Michael Connelly takes a different approach to developing the story in his tenth entry in the Harry Bosch series. In what is dubbed a sequel to his stand-alone novel The Poet, Connelly combines three narratives to craft this tale: those of FBI agent Rachel Walling, Harry Bosch, and the villain Robert Backus. But at the center of the story is still the world-weary former Los Angeles Detective Harry Bosch.
The wife of ex-profiler Terry McCalab asks Bosch to investigate his death. McCalab, the beneficiary of a heart transplant six years earlier, was on specific medications to keep his heart working. His widow’s working theory is that someone switched McCalab’s drugs with dummy pills to make it appear that he died of natural causes. Though presumed dead, it soon appears that the serial killer dubbed “The Poet” is the one behind the whole scheme.
FBI agent Rachel Walling gets pulled into things when “The Poet” sends a package to Behavioral Sciences at Quantico, Virginia. She is no longer with that unit, but the odd occurrence puts Walling into the mix - she went up against “The Poet” the last time around. The story shifts nicely between first and third person. But this experimentation with multiple points-of-view can easily backfire and ruin a story. Though it isn’t a disaster, The Narrows might not sit well with longtime fans, especially coming off the tremendously crafted Lost Light.
What really helps this story is Len Cariou’s audio performance. As usual, Cariou does an amazing job of not only handling the multiple character shifts, but also giving Bosch his distinctive style. Overall, The Narrows is a solid mystery/thriller that might be seen as a misfire by long time Connelly fans. With so much talent brimming within the author, it’s a virtual guarantee that Connelly will be back with a top-notch effort.