "survivor's guilt" the friend experienced, knowing that someone died in order that he have the chance to live. Connelly had been interested and fascinated by those same feelings as expressed by the survivors of the plane crash he wrote about years before. The movie adaptation of Blood Work was released in 2002, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood.

Connelly's next book, Angels Flight, was released in 1999 and was another entry in the Harry Bosch series. The non-series novel Void Moon was released in 2000 and introduced a new character, Cassie Black, a high-stakes Las Vegas thief. His 2001 release, A Darkness More Than Night, united Harry Bosch with Terry McCaleb from Blood Work, and was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Los Angeles Times.

In 2002, Connelly released two novels. The first, the Harry Bosch book City Of Bones, was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times. The second release was a stand-alone thriller, Chasing The Dime, which was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Los Angeles Times.

Lost Light was published in 2003 and named one of the Best Books of 2003 by the Los Angeles Times. It is another in the Harry Bosch series but the first written in first person.
Connelly's 2004 novel, The Narrows, is the sequel to The Poet. It was named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Los Angeles Times. His 11th Harry Bosch novel, The Closers, was published in 2005, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. The Lincoln Lawyer, Connelly's first-ever legal thriller and his 16th novel, was published in 2005 and also debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. This book introduced Mickey Haller, a Los Angeles defense attorney who works out of the back seat of his Lincoln Town Car. The movie adaptation, starring Matthew McConaughey as Haller, was released in 2011. This is the second film adapted from a Connelly novel.

Crime Beat, a non-fiction collection of crime stories from Michael's days as a journalist, was released in 2006, as was the Harry Bosch novel, Echo Park. The Overlook, Michael's 18th novel, was originally serialized in the New York Times Magazine. This Harry Bosch story was published as a book with additional material in 2007.

Michael's 19th novel, The Brass Verdict, was released in 2008, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It introduces Lincoln lawyer Mickey Haller to LAPD Detective Harry Bosch in a fast-paced legal thriller. Michael's 20th novel, The Scarecrow, was released in 2009, and reunites reporter Jack McEvoy and FBI Agent Rachel Walling for the first time since The Poet. It too debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Michael released a second book in 2009, the 15th Harry Bosch novel, Nine Dragons. In this story, Bosch goes to Hong Kong to find his missing daughter.

In 2010, The Reversal was released and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. This book has Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch working together on the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. The Fifth Witness, a Mickey Haller novel, was released in 2011 and also debuted at #1. Michael's 2011 novel, The Drop, a Harry Bosch novel, debuted at #1. Another #1 ranked book, The Black Box, focuses on Harry Bosch once again and is Michael's 25th novel. Its release came in Michael's 20th year in publishing, 2012. The Gods of Guilt , a Mickey Haller novel, was released in 2013, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. The Burning Room, a Harry Bosch novel, was released in 2014 and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Fifty-eight million copies of Connelly's books have sold worldwide and he has been translated into thirty-nine 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) .

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 Instant Video now. All 10 episodes can be watched here: http://amzn.to/1A1czNc

Michael lives with his family in Florida.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

126 of 133 people found the following review helpful By M J Heilbron Jr. VINE VOICE on October 23, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was my first Connelly book, and safe to say I'm totally hooked.

From reading about his other books, this is one of his non-Bosch books, and as such, was a fortunate place to begin.

What we have here is an old-fashioned page turner. A bare bones summary would be a Denver reporter loses his twin brother cop to suicide, purportedly over a particularly disturbing, unsolved homicide. As he copes, the reporter learns about a number of police suicides, with several seeming related.

At that point in the novel, it becomes a struggle to put the book down. I had to remind myself to slow my reading so I wouldn't miss anything, yet I was tearing through the pages as fast as I could. You won't want to be bothered by anything else for a few hours.

The manhunt is breathlessly told, and becomes scarier as you peek into the mind of the perpetrator. Comparisons to "Silence of The Lambs" are understandable, but unfair. Honestly, this book isn't as good as THAT one, but it doesn't miss by much. Lector is nothing like the Poet; they're two different animals.

The final quarter of the book is best read at night, or better yet, like 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, with only a lamp illuminating the page. It's a bit thrilling when the pieces fit together so unexpectedly yet neatly. There's a satisfying click to each piece of the puzzle as it fits into place.

Here's my big problem: the paperback edition I read ends with a several-page peek at his recent book, "The Narrows." If I'm not mistaken, characters from this book make it into that one, but somehow dovetails with his other books, of which there hae been seven or eight in between.

My problem then is that I have one heck of a lot of reading to do...
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Excession on June 1, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A friend recommended Michael Connelly when I said I hadn't read a really good thriller since Riptide by Preston and Child. I got the Poet the next day, and I read it in three big gulps. There are many parts of the book where it is simply impossible to stop reading.
I'll stay away from the plot(and I recommend you stay away from reviews that tell you too much), but it involves a likeable narrator, the FBI profilers, a truly creepy villain, and many plot twists that still make sense after you catch your breath.
If you are looking for a thriller, and you don't have to get to sleep soon, then this book is certainly for you. I plan to read all of the Michael Connelly books this summer, and that's the highest praise I can give an author.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By mzglorybe VINE VOICE on September 12, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A reporter, Jack McEvoy, looks into the death of his twin brother, a homicide detective who is found dead in his vehicle, an apparent suicide. Doubting the facts, he investigates the circumstances of his brother's death and uncovers cases of assumed suicides of other officers, with one commonality, a suicide note that apparently is a line from a poem. This opens an official investigation for a serial killer dubbed "The Poet."

This book may not grab you right off the bat, but after you get into it, you keep turning those pages longer than you intended to. If you like details of crime investigations you will like this book. The main character, Jack, is not a super-hero, but a believable and likeable good guy, who's persistence and determination one has to admire.

The pedophile personality in the book is very disturbing, and the murders descriptive, so it is not for the squeamish reader. I liked the fact that the book keeps you wondering as to who the real cop-killer is. The only disappointment was in the killers motivation - when the real killer is revealed, it is unclear what caused the individual to go wrong and created such an evil, warped personality. Recommend it for lovers of suspense and crime-solving - Intense, fast reading!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Peter Shermeta VINE VOICE on January 9, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have heard that a major key to writing well is to write what you know. In turn, as a murder-mystery writer you cannot write well about a crime scene unless you have actually stood outside the yellow tape and taken the situation in with all of your senses, or so the story would go. And that is the emphasis behind Michael Connelly's The Poet as I see it. Before becoming a best-selling author, Connelly wrote for newspapers, "primarily specializing in the crime beat" (MichaelConnelly.com). So before he wrote books, Connelly was a reporter. And instead of "typical" detective fiction, The Poet is about (what else?): a reporter.

I was immediately drawn to main character Jack McEvoy. He was sculpted with more precision. He was written with more passion. I may be way off base with this, but it seemed to me that McEvoy was a more natural character for Connelly to write. I have been to talks given by Michael Connelly where he shares experiences with police officers he was privileged to have, so you know there is truth in his detective fiction, but it was fun to read the same type of story wrapped in a different package. He had ridden along with the officers, but he had lived as a reporter. It was entertaining to get some insight into how reporters fight for information since they do not have the authority or the reputation with the police, and see just how competitive their world can be.

Yes, there is a girl. And right away I was closed minded to the whole thing. "This story did not need romantic involvement," I pleaded to the book in my hands, "it is so good without it." But I was wrong. Too often the romance is built in to make the book more marketable to a wider audience. Not so in The Poet.

I cannot remember the last time I came across a book that was so hard to put down.
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