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121 of 128 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As an introduction to Michael Connelly...
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...
Published on October 23, 2004 by M J Heilbron Jr.

versus
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good story runs out of gas
For 400 pages, I could not put this book down, then Connelly ruins it with a completely implausible, and ultimately dull ending. The narrator Jack, spends the book searching for the answers to his brother's apparent suicide. The ending gives us the who, but not the more important why or how
Published on March 26, 1997


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121 of 128 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As an introduction to Michael Connelly..., October 23, 2004
By 
M J Heilbron Jr. "Dr. Mo" (Long Beach, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Poet (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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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great page-turner!, June 1, 2002
By 
Excession "excession" (Westfield, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Poet (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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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read!, September 12, 2002
This review is from: The Poet (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
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put it down...nor did I want to., January 9, 2007
By 
This review is from: The Poet (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. The Poet was interesting, entertaining and suspenseful. I found myself finishing the last page, closing the back cover of the book and wanting for fresh air. "THAT was a good book," I said aloud, to no one in the room.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Does A Really Creative Plot + Great Writing Equal?, December 2, 1999
This review is from: The Poet (Mass Market Paperback)
The Poet! This book was really fun. While I am a fan of Connelly's Harry Bosch series, I was still able to fall for Jack McEvoy. I thought that Connelly's premise was very creative and great for bibliophiles.
The killer uses Poe's literary works as a basis for his murders. What a fabulous way for Connelly to merge his genius with the brilliance of Poe - one of the genre's greats.
I just could not put this one down. I found myself reading under the covers with my book light. A fun vacation from reality.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good story runs out of gas, March 26, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: The Poet (Mass Market Paperback)
For 400 pages, I could not put this book down, then Connelly ruins it with a completely implausible, and ultimately dull ending. The narrator Jack, spends the book searching for the answers to his brother's apparent suicide. The ending gives us the who, but not the more important why or how
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read, but disappointing, April 6, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Poet (Mass Market Paperback)
This book definitely kept my interest, but the ending was more than disappointing. I felt almost cheated for having spent my time reading this novel only to arrive at such a badly thought out ending. No motives are given, no true ending, it's as if he got tired of writing the book, just gave it several "twists" and ended it there.
Bottom line: Disappointing, but interesting enough to keep you turning the pages.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ending wrecked it..., June 4, 2008
This review is from: The Poet (Mass Market Paperback)
I thought this book was pretty interesting until the ending. It was so completely over-the-top, contrived, far-fetched, whatever else you want to call it. It tried way too hard and failed big time. It's like he was trying to picture it as a movie and was trying to make a spectacular twist on the twist on the twist...and it was just an eye-rolling inducing obnoxious ending.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A barn-burner..., September 12, 2006
This review is from: The Poet (Mass Market Paperback)
The Poet by Michael Connelly can best be described as a barn-burner. The author delivers almost everything he has--especially a riveting plot that will have you mesmerized. And just when you think you have everything figured out, there is still one dramatic and surprising twist at the end.

Jack McAvoy works the homicide beat for the Rockie Mountain News. His identical twin brother, Sean, is a homicide detective for the Denver Police Department. Sean appears to have committed suicide, and to try and make some sense of this tragedy, Jack decides to write about the prevalence of police suicides. While researching an article, Jack discovers several other police suicides that appear almost identical to Sean's. He realizes that these deaths are really homicides. The key seems to be the alleged suicide notes--they all contain phrases from the works of Edgar Allen Poe. He also discovers that the Behavioral Science section of the FBI is doing a study on police suicides, so Jack travels to Washington to convince them to let him see their records. McAvoy wants to work with the FBI. They reluctantly agree, but only on the condition that he not write about the story until it's over. At least six cases are discovered and the perpetrator is nicknamed the Poet. McAvoy teams primarily with agent Rachel Walling as they FBI uncovers ties between the Poet and the "suicides" and in the process, uncovers an internet pedophile ring. The FBI works tirelessly to solve the murders and to stay one step ahead of the Poet. Unfortunately, he seems to be getting some inside help from the bureau.

Connelly usually looks at cases through the eyes of homicide detectives or FBI agents, so one of the most interesting aspects of The Poet is that it is written with a reporter as the protagonist (Connelly's first profession). We get a glimpse of the life of a reporter, and how important it is to get the story. Also, we realize how ruthless, low and cutthroat these writers can be in their efforts to be the first one to nail a big scoop. McAvoy has to struggle with wanting to stay on the inside and suppressing the story in return for a bigger payoff later on. He also has to deal with the loathing of many law enforcement officers because of his profession.

The only thing that spoiled The Poet for me is that the Poet appears in The Narrows, one of Connelly's Harry Bosch mysteries. I discovered early on that it is important to read the Bosch books in order. I didn't realize that the non-Bosch books should also be read in their order of publication (interspersed with Bosch books). Despite that fact, I still enjoyed The Poet and feel it is one of Connelly's best.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Well Thought Out, September 9, 2002
By 
Daniel Vullo "BRAIN CANDYMAN" (Weehawken, Nj United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Poet (Mass Market Paperback)
After watching the movie "Blood Work" with Clint Eastwood, I was suprised at how witty the story line was. So I decided to give Connelly's novels a try, so I chose "THE POET" which I found to be very well written and filled with many twists and turns. Connelly sprinkled many details and clues throughout the novel that all came to a head in the end.
His a dialogue is realistic, and the main charactor was not this superman that didn't have hang ups or demons in his closet, which also added to the good mix.
The only aspect of this novel that disturbed me was the main villian, who is a murder/child molester to the extreme, I didn't like the constant talk of that, but despite it all I did enjoy the novel, how ever the ending was a bit abrupt, and the reason behind why the villian did it was not very clearly explained.
It did read like a movie script at times, and maybe that is what connelly is hoping for, if this is the case I think Jason Lee from "Vanilla Sky" could play the lead very well. But a good, solid, intelligent, crime mystery thiller.
I plan on reading some of Connelly's Harry Bosch series in the future.
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