The Narrows (Harry Bosch Series #10)

The Narrows (Harry Bosch Series #10)

4.3 224
by Michael Connelly, Len Cariou

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"FBI agent Rachel Walling finally gets the call she's dreaded for years: the one that tells her the Poet has returned. Years ago she worked on the famous case, tracking down the serial killer who wove lines of poetry into his hideous crimes. Rachel has never forgotten Robert Backus, the killer who called himself the Poet - and apparently he has not forgotten her…  See more details below


"FBI agent Rachel Walling finally gets the call she's dreaded for years: the one that tells her the Poet has returned. Years ago she worked on the famous case, tracking down the serial killer who wove lines of poetry into his hideous crimes. Rachel has never forgotten Robert Backus, the killer who called himself the Poet - and apparently he has not forgotten her either." Harry Bosch gets a call, too. The former LAPD detective hears from the wife of an old friend who has recently died. The death appeared natural, but this man's ties to the hunt for the Poet make Harry dig deep - and lead him into a terrifying, bewildering situation.

Editorial Reviews

John Katzenbach
Connelly knows his forensic evidence and his serial killers, and he is very good on crime-solving techniques and processing -- both physical and mental … fans of Harry Bosch undoubtedly will be pleased.
The Washington Post
Janet Maslin
The Narrows takes its name from a dangerous part of the Los Angeles River and prompts the requisite metaphorical warnings. ("Stay out of the narrows.") Like City of Bones, it's a title with more quiet eloquence than may first be apparent. That's the way Mr. Connelly works: in a style so simple, blunt and knowing that its impact is almost subconscious. But sleepless readers of The Narrows will know why Harry Bosch is said to have "seen-it-all-twice eyes."
The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
There's a gravitas to the mystery/thrillers of Michael Connelly, a bedrock commitment to the value of human life and the need for law enforcement pros to defend that value, that sets his work apart and above that of many of his contemporaries. That gravitas is in full force in Connelly's newest, and as nearly always in the work of this talented writer, it supports a dynamite plot, fully flowered characters and a meticulous attention to the details of investigative procedure. There are also some nifty hooks to this new Connelly: it features his most popular series character, retired L.A. homicide cop Harry Bosch, but it's also a sequel to his first stand-alone, The Poet (1996), and is only his second novel (along with The Poet) to be written in both first and third person. The first-person sections are narrated by Bosch, who agrees as a favor to the widow to investigate the death of Bosch's erstwhile colleague and friend Terry McCaleb (of Blood Work and A Darkness More Than Night). Bosch's digging brings him into contact with Rachel Walling, the FBI agent heroine of The Poet, and the third-person narrative concerns mostly her. Though generally presumed dead, the Poetthe serial killer who was a highly placed Fed and Walling's mentoris alive and killing anew, with, we soon learn, McCaleb among his victims and his sights now set on Walling. The story shuttles between Bosch's California and the Nevada desert, where the Poet has buried his victims to lure Walling. The suspense is steady throughout but, until a breathtaking climactic chase, arises more from Bosch and Walling's patient and inspired following of clues and dealing with bureaucratic obstacles than from slash-and-dash: an unusually intelligent approach to generating thrills. Connelly is a master and this novel is yet another of his masterpieces. (One-day laydown, May 3) Forecast: Connelly should hit #1 with this even without trying, but he and Little, Brown are going all out to support the novel, with plans including a 15-city author tour, a Today Show appearance and the distribution to media and bookstores of a DVD, Michael Connelly's Los Angeles, narrated by CSI star William Petersen. Simultaneous Time Warner Audio and large print edition. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Beloved private eye Harry Bosch tangles with the Poet, the Connelly villain everyone loves to hate. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

Hachette Audio
Publication date:
Harry Bosch Series, #10
Edition description:
Unabridged, 7 cassettes, 10 hours
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.75(d)

Read an Excerpt


SHE WAS IN DARKNESS, floating on a black sea, a starless sky above. She could hear nothing and see nothing. It was a perfect black moment but then Rachel Walling opened her eyes from the dream.

She stared up at the ceiling. She listened to the wind outside and heard the branches of the azaleas scratching against the window. She wondered if it was the scratching on glass or some other noise from within the house that had awakened her. Then her cell phone rang. She wasn’t startled. She calmly reached to the bed table. She brought the phone to her ear and was fully alert when she answered, her voice showing no indication of sleep.

“Agent Walling,” she said.

“Rachel? It’s Cherie Dei.”

Rachel knew right away that this would not be a Rez call. Cherie Dei meant Quantico. It had been four years since the last time. Rachel had been waiting.

“Where are you, Rachel?”

“I’m at home. Where do you think I’d be?”

“I know you cover a lot of territory now. I thought maybe you —”

“I’m in Rapid City, Cherie. What is it?”

She answered after a long moment of silence.

“He’s resurfaced. He’s back.”

Rachel felt an invisible fist punch into her chest and then hold there. Her mind conjured memories and images. Bad ones. She closed her eyes. Cherie Dei didn’t have to use a name. Rachel knew it was Backus. The Poet had resurfaced. Just as they knew he would. Like a virulent infection that moves through the body, hidden from the outside for years, then breaking the skin as a reminder of its ugliness.

“Tell me.”

“Three days ago we got something in Quantico. A package in the mail. It contained —”

“Three days? You sat on it for three —”

“We didn’t sit on anything. We took our time with it. It was addressed to you. At Behavioral Sciences. The mail room brought it down to us and we had it X-rayed and then we opened it. Carefully.”

“What was in it?”

“A GPS reader.”

