Blood Work hooks you with a few paragraphs of prologue featuring the crime from the victim’s viewpoint, reels you in from the first page to the last, and never allows slack in the line to the last sentence. You then become one of a long string of spent but satisfied readers.
Connelly packs a lot into his first paragraph: a mystery woman, a dockside setting, the name of his boat, the day, the time of day, the season, and that there might be a health problem hovering on the horizon for his main character, ex-FBI agent, Terrell “Terry” McCaleb.
Connelly’s people are flesh and blood. When they talk – you listen. When they hurt – you care. Not only does he give Terry McCaleb a mystery to solve, he gives him mortal and moral dilemmas and challenges along the way.
This mystery is a true procedural where the sleuth actually finds clues and follows them to their logical conclusions. The only loose ends at the end of this book are Terry McCaleb’s heartstrings. And as the story fades into the sunset, he’s working on those in more ways than one.
I like this type of mystery and I really have to hunt to find them. Too many so-called mystery writers depend on clues such as manna from heaven, the bad guy dropping his billfold or, (as one real life bad guy did) writing his stick-up note on the back of his birth certificate. All I can say is . . . well, duhhh, my dear Watson. It doesn’t take a Holmes to figure those out.
I recently watched the movie based on the book starring Clint Eastwood as Terry McCaleb. It goes pretty much by the book except in one major point. I still can’t quite figure out if I liked that point or not, but that’s one you can decide for yourself.