It was with slight misgivings that I started reading Blood Work again. I had read it after the movie based on this book was released. I wasn’t that impressed with Clint Eastwood’s interpretation of Terry McCaleb, but there was something about the plot that was stirring. Clint Eastwood’s portrayal of someone who had a heart transplant boiled down to him rubbing his chest a lot, where the scar would have been.
This was my second read of Blood Work and it left me feeling the same. It was nowhere near as being as good as the Bosch novels, which I haven’t been able to put down. I think it’s mostly down to the central characters involved. In Blood Work, we have a retired FBI profiler, who gets roped into investigating a death. In The Poet, it’s a the hunt for a serial killer, who has been the central part of more than one of Connelly’s recurring characters, Rachel Walling and Jack McEvoy. Since I had already finished the Bosch series, I already knew how this book would end, as it’s denouement has been referred to by Bosch and Walling as they appear later in the Bosch time-line.
I also remembered how Blood Work ended. I seem to remember that in the movie, Buddy Lockbridge, as portrayed by Jeff Daniels, was the killer but in the book, it was someone else completely. There’s a depth of character in Jack McEvoy that’s completely absent in Terry McCaleb. Since McCaleb has admitted that he wasn’t the best field agent, it makes you wonder how Connelly would write a McCaleb novel when he was back in his prime, at a profiler at the FBI. With the way that True Detective has sparked interest, I wonder if we’ll ever see a McCaleb novel in the 70s or 80s.
Connelly has been quite consistent in the dealing of the time-line of his novels. They come sequentially, and never go back in time to retcon anything. They just move on in time, just like in the real world.
The Poet and The Scarecrow have been quite entertaining, almost as much as the Harry Bosch novels. The obvious gap between the novels has let quite a few things happen to McEvoy since the death of his twin brother. The Narrows was the actual sequel to The Poet, in which the serial killer gets pursued once again, by Bosch and Walling this time around.