MICHAEL CONNELLY – The Narrows. Little Brown & Co., hardcover, May 2004. Reprint paperback: Grand Central, March 2005.


   Harry Bosch is working as a PI when he’s approached by Graciela McCaleb to look into the death of her husband Terry, a former FBI agent, and friend of Harry’s. Terry had presumably died of a heart attack while working on his boat on an extended charter, but Graciela has discovered that Terry’s medication had been replaced, causing his death.

   Meanwhile FBI agent Rachel Walling, exiled to the Dakotas after the botch-up of the serial killer case involving “The Poet” is assigned to a task force near Las Vegas because it looks like the latter has returned with the discovery of the bodies of several men pin-pointed by a GPS device sent to the Bureau.

   Looking into Terry’s death, Harry discovers that Terry was investigating several unsolved crimes and offering his expertise to the local police. Among those cases was one involving those missing men.

   Harry also finds of photos of Graciela and her children, along with a photo of a road sign bearing the word “Zzyzx,” which is where the bodies of those missing men are discovered. So pretty soon Harry is nosing around in an FBI investigation, and Rachel Walling decides to tag along with Harry once she realizes she’s only being used as a stalking horse by her colleagues.

   A pretty good effort. I gather this was the one Connelly wrote to show his displeasure with the way Clint Eastwood adapted his novel Bloodwork by killing off his Terry McCaleb character. It is quite suspenseful and decently plotted.

   Harry even gets beat up somewhat, one of the prerequisites of the PI novel, even though by story’s end he has decided to go back to the LAPD.