I liked this book, but I had a real hard time getting into it at first. I was not instantly engaged as I have been with other Connelly books. if you are a die hard Connelly fan, then get it, but if not, try some of his others and skip this one.
It was interesting having someone other that Bosch as the protagonist in this Connelly book. The story had plenty of twists and revelations and as always with an audiobook, my test is whether I find excuses to listen longer, including sitting in the garage listening to the book on my car speakers for awhile longer when I get home. The Poet passed the test with flying colors.
I don't understand the complaints about the narrator. I thought he was excellent, with varied voices and accents for the characters. His voice was deep and pleasant, his pacing spot on.
I found myself very much immersed in the story line which was fast paced with breadth. However, I found the Narrator to sound robot like and came close to quitting early. However, I soon became use to his annoying staccato like narration and continued to finish the story.
I actually would recommend the book... but with some hesitancy because of the narration.
I struggled to finish this one. It went on and on-- much too long. The plot had about 3 twists too many. Character development was weak. I couldn't relate to any of the characters, nor did I care about any of them. I couldn't wait for it to be over. Sorry!
Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!
The first four words of "The Poet" are "Death is my beat," which are as memorable as Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Edna Buchanan's nonfiction title/quote from her first book, "The Corpse Had a Familiar Face" (1987). Michael Connelly and Buchanan were both crime reporters, and grab readers' attention and hold it from start to finish.
"The Poet" (1996) introduces Jack McEvoy, a crime feature writer for the tabloid Rocky Mountain News (an actual paper in publication from 1859 to 2009). McEvoy's twin, Sean, a tail-burner homicide detective, kills himself after he fails to find the brutal murderer of a young college student. Jack McEvoy begins an investigation that reopens cold cases around the country. Jack McEvoy is tenacious, creative, and tortured by the journalist ethics that guide and bind him.
Connelly is a great modern Los Angeles fiction writer. His Harry Bosch series (The Black Echo (1992), etc.) and Mickey Haller (The Lincoln Lawyer (2005), etc.) capture the San Fernando Valley and West Los Angeles in such exquisite, loving detail someone could literally follow Bosch's or Haller's paths from the Van Nuys Courthouse to Mulholland Drive.
"The Poet" starts in Colorado and works it's way to Ventura Boulevard. I only know Colorado as a place I go through to get to other places, except through Stephen King (The Shining (1977) and Doctor Sleep (2013), The Stand (1978), and The Colorado Kid (2005)). King is heavily influenced by The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, and that haunted hotel is mentioned in Connelly's "The Poet." In fact, King wrote an introduction to the 2004 paperback edition of "The Poet" praising it as elegant and classic. Connelly's description of Colorado is so vivid and beautiful that I will stop just going through Colorado, and stay a few days. (Unfortunately, the Audible edition doesn't have King's introduction.)
"The Poet" was a good read/listen, and Jack McEvoy is a strong character. That character is more complex and has greater depth and freedom than Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller. However, I am disappointed by Connelly's supporting women - they are strong, like FBI Agent Rachel Walling (introduced in "The Poet") and Maggie McPherson ("The Lincoln Lawyer" (2005) etc.) - but one dimensional. I haven't read/listened to all of Connelly's books, and I hope for more.
Buck Schirner's Audible narrative was good, but a little too East Coast for a Western character.
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