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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
  • 5 Stars
    2,814
  • 4 Stars
    2,396
  • 3 Stars
    826
  • 2 Stars
    161
  • 1 Stars
    102

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,312
  • 4 Stars
    1,602
  • 3 Stars
    526
  • 2 Stars
    127
  • 1 Stars
    65

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,240
  • 4 Stars
    1,667
  • 3 Stars
    553
  • 2 Stars
    113
  • 1 Stars
    57
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  • Overall
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  • Story

Another great summer read!

Well written, creepy, exciting, satisfying great performance by Mr. Schirner. Perfect for the beach or backyards

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

A little Connelly, a Little Poe, and Dual Stories

The Poet tells one tale of an FBI search for a pedophile infanticide; which then morphs into a second story of deception and trust. In the first, one might say the good guys get their man, but not without loss of life and virtue. In the second story, the lack of blind trust in love is the genesis of the tributary tragedy. The book is a page turner as is any Michael Connelly novel. Michael Connelly does not hesitate to bring one to the edge of horror, but thankfully does it with literary panache rather than putrid descriptions. Connelly’s style is the more effective. An extra added excitement in the tale is the interlacing short references to Edgar Allan Poe’s work. Not much, but enough to give the story additional depth, found memories of prior readings of Poe’s poems and stories, and an essential carry through theme between the two tiers of stories. If one wants to be entertained, one can certainly find it in The Poet.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Best Connelly book yet

I started listening to Connelly from his first book written. Seems to makes sense for Connelly since he uses people and events from prior books into his future books. So far the Poet has been the best. I am still amazed that Connelly can produce one great book after another. Highly recommend. Just put the next Connelly book in my wish list.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Dubi
  • New York, NY
  • 01-30-14

Poet Proves Too Prosaic

Would you try another book from Michael Connelly and/or Buck Schirner?

Connelly yes, Schirner no. Whatever problems I have with The Poet are specific to this book -- overall, I liked Connelly's writing well enough to give him another chance, especially with a more recent title, since this one is highly dated. Schirner's growling recitation and deep voice starts out sounding appropriate for a police story, but it's grating after a while.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

What attracted me to the story was the serial killer's references to Edgar Allan Poe's works. As a fan of the TV show The Following, which uses the same device, I was interested in seeing a similar treatment. That part of the story works well, as does the main character's motivation in pursuing the killer after his twin brother's murder.<br/><br/>The main problem arises in the plotting. You always look for misdirection, for red herrings, in this type of story. You can't make them too opaque, to the point where the reader has no chance of figuring things out for his own. But this one is too transparent. First of all, with the narrative shifting to the serial killer's point of view, there is no doubt that he is committing these murders. So where's the mystery there? Finding him? The truth is, for someone who has kept himself so well hidden for so long, he is found out quite easily and quite quickly during the course of this narrative.<br/><br/>So clearly, there is something else going on, someone else committing some of the killings (although clearly not the serial killings). And clearly, there is one candidate, identifiable early on. So once again, where's the mystery? If I was to write this story and correct these flaws, I would have tried to find a way to make the obvious serial killer a total red herring -- i.e., have him not be the killer at all, even though it might seem that he is. Perhaps have him be someone who knows what the real serial killer is doing and gets off on shadowing him and messing with him.

What aspect of Buck Schirner’s performance would you have changed?

Honestly, I wish someone else would have read the book. His voice is just too deep and too growly for sustained listening.

Did The Poet inspire you to do anything?

To thank the lord (or Al Gore) for the internet, along with ubiquitous cell service and smart phones. The Poet was written in 1996, when the internet was in its infancy, cell service was in its adolescence, and people were still faxing things around and going to libraries. Some reviewers criticize The Poet as being dated in this respect, but if you know it in advance, you can treat it as an historical piece -- this is the way they had to investigate crimes way back in the late 20th century. But it makes me thankful that I can look things up at the drop of a hat, like lines of poetry from Edgar Allan Poe -- this book would be one third its length today if the investigators could look up Poe on the internet instantly and could access case info electronically instead of breaking into file rooms and searching for hard copies.

Any additional comments?

The best crime novels are character driven, not plot driven. As Hitchcock always said, the McGuffin must really only be interesting to the characters, it does not have to be interesting to the readers. From that respect, The Poet works -- why I gave it three stars instead of one. Jack McEvoy is a strong protagonist with strong motivation, and the characters around him, for the most part, play good supporting roles. The serial killer is also fairly good, though perhaps, given the proliferation of serial killers in fiction and on TV and movies, he is as dated now as a fax machine. But in general, whatever redeeming qualities The Poet has lies in its strong characterization.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Good Story, But...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, good cop story

What did you like best about this story?

Wade's "tricks" to use instead of his gun

Did Buck Schirner do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Just an average job

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No

Any additional comments?

The narrator got a little on my nerves. The said: "Wade said" or " Charlie said." Too loud, could have used a better, softer tone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Read from a Great Author

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes I would recommend it to any mystery fan. It is a good read, suspensful, with many plot twists.

What did you like best about this story?

Its pace, characters, and surprises.

Which character – as performed by Buck Schirner – was your favorite?

The main character.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There were many

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Kept Me Guessing

Just when I thought the mystery had been resolved, new information changed the direction. Nice twists in this story of a journalist on the trail of his twin brother's murderer.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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It even made serial killers boring

I don't know which actually made this such a pondering, boring book - the writing, or the reading (narration). I haven't read any Connelly books before, and I know I won't listen to any more either. I got used to the narrator fairly quickly, but he never really embodied any of the characters (sounding sometimes rather cold and mechanical) and he was best reading the exposition, not the dialogue. Still, I found the author repeated a lot of stuff that didn't really matter, but then glossed over other things as if they'd dissolve into dust if you looked to closely at this or that plot point. Not very enjoyable and I wouldn't recommend it unless you're already a big fan of Connelly.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Gripping story tripped up by narration

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

In this case, the tale is best read from the page. The stumbling, awkward read by Mr. Schirner leaves one weighed down and worn out.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The protagonist is easy to like and an a clear favorite. He's stubborn and human and determined. The villain is hard to like, hard to support. I'm not sure if this is performance or the writing.

How could the performance have been better?

The performance needed a different narrator with a better feel for the pace and the suspense of the text. The individual character voices sounded contrived and forced. I suppose that he was after a halting, film noir angle, but it reminded me more of an intoxicated confession from Norm at Cheers.

Did The Poet inspire you to do anything?

Unfortunately, I am only inspired to avoid future reads by Mr. Schirner.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good...up to a point

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No. The final plot twist was forced and did not hold up logically.

What was most disappointing about Michael Connelly’s story?

It should have ended sooner. It went one suspect change too far for credibility. Sometimes, if you reach for the most unlikely suspect, that's just what it is....unlikely.

Which character – as performed by Buck Schirner – was your favorite?

I didn't really like any of them.

Do you think The Poet needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful