“Blood Work” by Michael Connelly

Connelly, Michael. Blood Work (1998).  Little Brown, 391 pages, $23.95 hardcover   ISBN 0 316 15399 0     

Taking a break from LAPD detective Harry Bosch, Michael Connelly introduces a new character, former FBI agent Terry McCaleb. We first meet McCaleb two months after his heart transplant surgery, living in a Los Angeles marina on a boat, inherited from his father, that’s he’s refurbishing. When a woman, Graciela Rivers, comes to ask him to look into the murder of her sister, Gloria Torres, because the police don’t seem to be investigating the case very diligently, McCaleb politely declines. But Graciela is persistent, and when McCaleb continues to demur, she plays her trump card: she tells McCaleb that he has Gloria’s heart.

Now that the case is personal, McCaleb reluctantly agrees to look into it, although he expects to find that the police are doing the best they can and to leave it at that. But when he looks, he notices things that the police apparently didn’t notice, and soon he finds two more unsolved murders that might be related to Gloria’s. So McCaleb persists, until he finds out that the case is even more personal than either Graciela or he could have imagined.

In the acknowledgments at the end of the novel, Connelly says that the story “was inspired by conversations with my friend Terry Hansen, who received a heart transplant on Valentine’s Day 1993.” The movie version of Blood Work, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, came out in 2002.

© 2002 by Mary Daniels Brown

Discover more from Notes in the Margin

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Scroll to Top