A global positioning system reader. Longitude and latitude coordinates. Rachel had encountered one on a case the previous year. An abduction out in the Badlands where the missing camper had marked her trail with a handheld GPS. They found it in her pack and traced her steps back to a camp where she had encountered a man and he had followed her. They got there too late to save her but they would have never gotten there at all if it hadn’t been for the GPS.

“What was on it?”

Rachel sat up and swung her legs over the side of the bed. She brought her free hand to her stomach and closed it like a dead flower. She waited and soon Cherie Dei continued. Rachel remembered her as once being so green, just an observer and learner on the go team, assigned to her under the bureau’s mentoring program. Ten years later and the cases, all the cases, had etched deep grooves into her voice. Cherie Dei wasn’t green anymore and she needed no mentor.

“It had one waypoint in its record. The Mojave. Just inside the California border at Nevada. We flew out yesterday and we went to the marker. We’ve been using thermal imaging and gas probes. Late yesterday we found the first body, Rachel.”

“Who is it?”

“We don’t know yet. It’s old. It had been there a long time. We’re just starting with it. The excavation work is slow.”

“You said the first body. How many more are there?”

“As of when I left the scene last we were up to four. We think there’s more.”

“Cause of death?”

“Too early.”

Rachel was silent as she thought about this. The first questions that ran through her filters were why there and why now.

“Rachel, I’m not calling just to tell you. The point is the Poet is back in play and we want you out here.”

Rachel nodded. It was a given that she would go there.



“Why do you think he was the one who sent the package?”

“We don’t think it. We know it. We got a match a little while ago on a fingerprint from the GPS. He replaced the batteries on it and we got a thumb off of one of them. Robert Backus. It’s him. He’s back.”

Rachel slowly opened her fist and studied her hand. It was as still as a statue’s. The dread she had felt just a moment before was changing. She could admit it to herself but no one else. She could feel the juice begin moving in her blood again, turning it a darker red. Almost black. She had been waiting for this call. She slept every night with the cell phone near her ear. Yes, it was part of the job. The call outs. But this was the only call she had truly been waiting for.

“You can name the waypoints,” Dei said in the silence. “On the GPS. Up to twelve characters and spaces. He named this point ‘Hello Rachel.’ An exact fit. I guess he still has something for you. It’s like he’s calling you out, has some sort of plan.”

Rachel’s memory dredged up an image of a man falling backward through glass and into darkness. Disappearing into the dark void below.

“I’m on my way,” she said.

“We’re running it out of the Vegas field office. It will be easier to keep a blanket on it from there. Just be careful, Rachel. We don’t know what he has in mind with this, you know? Watch your back.”

“I will. I always do.”

“Call me with the details and I’ll pick you up.”

“I will,” she repeated.

Then she pushed the button that disconnected the call. She reached to the bed table and turned on the light. For a moment she remembered the dream, the stillness of the black water and the sky above, like black mirrors facing each other. And her in the middle, just floating.

Copyright © 2004 by Hieronymus, Inc.

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The Narrows (Harry Bosch Series #10) 4.3 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 224 reviews.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
I read Michael Connelly's The Poet while my husband flew to England reading The Narrows. Many years pass between the two novels, and many intertwined characters enjoy lives of their own in other books. But Blood Work and The Poet make a good introduction to The Narrows and the novel lived up to all the high expectations my husband's comments inspired in me. Michael Connelly again writes his book in two voices, the narrator watching over people's shoulders, and the first-person narration, this time of retired policeman Harry Bosch. Relationships and backgrounds are cleverly sketched with minimal information and ample mood and conviction, so the reader-this reader anyway-doesn't feel any loss at missing the intervening books; just an eagerness to go back and read them some day. FBI agent Rachel Walling has been hidden in the middle of nowhere to keep her out of trouble. LAPD detective Harry Bosch has retired and is trying to find his way between unexpected family life and a desire to investigate mysteries without the aid of a badge. Suddenly Rachel's name is attached to a new investigation, and the wife of retired FBI agent Terry McCaleb is convinced her husband was murdered. The two mysteries begin to converge with nicely timed discoveries that keep readers one step ahead of the tale while still trailing one step behind the investigation. There are mysteries behind mysteries, secrets behind lies, and a stunning concluding chase where all narrowing options close down to one. Like all of Connelly's novels, or at least all I've read, The Narrows is finely paced, convincingly plotted, and masterfully designed; not just a mystery; not just an investigation of human nature; not just good vs evil; but something convincingly more than the sum of its parts-a story that stays with the reader long after the telling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book... if you love Bosch you won't be dissapointed. I definitely reccomend that you read Blood Work and The Poet before reading this book. There were quite a few references to the past. Cant help being a tiny bit skeptical as retired cop Bosch was a step ahead of fbi the entire book. Don't get me wrong... Bosch is the best!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really love the Harry Bosch series. I have not read the series from beginning to end and this can present a problem when trying to understand the character development. However, that being said, the stories are great, the characters are extremely interesting and believable and I have yet to be dissatisfied with any of Michael Connelly's novels. Read them - enjoy them!
buttons0 More than 1 year ago
Great book!! Enjoyed the fast paced keep ya on your toes, exciting read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good book. Couldnt put it down
Anonymous 6 months ago
Very hard to stay interested in this book.
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SpiderBG More than 1 year ago
It was a great read. I like the Harry Bosch series.
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I like Connelly because they're what I call popcorn books - easy to read, full of action and very entertaining!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Still reading but so far so good. The same style of all Michael Connelly books; easy reading and interesting enough to keep you turning pages.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As all Connelly books, this was excellent
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Harry Bosch rocks. He is such a realistic and believable character. I always enjoy any book from this series, and this one does not fail to hold my interest.