The Poet

( 215 )

Overview

Jack McEvoy specializes in death. As a crime reporter for the Rocky Mountain News, he has seen every kind of murder. But his professional bravado doesn't lessen the brutal shock of learning that his only brother is dead, a suicide. Jack's brother was a homicide detective, and he had been depressed about a recent murder case, a hideously grisly one, that he'd been unable to solve. McEvoy decides that the best way to exorcise his grief is by writing a feature on police suicides. But when he begins his research, he ...
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The Poet

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Overview

Jack McEvoy specializes in death. As a crime reporter for the Rocky Mountain News, he has seen every kind of murder. But his professional bravado doesn't lessen the brutal shock of learning that his only brother is dead, a suicide. Jack's brother was a homicide detective, and he had been depressed about a recent murder case, a hideously grisly one, that he'd been unable to solve. McEvoy decides that the best way to exorcise his grief is by writing a feature on police suicides. But when he begins his research, he quickly arrives at a stunning revelation. Following his leads, protecting his sources, muscling his way inside a federal investigation, Jack grabs hold of what is clearly the story of a lifetime. He also knows that in taking on the story, he's making himself the most visible target for a murderer who has eluded the greatest investigators alive.
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Editorial Reviews

San Francisco Examiner
"Chilling . . . The Poet Rings True."
People
"An intriguing new protagonist. . . . Connelly doesn't just talk about poets, he writes like one, with a spare, elegiac tone that is the perfect voice for the haunting tale he has to tell."
USA Today
"Pulse Pounding . . . Connelly is one of those masters of structure who can keep driving the story forward, paragraph by paragraph, in runaway-locomotive style."
From the Publisher
"Chilling . . . The Poet Rings True."—San Francisco Examiner

"An intriguing new protagonist. . . . Connelly doesn't just talk about poets, he writes like one, with a spare, elegiac tone that is the perfect voice for the haunting tale he has to tell."—People

"Connelly keeps a surprise up his sleeve until the very end of this authoritatively orchestrated thriller."—Publishers Weekly

"Prepare to be played like a violin. Connelly writes suspense out of every possible aspect of Jack's obsessive hunt for his brother's killer."—Kirkus Reviews

"Pulse Pounding . . . Connelly is one of those masters of structure who can keep driving the story forward, paragraph by paragraph, in runaway-locomotive style."—USA Today

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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. (Jan.)
Library Journal
The Edgar Award-winning Connelly (The Concrete Blond, Audio Reviews, LJ 9/1/94) introduces us to Jack McEvoy, Denver journalist. While investigating the suicide of his twin brother, a detective, McEvoy finds the death was actually a cleverly disguised murder. As he digs deeper, he becomes enmeshed in a nationwide FBI hunt for two psychopathic pedophiles, one a con and the other a literati cop. The majority of the narrative is told in the first person by McEvoy, while scenes depicting the murderers are rendered in the third person. This makes the tale a bit awkward to follow, yet Connelly is able to realistically show us both criminal and police psychology. Although the plot is somewhat contrived, the author weaves a very engrossing tale. Reader Buck Schirner displays his great versatility by giving each character a convincing voice. This is a fine reading of a mostly fascinating mystery.Michael T. Fein, Catawba Valley Community Coll., Hickory, N.C.
From Barnes & Noble
A cunning, poet-quoting serial killer of unprecedented savagery executes one homicide cop after another, each of whom is haunted by a murder case he didn't crack. Reporter Jack McEvoy is hot on the case because his brother was the first victim, and he could be next. From the first page, this novel is a riveting rush of a story, an investigation that leaps from the superheated pressures of a major newspaper following a national story to the centers of the FBI's most secret operations.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446602617
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/28/1997
  • Series: Jack McEvoy Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 67,907
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael  Connelly

Michael Connelly is a former journalist and has won every major prize for crime fiction. He lives in Florida.

Biography

Best known for his dark police procedurals featuring the tough, complex and emotionally scarred LAPD detective, Hieronymous "Harry" Bosch, Michael Connelly has been called "infernally ingenious" (The New York Times), "one of those masters...who can keep driving the story forward in runaway locomotive style" (USA Today) and "the top rank of a new generation of crime writers" (The Los Angeles Times).

Consistently exquisite prose and engrossing storylines play an integral role in his swelling success. However, Connelly believes that solid character development is the most important key. As he explained to MagnaCumMurder.com, "I think books with weak or translucent plots can survive if the character being drawn along the path is rich, interesting and multi-faceted. The opposite is not true."

A native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Connelly attended the University of Florida; there he discovered the works of Raymond Chandler -- author of many classic Los Angeles-based noir dramas such as The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye, and Farewell, My Lovely. The cases of Philip Marlowe inspired Connelly to be a crime novelist -- and by studying journalism, he put himself in the perfect position. "I went into journalism to learn the craft of writing and to get close to the world I wanted to write about -- police and criminals, the criminal justice system," he told MagnaCumMurder.com.

