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Publisher's Summary

With his four Harry Bosch novels, Michael Connelly joined "the top rank of a new generation of crime writers" (Los Angeles Times). Now Connelly returns with his most searing thriller yet - a major new departure that recalls the best work of Thomas Harris (Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs) and James Patterson (Along Came a Spider)

Our hero is Jack McEvoy, a Rocky Mountain News crime-beat reporter. As the story opens, Jack's twin brother, a Denver homicide detective, has just killed himself. Or so it seems. But when Jack begins to investigate the phenomenon of police suicides, a disturbing pattern emerges, and soon suspects that a serial murderer is at work - a devious cop killer who's left a coast-to-coast trail of "suicide notes" drawn from the poems of Edgar Allan Poe. It's the story of a lifetime - except that "the Poet" already seems to know that Jack is trailing him. . .

Here is definitive proof that Michael Connelly is among the best suspense novelist working today.

©2004 Michael Connelly; (P)2004 Brilliance Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    2,813
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    826
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Great Villain Mystery

This story revolves around reporter Jack McEvoy and FBI agent Rachel Walling. While I read all of Connelly in order years ago, I actually listened to the sequel of The Poet, the Harry Bosch novel The Narrows, first. Even though I knew who the villain was this was a riveting story.

You don't have to listen to many of Connelly's novel in order, but it's essential to read the Poet first if you want maximum shock value.

A great audio experience...

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

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Is Connelly the Best Crime Writer Or What?

Michael Connelly is a master. Connelly started out as a writer for a newspaper so it makes sense he would have a story about a reporter. I really like how he switched the point of view between Jack McEvoy (the reporter) and a creepy pedophile/murderer. At first there seems to be no connection in the storyline, but eventually it becomes apparant that these two are destined to clash. When I realized how early the book was was climaxing I was happy that my radar for the bad guy seemed to be intact. I was wrong.

Isn't it fun to read 20 year old books? People having to find pay phones, dial-up internet connections and no cell phone tracking.

30 of 33 people found this review helpful

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  • Marius
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • 03-04-09

Poetry and potion

Another Michael Connelly blockbuster, with the requisite drama, tension, twists and turns. This guy never puts a foot wrong. An excellent airport thriller. Narration by Buck Schirner was particularly good, with effective voice variations. This was the first time I have heard him, and I will definitely be looking for more of his work. Production quality was likewise first class.

30 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Engrossing and Well Read

If you haven't read any books by Michael Connelly, this one is sure to get you hooked. Mr. Connelly can develop a story with plot twists that can surprise you until the very end. Buck Schirner's reading was very well done. I found it hard to stop listening when I had to.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

My First 5 Star

I wondered how long it would be before I felt a book was so good that I would give the coveted five star's, and I found it in this one. I have listened or read most all of Michael Connelly novels and have never been disappointed but this one was by far the best, I did not think any Connelly book without Harry Bosch could be a complete winner, but it was. It walked a perfect line of suspense and twists, I did figure out who the real "bad guy" was about half way though but was never really sure until the very end. Don't pass this one up!

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyable but not if it's your 1st Connelly book

Would you listen to The Poet again? Why?

I liked it, I purchased it, but probably wouldn't listen again unless I'm out of new (to me) books. I'd restart the Bosch series if I couldn't read new books and then move back through to this one I suppose.

Who was your favorite character and why?

definitely Jack is my favorite character. I liked him from other books and loved reading about his background and what brought him to L.A.

Have you listened to any of Buck Schirner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I've never come across Buck Schirner as a narrator. I didn't mind his British pronunciations of certain words such as pedophile but I email and speak with Brits on a daily basis and often misspell American English now, myself, so it just doesn't bother me in general. I did see that some people minded his English pronunciations but his lack of the accent to go with it. I didn't even pick up on the pronunciations until I read it in the reviews after listening to the book. I think he did great. I like to just not notice the voice so I can focus on the story and I was able to, so well done.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes..

Any additional comments?

My only additional comment would be just a suggestion. I wouldn't suggest one read this as an introduction to Connelly but I say this after having read his entire Harry Bosch series and Michael Haller series and I'm just trying to read everything he's written now. So from the standpoint of a huge fan, it was a good book for me. I probably wouldn't have gotten addicted to Connelly as an author if I'd started with this book. My first one was The Drop and then I went back adn started from the first Bosch book and went from there. That's all really. I liked getting to read about Rachel before he wrote about her in books I've already read. I believe I heard the narrator say this one was published in 1996 or so... so this was written earlier than most of what I have read from him. It was cool reading about the FBI guy in these early years that in the later books he's referenced.

20 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • Paula
  • Overland Park, KS USA
  • 04-29-13

Stellar Cliffhangers Ending Every Chapter!

It has been a while since I've enjoyed a crime/mystery story as much as this one. Told through the narrative of a Denver-based newspaper reporter who became a central figure in a compelling criminal investigation, this is one you don't want to miss. If you have an interest in plausible, highly engaging crime/mystery books, this story will capture you from the very first words.

I can't reveal more of the gist of the story, because practically anything I offer would give away some element of the plot. Just know that it is an intellectually satisfying book with twists and turns that make you want to keep listening all night. Every chapter has a mini-cliffhanger that requires you to keep listening -- or you'll lie awake thinking about for hours! I was eager to get back to ithisone every time I had to put it down. Best of all, there are no gimmicky endings here! Connelly has ended the story in a way that answers questions, resolves mysteries and leaves the reader believing that this one. . .just might be true.

