Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Poet - Michael Connelly (Jack McEvoy #1)

In The Poet, Connelly takes a break from focusing on the perspective of homicide detective Harry Bosch, and introduces a new amateur sleuth - a journalist by the name of Jack McEvoy.  After McEvoy's twin brother dies from an alleged suicide, McEvoy's digging leads him to believe that there is a serial killer on the loose, borrowing lines from Edgar Allan Poe for his doctored suicide notes.  Stephen King wrote a bang-up endorsement of this novel for the Introduction - claiming that he couldn't stop reading, and that it was a thriller to top all murder mystery thrillers.  I'm a definite King fan, so the endorsement meant something - and maybe raised my expectations a bit too much.  I found the writing in the first few chapters a bit choppy (a bit pulp fiction-y) - and as McEvoy tries to convince folks at every turn that his brother was murdered and didn't commit suicide, I just found the telling and retelling of the evidence tedious.   But, then Connelly did hit his stride, and I thought the story unfolded well.  Unfortunately, McEvoy did a lot of jumping to (the wrong) conclusions, which I found frustrating, and the mystery was revealed a little too rushed at the end (I think in the final 10-20 pages, though I could be mistaken).  This is not the best murder mystery novel of all time, but it's entertaining, as Connelly's books usually are, and it was nice to start a new character and see where he ends up.

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