I have enjoyed all the Michael Connelly books I've read lately, and Blood Work is even better than I have come to expect. While this isn't part of Connelly's Harry Bosch series, the protagonist, Terry McCaleb, has appeared in other books (including a Bosch).
Terry McCaleb is a retired FBI agent whose specialty was criminal profiling. His retirement was brought on when his heart was attacked by a virus, and he eventually had a heart transplant two years later. McCaleb is a mere two months past surgery and still recovering when a beautiful woman shows up on his boat. Graciela Rivers is seeking his help. Her sister was brutally murdered in a convenience store robbery. The LAPD are not much interested and think it was a random shooting. He begs off, saying that he can't physically perform an investigation. He can't even drive for another seven months. But then Graciela plays her trump card: McCaleb received her sister's heart. McCaleb reluctantly decides to look into the case, and finds himself pitted against the LAPD and the FBI. McCaleb also discovers that this isn't a random shooting and that the killer is in fact a serial killer.
In solving the crime, McCaleb also learns a lot about himself. He discovers that he misses the chase and the work. He's still got it despite his physical limitations. This case also helps to heal more than his heart.
Connelly is so convincing because he writes like a cop (thanks to his years as a crime reporter). Suspects are "in the wind" (they have disappeared without a trace). Or McCaleb does the "hard tango" with other officers to get information (when they aren't willing to share). Last summer I was on a James Lee Burke kick (Dave Robicheaux) and Connelly is also a fan. It was fun to find McCaleb wearing a Robicheaux Dock and Baitshop t-shirt in one chapter.
For any Connelly fan or even a lover of mysteries, it doesn't get much better than Blood Work.
Michael Connelly has been attracting fans by the droves with his hard-boiled, edgy thrillers. A former crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Connelly combines a poet's ear for language with a deep understanding of the criminal mind to create dark, dramatic stories that raise the thriller genre to a new level.
In Blood Work, Connelly introduces a new character, Terry McCaleb, who was a top man at the FBI until a heart ailment forced his early retirement. Now he lives a quiet life, nursing his new heart and restoring the boat on which he lives in Los Angeles Harbor. Although he isn't looking for any excitement, when Graciela Rivers asks him to investigate her sister Gloria's death, her story hooks him immediately: the new heart beating in McCaleb's chest is Gloria's.
As McCaleb investigates the evidence in the case, the suspected randomness of the crime gives way to an unsettling suspicion of a twisted intelligence behind the murder. Soon McCaleb finds himself on the trail of a killer more horrifying than anything he ever encountered before.
Michael Connelley never disappoints. This book is better than the movie by Clint Eastwood. I don't know why they decided to change the end of the book and make the friend and fishing partner the culprit. It didn't leave any room for future books about Terry McCaleb to be immortalized in film as the character in Blood Work they turned into the culprit is in all the following Terry McCaleb stories as his partner is the fishing boat business. Even if you have seen the movie and loved it, read the book because I guarantee you will like the book more.
Connelly's books seem to follow a pattern: start simple and then layer on complications, twists, clues, and complexity. In Bloodwork, it starts as a spontaneous robbery homicide and evolves into an intricate pursuit of a serial killer.
Retired Terry McCaleb is visited by Graciela whose sister's heart was used to save Terry's life. She wants her sister's murder solved and Terry finds that the perpetrator is right in front of his face all along. Great read; exciting and twists in the plot keep you guessing.
I found this Audio book very hard to not finish if the day I started it. The story line seemed familiar and I kept thinking that I must have read it before but I came to realize that I had seen it in movie form but of course the movie to liberties with the ending. If you like detective murder mysteries then you will love this one.
Fantastic mystery/suspense story! About half-way through, I realized I had seen the movie made from this book, with star and director Clint Eastwood. (Excellent movie, by the way.) Because of this, I thought I had it all figured out, and read the book looking for 'clues' to the movie's villain. Well, it ended up having a completely different ending and villain, which was wonderful for me, because I didn't see the twist coming at all. The story is compelling, the characters are well-written and multi-layered. This was a page-turner the entire way through.
From Publishers Weekly: Ex-FBI agent Terry McCaleb is recuperating from a heart transplant when beautiful Graciela Rivers walks up to his San Pedro houseboat, tells him that the donor of his new heart, her sister Gloria, was murdered in a convenience-store robbery and asks him to find the killer. Although his doctor warns him against it, McCaleb can't resist the case (any more than he could resist the serial-murder cases that caused his heart attack in the first place). With no license and little cooperation from the police, McCaleb reviews the evidence and connects a second murder to Gloria's killer. But it's only when he discovers that souvenirs have been taken from the victims that McCaleb realizes he is dealing with a type of killer with which he is all too familiar. Even working with seemingly shopworn material, Connelly produces fresh twists and turns, and, as usual, packs his plot with believable, logical surprises.
Her last thoughts were of Raymond.................She felt a hand grip her right shoulder from behind. The coldness of steel pressed against her left temple. A shower of light crashed across her vision. Blinding light. In that moment she saw a glimpse of Raymond's sweet face, then everything turned black................
The first two-thirds of this book are plodding and somewhat tedious - almost like a case study on crime solving. The pace then picked up so that the reader got the surprising plot twists that Connelly is known for. Recommended mainly for fans of the author.
ex- FBI agent Terry Macaleb is retired after a heart transplant, but unfortunately retirement will have to wait. The sister of the woman who's heart he recieved finds him and asks him to help solve his sisters seemingly random murder.
Former FBI Agent Terry McCaleb is under doctor's orders to take it easy while recovering from a heart transplant. But Graciela Rivers has other plans. She appeals to McCaleb to find the man who murdered her sister in cold blood. Terry is reluctant to get involved, until he discovers that the new heart he was given belonged to Graciela's sister, Gloria Torres. Terry talks to the detectives on the cold case and reviews the file, including the security tape that shows the murder. Terry doesn't know if he will be able to turn the case around, but he will do anything in his power to find who killed Gloria Torres.
This is the first book in the Terry McCaleb series and an excellent police procedural. Terry picks apart the evidence to find any little thing that the police may have missed. There are a few red herrings along with several twists and turns in this investigation. I highly recommend this book. My rating: 4.5 Stars.
When Graciella Rivers steps on to his boat, es FBI agent Terreill McClaeb has no idea he is about to come out of retirement. He is recuperating from a heart transplant and avoiding anything stressful. But when Graciella tells him the way her sister Gloria was murder, it leaves Terry no choice. Now the man with the new heart vows to take down a preditor without a soul. For glourious killer shatters every rule that McCabe ever learned in his years with the Burea- and gets no more second changes at life...and just one shot at the truth. Much better than the movie. The end is different, and mure suspenceful. I enjoyed the book more than the movie.
When Graciella Rivers steps onto his boat, ex-FBI agent terrell McCaleb has no idea he's about to come out of retirement. He's recuperating from a heart transplantand avoiding anything stressful. But when Graciella tells him the way her sister Gloria was murdered it leaves Terry no choice. now the man with the new heart vows to take down a predator without a soul.