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on 17 January 2018
To get the most enjoyment from this book one should read a couple of other books by Michael Connelly first, namely 'The Poet' and 'Blood Work'. This is not to say that one cannot enjoy this book as a stand alone novel, but this story brings together characters who appeared in these previous books: Terry McCaleb the ex FBI profiler and central character of 'Blood Work' and Rachel Walling, the FBI investigator in 'The Poet'.
The story opens with a call from the FBI to Rachel Walling asking her for some help with their investigation into some murders they believe may be the work of The Poet who has supposedly died a few years earlier following Walling's investigation.
In the meantime, Terry McCaleb's widow asks Bosch to investigate the death of her husband as she believes she has proof that he was murdered and that he did not die from natural causes. In the course of his investigation, Bosch, who is still a Private Investigator, uncovers evidence that suggests that the Poet may be involved. At this point Bosch gets entangled in the FBI investigation. Bosch's personal life also features in this novel and this time he is contemplating re-joining the Los Angeles Police Department.
For a book of 428 pages, this is actually quite a quick read. While the pace of the story is a little slow to start, once Bosch starts to make progress with his investigation, the pace quickens considerably. There is a very dramatic and action-packed finale.
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on 15 February 2018
Harry Bosch, retired LAPD detective, is looking at the apparent murder of a former FBI agent.

Meanwhile, the FBI is looking at the murderer known as the Poet, who has re-surfaced and is killing again.

The book describes the strands of the investigations, and how they intersect. Being very careful not to add spoilers here, you understand.

It's a cracker. Starts slowly, but really grabs you. As Harry Bosch always does
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on 27 March 2016
I'm sort of addicted to Connelly novels, well the Bosch series. They seem to go on forever which is Ok as they are well written and always have an angle which maintains interest. After reading about eight books belief has to be suspended regarding the trouble that Bosch gets into yet always remains relatively physically unharmed. Psychologically I think he is deteriorating though which of course adds to his charisma.
I thoroughly recommend this novel and all Connelly writings. Having said that, I recently watched the TV series, 'Bosch' and I just do not believe the casting . . that actor is not Bosch!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 16 October 2008
When THE POET was published in 1996 it was treated as a one-off, a standalone thriller, but eight years later Connelly has decided to resurrect the character of former FBI agent Robert Backus - The Poet- and this time bring Harry Bosch into the fold. Another FBI agent (retired) by the name of Terry McCaleb has recently died and his widow feels that the natural causes that brought it about have an element of doubt about them. So she calls on Bosch, a retired Hollywood homicide cop but now a private investigator, to look into the last few weeks of her late husband's life and see if anything can be found to substantiate her suspicions. He soon finds that McCaleb was working on a number of unsolved murder cases and the sometimes cryptic notes left behind on McCaleb's yacht lead him to a remote part of the Mojave Desert where, it emerges, the FBI have already found several dead bodies buried in the sand. It also brings Bosch to meet Agent Rachel Waller, who is involved in the new investigation surrounding The Poet, she being the one who shot Backus eight years earlier. Inevitably the FBI do not welcome an outsider like fifty-something Harry Bosch, but equally inevitably the highly intelligent and instinct-driven Bosch always seems to be one step ahead of the FBI and he does make them seem rather ineffective most of the time.

Well, it's a Bosch story so that's good. Whenever we are looking over his shoulder as he exhaustively goes through seemingly useless evidence we can't help but gain respect for the man. He really is good at what he does. Then there's his private life, which these days amounts largely to his newfound relationship with his five-year-old daughter Madeleine, who he has only known of for about a year or so, and who lives with Bosch's ex-wife in Las Vegas. Some of Harry's reflections on his status as a mostly distant father are well drawn and touching, telling the reader once again that there's a heart beneath that tough exterior. Similarly, his love for Eleanor, his full-time poker-playing ex-, is thoughtfully portrayed and always interesting to read.

But Agent Rachel Walling is paper-thin and really not worthy of her position in this novel as joint leading character. Most of the Bosch narrative is told in the first-person, but there are regular switches to third-person as Rachel's activities are narrated and frankly these are just not very interesting at all. This should have been 100% Bosch all the way and it would have been the better for it. Another aspect that in my view should never have been mentioned at all is the film called BLOOD WORK starring Clint Eastwood, who plays Terry McCaleb in a story based on a Connelly novel of the same name. I got the impression that Connelly wasn't pleased with that film and used this novel to say so; in fact, I would go so far as to suggest that THE NARROWS may even have been written as a reaction to the film. This mixture of fiction and reality seemed slightly odd and I would have preferred it if it had been edited out of the final draft.

If you're thinking of buying this book, the 14th Connelly novel and the 10th to feature Harry Bosch, I think you would benefit from reading THE POET first, which is a better read than this sequel despite the absence of Bosch. It would make The Narrows make more sense, particularly in providing comprehensive background into the character and motives of the murderous protagonist Robert Backus. If there had been no Bosch in it at all, it would have been Connelly's first dud I reckon, but the magnetic Bosch is so widely regarded as one of the best-drawn detectives and personalities in contemporary crime fiction that he can turn a potential dud into an entertaining and page-turning read. It's far from the best Bosch episode but it's still a novel that needs to be read if you're a Connelly fan.
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on 19 October 2015
The usual masterful plot and magnificently written novel by this master of detective fiction. But, as has become the norm from this publisher, an abysmal transcription and bastardisation of the printed word. Missing line endings, quotation marks, hyphenation; line endings where there shouldn't be line endings, paragraphs chewed to pieces. A complete hash of the rules of book layout and grammar.
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on 16 August 2007
On this occasion, Bosch, now as a PI, teams up with a female FBI agent who is not flavour of the month at the Bureau. She is in the middle of things as a likely target for her former boss who has gone bad. Bosch, on the other hand, is investigating the suspected murder of a former agent who was a friend of his, at the request of the agent's wife. The threads soon become one.

This is a typically good Connelly novel with a well-constructed plot. A lot of it is about gathering or interpreting clues and catching up with the bad guy.

There is nothing particularly stylish about Connelly's writing here, but his characterisations are good and he knows how to build a story and keep your mind interested and guessing.

If you've read the prequel and are interested in this follow-up, take care with one of the reviews below - something you may not wish to know about yet is accidentally revealed.
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on 24 March 2017
I enjoy Michael Connelly's writing style and the Harry Bosch character. Good page turners. Best to read them in the order published.
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on 27 August 2014
There's a few niggles here, most about the inexplicable falling out between Harry and Eleanor, but nothing major. The story itself is solid, because a serial killer doesn't need reasons and motives, meaning there's nothing to explain. I don't buy the whole evil genius murderer bit myself. Serial killers are not brilliant but warped, a la Hannibal Lechter: they're sad little nobodies who get away with their crimes because there's nothing linking them to their victims; no motive. Good book, though, and a nice little twist at the end.
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on 7 November 2017
Fine crime novel which skilfully builds the level of suspense. Well drawn characters set in an effectively created environment. Detailed references to roads used for driving around are not useful for anyone not familiar with the area. Overall, the book successfully holds the readers interest.
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on 1 March 2015
Overall the Harry Bosch books are great reads. Very good plots, twists and red herrings that keep you turning the pages. However, in this book, for example, Bosch has two beers and a while later two coffees and then drives for four hours and never visits the bathroom once; nor does he appear to shave in the mornings.
There is so much detail yet we are expected to accept that the daily routines and inconveniences (please excuse the pun) just happen and are not worth commenting on.
Mr Connelly, keep them coming, I'm a confirmed follower.
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