Terry McCaleb is an ex-FBI profiler and recent recipient of a new heart. He is still recovering from the major surgery when the sister of the donor reveals she was killed in a convenience store hold-up. Her murder remains unsolved – the police have exhausted all their leads – and the sister wants McCaleb to investigate.
He does, driven by the enormous debt he owes the victim – and his immediate attraction to her sister. What follows is an immensely satisfying and convoluted tale, that twists and turns and excites with every chapter. Connelly leads readers in one direction, then slams on the brakes and takes another – and soon McCaleb finds himself the prime suspect in his own investigation, which coincides with renewed interest in the case from the LAPD and his ex-Federal colleagues.
Connelly never overplays McCaleb’s depleted physical condition. I wrongly assumed a scene would occur somewhere in the novel, probably towards its conclusion, where McCaleb’s new heart would begin to falter, but Connelly avoids this contrivance, and the novel is far better for it.
BLOOD WORK is the perfect introduction to Michael Connelly’s body of work. A standalone tale – McCaleb features in future novels, but not as the protagonist – that once again validates Connelly’s place as one of the greatest contemporary crime writers.