Add to that the fact that Buck Schirner's performance is masterful and you have a book that is very much worth the price of admission. I highly recommend it.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A mixed review

I was excited to listen to this book based on the reviews. While there were some parts that were exciting and not predictable, the ending completely fell apart for me. I won't spoil the ending, but to me, it was contrived, sloppy and unbelievable.
The ending kindof made the whole book a disappointment for me.

25 of 32 people found this review helpful

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  • Tim
  • Jupiter, FL, United States
  • 02-23-17

Little thin on the plots and narration

A story with strong potential and weak on execution. The narrator kills it from time to time. But then, the plot is veiled and gets thin at times. I think Michael tried to cram a little to much excitement into the story and lost effect in the end. The love story between Rachael and Jack isn't pulled off very well, almost detracts.

This being said, it is a must read as there are foundation items to other events in the Harry Bosch series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Not for the gentle readers

Any additional comments?

This might be a great book but I couldn't finish it. If you are squeamish about cruelty and graphic descriptions, you'll want to give this a miss.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Nigel
  • 12-24-12

A must if you are into the Harry Bosch series

This is a fantastic stand alone story. However, it is best enjoyed as a chronological part of the Harry Bosh series from the same author. My suggestion is to work your way through Michael Connelly's books by year of release not by the different character lists. Many of the characters appear in each others books and it is great to reacquaint yourself with characters you remember from previous stories. This book is by any comparison, one of the best of its genre.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Judith
  • 06-18-13

Michael Connelly never disappoints

Another cracking story from Michael Connelly which kept me listening even whilst shopping in the supermarket which meant I forgot most of the things I went in for! Narration was excellent too and added to the plot well.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Allan
  • 04-13-13

The Poet

Typical Connelly book keeps you guessing until the last minute, I have to say the narration is superb. I think a follow up to that story could have been justified. I have always considered him to be one of the best, watch that space I always say. Thoroughly reccomended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Andy Smith
  • 04-13-13

An excellent listen

The first of a new character, Jack McEvoy, but the same superbly crafted Michael Connelly novel! I've got the Mickey Haller audibles available already and decided to take a punt on this and it's so good I've downloaded the scarecrow.

Harry Bosch series next!!!!

Superb

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Colin
  • 04-16-11

EXCITING AND CLEVER

A really good book, and one of the more exciting I have heard.

Well read and voiced, well paced, really a good example of an audiobook.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Bridie
  • 12-22-10

creepy

Interesting story though creepy. Serial killers and peadophiles make a toxic mix but it is easier to take because the main premise seems so over the top. The reader does a good job of conveying the separate characters and their emotions.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian
  • 07-06-10

redcheq

Another good value audio book from Michael Connelly. I have only recently discovered Michael Connolly books and to date I have been pleased with them all. The pace and excitement of his books leave you waiting for more. I do look at the length of time the book so as to get value for my money.
If you have not read any of Connelly's book this is a good one to start with.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr
  • 11-04-16

rip-roaring page Turner with plenty of twists

good speed, well written, believable story about a reporter helping the fbi crack a case.

could easily be made into a film

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Eugene
  • 12-23-12

Magnficient Serial Killer Story

Starting off with a slow burn, then building to a complex, multi-layered investigation and pursuit, The Poet shows the depth and quality of the writing of Michael Connelly. One of the great enjoyments of the Conelly novels is the inter-linking of stories and characters across a number of books. The Poet is a serial killer to match Hannibal Lecter, and stems from the same understanding of police procedures, and with both the fascination with the killer and the pursuit that fuels the Thomas Harris novels. The Poet is the first book, and then you must move onto the conclusion in The Narrows. A well read story; emotional and fluent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Marie Godbeer
  • 11-12-17

Brilliant read

I found the narrator a bit off putting to begin with but by the 3-4th chapter I was hooked and I had got used to his voice.
The story is gripping with lots of twists. I guessed the ending but not until near the very end. Definitely recommend this book.

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  • Librariasaurus
  • 03-31-17

Solid Mystery

Would you try another book written by Michael Connelly or narrated by Buck Schirner?

I liked this so much I got my hands on the second book as well, though I am bitterly disappointed to find there is only two McEvoy books as opposed to the 20 odd books in the bosch series. Regardless, I haven't read much serial killer fiction and it was kinda cool, if incredibly dated. Many twists to be had!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jack McEvoy, he is unique as a main character in crime fiction, being that he was NOT a detective!

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Not particuarly. I didn't like the narration much, I found the voice to be droll and monotone. It did however give a very detective noir feel which was a positive.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

YES! This would make a great movie!

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  • Gordon
  • 11-25-15

Great story with an amazing twist. Very well read.

As with all Connelly's books this has a great story line and an unseen twist. 10/10

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  • Sergiu Pobereznic (author)
  • 09-14-15

A good read

This is the third novel that I have read by this author. He is very good at his craft if this is the genre you enjoy. Quite hard to stop turning the pages once you get going. It doesn't grab immediately, but it gets there pretty soon after.
The characters are believable, and the antagonist (paedophile) is really very creepy with tremendous descriptive writing, great plotting and lots of suspense.
I love that he used Edgar Allen Poe within the story line. A great touch that is very fitting.
My only qualm is that the motivation of The Poet is not completely clear and the opening could have grabbed the reader sooner. Hence my 4 star rating.
But I do think it is a great read.
Sergiu Pobereznic (author)