Terry McCaleb

Created by Michael Connelly

TERRELL "TERRY" McCALEB is a former FBI man who has had a change of heart.


At the start of Blood Work (1998), it's only two months since he received a life-saving heart transplant. Now he is recuperating on his boat The Following Sea in the Cabrillo Marina near Los Angeles. He takes dozens of pills twice a day to keep his body from rejecting the new heart, including Prednisone which makes his beard grow so fast he has to shave twice a day. He is trying to decide what to do with his second chance at life, when a woman shows up at his boat to ask his help. She turns out to be the sister of the woman who "donated" his new heart.

Like, he's gonna say "No"?

By the second book in the series, A Darkness More Than Light (2001), Terry is newly married, has a new baby daughter, has moved his boat to Catalina Island and is recovering well. He can't earn any money though, or he will lose the subsidy that pays for his life-maintaining medication. He has an aptly named friend and neighbor named Buddy who provides equal parts help and complicating interference with whom he runs a charter fishing service. McCaleb doesn't quite fit the hard-hitting, hard-drinking mold of the private investigator, but Connelly really pulls off this fresh take on ex-FBI investigators.

Interesting to note: the second book in this series McCaleb spends some of his time investigating Harry Bosch (Connelly's more famous series character), who learns of the investigation through a leak to a tabloid reporter (Jack McEvoy, protagonist of Connelly's The Poet).

In 2002, Blood Work was brought to the big screen, with Clint Eastwood as star, director and producer. although (of course) there were changes made to the original source, the film was quite successful, both critically and commercially.

Besides the aforementioned books, Connelly is responsible for 2000's Void Moon, which introduced Cassie Black, a Las Vegas thief, while 2005 saw the introduction of slick, corner-cutting criminal attorney Mickey Haller in The Lincoln Lawyer. 2017's The Late Show introduced Renée Ballard, a young LAPD detective who works the night shift.

One of the most respected and popular mystery writers around, Connelly's books been translated in 35 languages and have won the Edgar, the Anthony, the Macavity, the Los Angeles Times Best Mystery/Thriller Award, the Shamus, the Dilys, the Nero, the Barry, the Maltese Falcon (Japan), the .38 Caliber (France), the Grand Prix (France), and the Premio Bancarella (Italy). In 2003-04, he served as the President of the Mystery Writers of America, and he has written for TV and film, including adapting Harry Bosch for television. Connelly currently lives with his family in Florida.


  • "You have to remember something. It was never me alone. I had partners, I had the lab teams, I had the whole bureau behind me. It's a lot different than one guy running around out there on his own."

-- McCaleb explaining why he won't get involved in a murder investigation, in Blood Work.


  • "Cielo Azul" (2001)

In A Darkness More Than Night, Terry and Harry Bosch speak of a case they worked together many years before which still seems to haunt them both. This is that story, available only through Connelly's mailing list.



  • BLOOD WORK...Buy the video...Buy the DVD...Buy the Blu-Ray
    (2002, Warner Bros.)
    108 minutes
    Based on the novel by Michael Connelly
    Screenplay by Brian Helgeland
    Directed by Clint Eastwood
    Cinematography by Tom Stern
    Produced by Clint Eastwood
    Co-producer: Judie G. Hoyt
    Executive producer: Robert Lorenz
    Starring Clint Eastwood as TERRY McCALEB
    Also starring Jeff Daniels, Anjelica Huston, Wanda De Jesus, Tina Lifford, Paul Rodriguez, Dylan Walsh, Mason Lucero, Gerry Becker, Rick Hoffman


The author's official web site.

Respectfully submitted by Dale Stoyer.

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