The Narrows by Michael Connolly
Michael Connolly’s novels were recommended to me, but I cannot remember by whom. It may have been Kathy Reichs who mentioned his work. Whoever it was, when I saw The Narrows in a library book sale, it would have been silly to pass it up. So I took it on holiday and read it in the sun. The Narrows was published in 2004 and is the 14th novel by this American crime author, and the tenth of his books featuring the Los Angeles detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch.
The former LAPD detective Harry Bosch gets a call from the widow of an old friend. Her husband’s death seems natural, but his ties to the hunt for the Poet make Bosch dig deep. Arriving at a derelict spot in the California desert where the feds are unearthing bodies, Bosch joins forces with Rachel. FBI agent Rachel Walling also gets the call she has dreaded for years. It is the one that tells her the Poet, Backus, has surfaced. She has never forgotten the serial killer who wove lines of poetry in his hideous crimes and apparently he has not forgotten her. Bosch and Rachel are at odds with the FBI and squarely in the path of the Poet, who will lead them on a wicked ride out of the heat, through the narrows of evil, and into a darkness all his own.
Connelly is certainly a clever writer. He manages to add clever bits into his novel. Fiction and reality blur in a pleasing kind of way. We even have the killer trailing his victims to a mall where Ian Rankin is about to do a signing at the bookstore. The Narrows is a good book. Perhaps even a great book. Connelly does not disappoint. It makes some kind of sense that it would take more than one super cop to bring down the Poet. Rachel and Harry give him a run for his money.
Bosch is also entangled in a tormented relationship with his ex-wife, Eleanor Wish. She is a professional gambler, and the mother of his daughter. The sub-plot adds to the layers and years of wear and tear that has made Bosch what he is today.
Whilst I do not think that Michael Connelly is in the same class as Ian Rankin, he is close. This book is well worth reading. I could not put it down and highly recommend it to fans of both crime and police procedural genres. Another Michael Connelly book, The Closer is reviewed here: https://bookreviewstoday.info/2014/10/06/the-closers-by…chael-connelly/.