Review: The Poet

The Poet
The Poet by Michael Connelly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Poet
By Michael Connelly

Reviewed by Jay Gilbertson

So, I’m at my folks for an overnight and forgot the book I was reading at our farm. My dad hands me ‘The Poet’ and I take it thinking, yeah, right dude, another spy novel and you know how much I like those. Not. This is a murder-mystery-thriller of the highest caliber and it will hook you bad. Try this first taste;
“Death is my beat. I make my living from it. I forge my professional reputation on it. I treat it with the passion and precision of an undertaker—somber and sympathetic about it when I’m with the bereaved, a skilled craftsman with it when I’m alone. I’ve always thought the secret of dealing with death was to keep it at arm’s length. That’s the rule. Don’t let it breathe in your face.”
The main character of the entire, twisty, puzzle-stuffed, thrill-ride novel is Jack McEvoy. A Denver based reporter who, as the tale opens, learns that his homicide-detective-twin brother, Sean, has just killed himself. I immediately smelled a rat especially since the detective had left behind a line from Poe on the inside of his steamed up cop-car. Most who commit suicide leave behind a note on paper. Most, but not all, but a line from Poe? How original is that?
McEvoy takes a leave from the paper. He’s so distraught by his brother’s death since they were identical twins and were very close, McEvoy knew in his reporter-gut his brother didn’t off himself. So he does what any reporter would do. He does some research. Lots of it. Since this book was written in 1997, there was much less use of the internet, let alone the availability of my favorite detective; Mister Google.
No spoilers, really. But I have to share some more of this tale. Just a few more bites to grab your imagination. And by the way, this book is nearly 600 pages long and the one thing you will constantly worry about is; Oh no, I’m nearly done!
So, of course he finds out that low and behold just maybe his brother was murdered and how he finds this out is by some really interesting forensics tests. And off the story blasts since McEvoy is a reporter and now he has this major story. He learns that there has been an alarming amount of ‘apparent’ suicides by homicide detectives all over the country. Why no one has never looked into this is mainly due to the potential embarrassment of the detective world. They don’t want the public to know that the job of murder can really get to a person. One can only imagine, I mean, how do they do it?
So now the story starts really flying, the more that McEvoy uncovers, the faster it moves. There is a lot of layers and characters and sub-plots and, of course, a hot babe. An FBI hot babe with all the makings of a murderer. This is where author Connely really hits his mark, he is very clever at weaving many characters together into a team trying to find the bad guy and yet all along maybe, just maybe, the bad guy is right there in the team.
Or not.

• Talk about Twists
• Yes, there’s a sequel
• You’re waiting for?

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