After graduation, Connelly worked the crime beat for two Florida newspapers. When a story he and a colleague wrote about the disastrous 1985 crash of Delta Flight 191 was short-listed for the Pulitzer, Connelly landed a gig in Marlowe's backyard, covering crime for one of the nation's largest newspapers -- The Los Angeles Times. Three years later, Harry Bosch was introduced in The Black Echo, which earned Connelly the Edgar Award for Best First Novel. Connelly has since won every major mystery honor, including the Anthony (The Poet, Blood Work) and the Macavity Award (Blood Work).

While Connelly has written stand-alone novels that don't feature his tragic protagonist Harry Bosch, he is best identified by his rigid, contentious and fiery -- but also immensely skilled and compassionate -- detective. According to The Boston Globe, the Bosch series "raises the hard-boiled detective novel to a new level...adding substance and depth to modern crime fiction."

Called "one of the most compelling, complex protagonists in recent crime fiction" (Newsweek) and "a terrific...wonderful, old-fashioned hero who isn't afraid to walk through the flames -- and suffer the pain for the rest of us" (The New York Times Book Review), Bosch faces unforgettable horrors every day -- either on the street or in his own mind. "Bosch is making up for wrongs done to him when he rights wrongs as a homicide detective," Connelly explained in an interview with his publisher. "In a way, he is an avenging angel."

Bosch is clearly a product of his deadly, unforgiving environment. "The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote that when you look into the darkness of the abyss the abyss looks into you. Probably no other line or thought more inspires or informs my work," said Connelly in the same interview. With each passing novel, Bosch looks deeper and deeper into the abyss; and readers continue to return to see just how far he will gaze.

Good To Know

  • Michael Connelly received a huge career boost in 1994 when then President Bill Clinton was photographed walking out of a Washington bookstore with a copy of The Concrete Blonde under his arm. Connelly remarked to USA Today, "In the six years I've been writing books, that is the biggest thrill I've had."

  • Real events have always inspired Connelly's plots. His novel Blood Work was inspired by a friend who underwent transplant surgery and was coping with survivor's guilt, knowing someone had died in order for him to live. The book was later developed into a feature film starring Clint Eastwood, Angelica Huston, and Jeff Daniels.

  • One of Connelly's writing professors at the University of Florida was cult novelist Harry Crews.

  • Connelly named his most famous character after the 15th Century Dutch painter, Hieronymous Bosch. As he told Bookends UK in an interview, Bosch "created richly detailed landscapes of debauchery and violence and human defilement. There is a ‘world gone mad' feel to many of his works, including one called ‘Hell' -- of which a print hangs on the wall over the computer where I write." Some interesting outtakes from our interview with Connelly:

    "I wrote a mystery story as a class paper in high school. It was called The Perfect Murder. The protagonist's named was McEvoy, a name I later used for the protagonist in The Poet. Being a witness to a crime when I was 16 was what made me interested in crime novels and mystery stories."

    "I wrote my first real murder story as a journalist for the Daytona Beach News Journal in 1980. It was about a body found in the woods. Later, the murder was linked to a serial killer who was later caught and executed for his crimes."

    "Everything I want people to know about me is in my books."

  • Read More Show Less
      1. Hometown:
        Sarasota, Florida
      1. Date of Birth:
        July 21, 1956
      2. Place of Birth:
        Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
      1. Education:
        B.A. in Journalism, University of Florida, 1980
      2. Website:

    Table of Contents

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    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4.5
    ( 215 )
    Rating Distribution

    5 Star

    (120)

    4 Star

    (57)

    3 Star

    (26)

    2 Star

    (7)

    1 Star

    (5)

    Your Rating:

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    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 215 Customer Reviews
    • Posted July 1, 2011

      more from this reviewer

      I Also Recommend:

      The Poet

      I am reading all of Michael Connelly's books in order, which is the best way to read his novels, and The Poet is his fifth book and first to not have his famous character, Harry Bosch. The Poet is narrated by crime reporter Jack McEvoy, a character just as great as Bosch. I never reveal plot in my reviews but I will say this, each time I read a Connelly novel, I realize why he is my favorite mystery writer. His plots keep me up all night wanting to read more. The Poet is a major highlight in Connelly's career.

      9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted March 14, 2011

      more from this reviewer

      I Also Recommend:

      Fantastic

      Michael Connelly has become one of my favorite writers. His crime novels are all edge of your seat thrilling. The Poet was no exception. I loved his new character Jack McEvoy and I enjoyed the insightful look inside journalists. Connelly really does keep you guessing. As soon as you think you have it figured out, he unveils another fact that has you questioning what really is going on. I highly recommend this for all Connelly fans and for those who have not read a book of his yet. This is a great one to start with.

