Michael Connelly’s Blood Work: A Review


After a hiatus, I’m back to reviewing books I have read. Later, when I review The Secret Piano, I will elaborate what occasioned the break and why I’m back. For now, here is my review of: Blood Work. blood workIt is the 3rd book that I have read that was written by Michael Connelly.

As usual, Michael Connelly is a storyteller with a gift of grabbing onto the reader by the front of their shirt with their fistfist and yanking them into his writing. Unlike other authors who focus on crime fiction, Connelly’s writing is not the cop procedural novel that is so intense, and therefore to me, too heavy on the cop lingo that it borders on being a novel written in slang with little plot or character development. Blood Work at first blush is not a serial killer fact pattern. It quickly becomes that way though as retired FBI agent Terry McCaleb is sought out by the sister of a woman who is killed in what appears to be a robbery with a murder thrown mixed in. Why he is sought out I will leave to the reader. Suffice it to say that robbery-murder is another in a succession of killings and McCaleb finds himself, body and soul, so deeply mired in the investigation that he risks losing all.

As with The Narrows narrows , Connelly refers to a previous unsub. This time, it is the Code Killer so Blood Work could be read as a sequel if there was a novel on the Code Killer. Ultimately, Connelly wraps the story up so that life goes on with less terror in McCaleb’s world.

I did have a few quibbles with Connelly’s writing that I did not have with either the Poet or the Narrows.

The first quibble concerns the use of the Code Killer angle. Near the end where McCaleb is in the killer’s garage/storage bay, it would have been helpful if more details or hints on the Code Killer’s connection with McCaleb arose. A time or two Connelly lost me.  I believe it would have also made the end more gripping, though the conclusion did not appear to be a consequence of the sometimes “hurry and wrap things up” style.

The other quibbles are really nits but they are: a) how did McCaleb know what the password was to the computer in the garage? It seemed like he plucked it out of air. Was it a prescription number? and b) occasionally, it was hard to determine who was speaking.

In order of the most enjoyment, I would put Blood Work second, behind the Poet, and ahead of the Narrows and I am looking forward to reading more from Connelly.