What is a summary of Blood Work by Michael Connelly?

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tamarakh's profile pic

Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Michael Connelly's mystery thriller Blood Work features Terry McCaleb, a retired criminal profiler who worked for the FBI. Soon after having had a heart transplant, McCaleb is approached by his heart donor's sister Graciela Rivers. Graciela wants McCaleb to look into the death of his donor, Gloria, who died during a robbery of the Sherman Market, a robbery that has been filed as an unsolved case.

McCaleb is at first reluctant because any stressful activity could lead to his body's rejection of his new heart but agrees that he owes the family a great deal and promises to talk to the case detectives. Though McCaleb is famous among law enforcement officers for solving a serial killer case in L.A., he finds detective Arrango, lead detective on the robbery case, to be uncooperative. Through his own investigation, McCaleb discovers that thugs had used the same weapon to rob an ATM not long before the Sherman Market robbery. Jaye Winston, a friend and former colleague was the lead investigator on the ATM robbery, and McCaleb is able to successfully obtain both case files from Winston. To his surprise, he also finds that Gloria's death was reported just before the actual robbery shooting took place, leading him to suspect that Gloria was a murder target rather than an incidental death.

Further investigation leads him to discover yet a third linked case using the same weapon, leading him to think he now has a serial killer on his hands. Oddly enough, he also finds that both the first two victims had McCaleb's blood type and were both on his heart transplant donor list, making McCaleb the one who benefits most from their deaths. To complicate things further, the serial killer plants evidence on the fishing boat upon which McCaleb lives, but McCaleb is able to find and hide the most damaging evidence from the police.  

Further clues lead McCaleb and Winston to dub the serial killer the "Code Killer" and decide that all murders were performed to help McCaleb get a new heart. Further clues lead McCaleb to a face-to-face encounter with the Code Killer, whom he battles, managing to save himself, Graciela, and Gloria's son Raymond, all of whom the Code Killer had also endangered.

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shmindle's profile pic

shmindle | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) Honors

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Blood Work is a novel by Michael Connelly. The main character, Terry McCaleb, is a former FBI agent who is contacted by a woman to investigate her sister's death and to find her killer.  Terry is hesitant, but agrees when he finds out that the heart transplant he received was only possible due to her murdered sister.  Terry works with other detectives on the case, who aren't as cooperative as Terry would like them to be. Terry finds a new lead on the case— two more victims that the same killer has murdered.  However, the police find out that these two victims had the same rare blood type as Terry, which would work out in his benefit as Terry would become a potential recipient of their organs.  The police suspect Terry, but he is able to show them inconsistencies that prove his innocence.  At the end, Terry finds the killer who intentionally killed three people to get Terry his heart transplant.  When the killer kidnaps the woman who contacted him and her nephew, Terry rescues them and kills the killer.

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