      8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted February 18, 2012

      more from this reviewer

      Outstanding

      I've been reading Connelly's books in order, obviously the Bosch series primarily. Love his writing and love that series, and almost skipped over The Poet. I'm so glad I bought and read it. Might actually be my favorite Connelly book to date and I've read 8 or 9 of his works thus far. Such a great story, loaded with twists and turns and his characters are very real. In fact, a couple of the characters that we find unlikeable, they come across as intriguing and have the reader wanting to learn more and more about what makes them tick. The plot is superior, and the developments are often quick and shocking.

      4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted June 14, 2012

      Great Book

      I lfell in love with Michael Connelly's books after reading The Lincoln Lawyer. I really like the Mickey Haller series but have read all of them and most of the Harry Bosch series. This book was neither and definitely not a disappoinment. So I thought I'd give this book a try and once again, another great book.

      3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted December 14, 2012

      more from this reviewer

      Excellent plot, well written, a must read!

      The Poet had me jumping out of my seat...reporter turned investigater Jack McEvoy was shattered when his twin brother committed suicide. His probing into the death sent him to the F.B.I. with proof that his brother was the victim of a serial killer. It's a twisted path to the truth. I am going to be reading more of Connelly's McEvoy series.

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted April 29, 2012

      more from this reviewer

      Okay, so we all love Harry Bosch. So do I. So what else is new?

      Okay, so we all love Harry Bosch. So do I. So what else is new? No Harry Bosch here though. Sorry. But if you haven't read THE POET, you don't know what you're missing. Not all great mysteries require Harry Bosch. They just require Michael Connelly. THE POET is superb. You'll have a very hard time putting it down once you start it. And the ending is a big surprise. Check it out - you'll be glad you did.

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted April 4, 2012

      Not my favorite.

      I am having a hard time getting into this one. I usually love Michael Connelly, but this is not my favorite of his. About halfway through, so hopefully it will pick up...

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted July 16, 2014

      Wanting more!!!

      Great story, but left with a desire to know more about the charactars!

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    • Posted May 28, 2014

      Worth the wait, and yet very different from Harry Bosch series

      In the beginning, I didn't even think Michael Connelly wrote this book. It was very, very different from his "Harry" books. But I stuck with it, and it was most enjoyable. Would recommend to all who appreciate Connelly.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted January 10, 2014

      Good read

      Another good book, different from the bosch series but still very good.

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    • Posted November 26, 2013

      The book moves along, maintaining a good level of suspense.  A g

      The book moves along, maintaining a good level of suspense.  A good work for this genre.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted July 30, 2013

      Poetic Justice

      Connelly gives you some twists, a little too obvious at times, but keeps you turning or clicking the pages. Classic Connelly. nice, easy suspense.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted July 20, 2013

      When Jack McEvoy, a reporter, learns that his brother committed

      When Jack McEvoy, a reporter, learns that his brother committed suicide he knew something didn't add up. McEvoy's brother was a cop and the police blame his suicide on a case that was bothering him. McEvoy decides to write a story about his brother's death and uncovers some things that just didn't make sense. McEvoy finds similar cases in other cities and goes to the FBI to get more information from their database of cop suicides. He manages to get pulled in to an FBI investigation after he convinces them that there's a serial killer on the loose killing cops and making it look like a suicide. Each cop that they find to fit the pattern leaves behind a line from Edgar Allan Poe as their suicide note, which gives the serial killer the name of 'The Poet'. They follow the leads from different parts of the city and soon get a suspect in sight.

      It was a terrific book. The character development in this story is quite in depth as all of the characters in Connelly's books are.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted April 18, 2013

      The poet

      As usual, Michael did it again wish he would write faster

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    • Anonymous

      Posted March 7, 2013

      Read and re read Read and re-read!

      My favorite book of all time!

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    • Anonymous

      Posted March 5, 2013

      Thank you

      Thank you for a great read. I was left wanting the psych aspects of Eidolon/the Poet and how he 'became.' Feels like I missed something but it's my need to have it all wrapped up in a nice, neat bow.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted February 19, 2013

      Nook Nook

      What am I rating!

      0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted February 7, 2013

      The best Michael Connelly book I have read so far.

      The best plot line of all his books, if read in order.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted December 7, 2012

      Poet

      As birds fly to the sky,
      Destruction is nigh;
      None can tell,
      But just as well;
      All will fall,
      Death will call;
      None will be left,
      Just the presence of death;
      Mankinds own destruction.

      0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted October 28, 2012

      more from this reviewer

      Not as good as The Scarecrow

      I liked the Scarecrow better than the Poet; possibly because Peter Giles is a much better performer than Buck Schirner he was very blah). The hero Jack McEvoy, with Rocky Mountain News, a crime-beat reporter has just learned his twin brother-Denver homicide detective has killed himself (or so it appears). But his research leads him to suspect a serial killer is at work--a devious murderer who's killing cops and leaving a trail of poetic clues. It's the news story of a lifetime, if he can get the story without losing his life. The serial murderer -a devious cop killer who is leaving a coast to coast trial of suicide notes drawn from the poems of Edgar Allen Poe.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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