First the good news: this is another fine Harry Bosch detective thriller, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. In fact I found myself sitting up late to read the last third, because I just had to know the outcome. Connelly pulls together a large cast of characters: Bosch himself, one or two of his old police colleagues, the FBI - including Rachel Walling, the agent who shot the Poet - and the family of retired FBI agent Terry McCaleb. In a way, this is what causes the book's main problem: although good, it could have been still better. The first two thirds of "The Narrows" consists of a sustained build-up of tension, which arouses very high expectations. The relatively straightforward denouement feels like a letdown, but only relative to the terrific excitement that Connelly generates.
There are a few interesting technical touches. Authors usually write in either the first person or the third person throughout. Here, Connelly makes Bosch the narrator, but cuts in and out with third-person views on the rest of the cast. To my surprise, he succeeds in making it work pretty well. He also gets away with mentioning the film of "Blood Work", and having a character read "The Poet". At one stage, Harry even feels "the wire in the blood".
I think Connelly is more interested in, and perhaps better informed about, police work than the psychology of serial killers. The Poet is scary, yes: but in a matter-of-fact way, whereas some of Thomas Harris', Mo Hayder's or Val McDermid's murderers inspire feelings of genuine terror.
Bottom line: I, too, got this book as a Father's Day gift, but if I hadn't I would have been happy to buy it in hardback. That's not something I could say of many authors.