The Poet by Michael Connelly marks the author’s first departure from his Harry Bosch novels, and he proves to be more than up to the challenge. Beginning with one of the greatest opening sentences, the novel centers on the search for a serial killer who is leaving notes behind with lines lifted from the macabre works of Edgar Allen Poe. Jack McEvoy is a newspaper reporter who stumbles across the killer’s trail and then is swept up into that dark, mercurial world. Connelly’s first-person narrative and use of the jargon of the news business lends a unique flavor and authenticity while never being confusing. Once the FBI get on the case, a shifty game of cat and mouse ensues that doesn’t allow the story to falter or flag. It’s a twisted story that manages to capture and keep the reader’s attention with its fresh premise and interesting characters.