I really enjoy reading Michael Connelly’s novels. Really like Harry Bosch, he who represents the Dutch painter in more than just name, a tough cop but a genuine human being. Ditto for his half-brother Mickey Haller; I see Matthew McConaughey whenever I think about Mickey. Jack McEvoy? Well, my jury may still be out after listening to the Audible version (narrated by Peter Giles and Zach Villa) of Fair Warning since it’s been quite a while since I read The Poet, which is also about this journalist. It’s OK that he’s a flawed human being, but I found myself wanting something more from him, which I can’t quite put into words.
This is not to say Connelly isn’t great reading/listening, because he is. I feel assured I’m in the hands of a talented, experienced novelist when I read Connelly, as I also do when I read John Sandford. I know there won’t be any gaffes or situations that defy credibility. And it’s probably relevant to note both authors were newspaper reporters before they took up fiction.
So I listened to the Audible version of Fair Warning, and overall I pretty much enjoyed it. I liked the story line; it’s the kind of book I enjoy listening to just a tad more than reading it. There were some peak moments of emotional intensity, which is always a five-star thing for me. I still get all shook up when I remember scenes from Angels Flight. This kind of intensity didn’t happen for me with the somewhat far-fetched plot concerning DNA as a way to type women for nefarious purposes.
Perhaps most interesting is the way Connelly uses McEvoy’s journalist’s drive to publish his story, even if it may not be such a good idea. There were plenty of twists and turns to keep me speculating, and it was nice to have a cameo by Rachel Waller (meaning not enough). But McEvoy lacks something – a je ne sais quoi, if you will – that would make him a strong, memorable character. By strong I mean one whose personality and quirks and sense of life and attitudes and behaviors and so on and so forth, stick with you. I can describe Harry Bosch from memory, but Jack McEvoy is, sadly, vaporous.
Next week on My Brain on Grape-Nuts: Video highlights from the Independent Publishers of New England (IPNE.org) conference
In two weeks, another episode of “Lucinda’s Trials and Tribulations” or whatever in the heck I ought to call it