Category: "Harry Bosch"

Trunk Music - Michael Connelly

March 8th, 2012

Trunk Music by Michael ConnellyTony Aliso finally had a hit. Stuffed into the trunk of his Rolls on a ragged stretch of Mulholland Drive, the B-movie producer took two bullets to the head -- a kind of job wiseguys call "Trunk Music." LAPD Detective Harry Bosch, hungry for action after an involuntary layoff, catches the case and is soon painstakingly unraveling Aliso's life, times, and ties...from his Mob deals to his beautiful wife to a stripper in Vegas to the disgraced FBI agent who just happens to be Harry's ex-girlfriend. Now somewhere between LA and Las Vegas is the one answer Harry needs. But so are enemies on both sides of the law, the woman he still loves, and the secrets that can break your heart -- or get you killed.

A no-name movie producer is found dead stuffed in the trunk of his own car. He may have been murdered by a business partner from a deal that went south, his estranged wife, his stripper girlfriend, or maybe this murder has more to it than meets the eye. Harry Bosch is back in action and this case has him traveling to Las Vegas and uncovering a complex scheme that has significant ties involving the Mob. It wouldn't be Bosch if everything went smoothly, even though the guy does try to play it level...most of the time. The road blocks he faces this time come in the form of a new boss, The Feds, an old flame and some potentially dirty cops.

This is the fifth book in the series. Harry is a tough pill to swallow at times; he can have a very reckless disregard for personal and professional relationships and certainly for protocol, as well. In the earlier books this is even more prevalent than here, but he is still the same, old Harry. I keep reading them because I do enjoy them. I like how the books are written and I like seeing the progression of Harry's career.

Trunk Music is my favorite of the series so far. I definitely attribute it to Michael Connelly's improvement as a storyteller and I am excited to read them all.


The Last Coyote - Michael Connelly

March 17th, 2009

The Last Coyote - Michael ConnellyHarry Bosch's life is on the edge. His earthquake-damaged home has been condemned. His girlfriend has left him. He's drinking too much. And after attacking his commanding officer, he's even had to turn in his L.A.P.D. detective's badge. Now, suspended indefinitely pending a psychiatric evaluation, he's spending his time investigating an unsolved crime from 1961: the brutal slaying of a prostitute who happened to be his own mother.

Even after three decades, Harry's questions generate heat among L.A.'s top politicos. And as the truth begins to emerge, it becomes more and more apparent that someone wants to keep it buried. Someone very powerful....very cunning...and very deadly.

Edgar-Award-winning author Michael Connelly has created a dark, fast-paced suspense thriller that cuts to the core of Harry Bosch's character. Once you start it, there's no turning back.

What is a hot-headed detective supposed to do while on involuntary leave for putting his boss's head through a window? A series of frustrations get the better of Harry Bosch, starting when he had to testify in court about his mother, the prostitute. And now he has plenty of time to think about what he has done. Instead he considers his leave a blessing-in-disguise; what better time than this to investigate his mother's murder -- a case that is decades old.

In theory this book was my worst nightmare. To me an unbridled Harry Bosch, gone rogue, cowboying across L.A. against great forces is a recipe for boredom. It is like when you used to play DOOM after you learned the cheat code for "God mode." When the characters act without concern for even fictional danger, walking into situations as if bulletproof, I don't want to read it. And that is how this book the beginning. Thankfully Mr. Connelly pulled up on the reigns and brought Harry back down to Earth.

The story developed pretty well as it took us from California to Florida and back. A few things were set in motion that I will be curious to follow up on in the next book. One might argue that the plot twist was a little predictible, but if you really want to enjoy a book you probably aren't trying to predict the ending anyway.

Another solid effort and another solid addition to the Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly. It wasn't as good as the last, but it was still a good book.

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The Concrete Blonde - Michael Connelly

March 5th, 2009

The Concrete Blonde by Michael ConnellyThey call him the Dollmaker, a serial killer who stalks Los Angeles and leaves a grisly calling card on the faces of his female victims. When a suspect is shot by Detective Harry Bosch, everyone believes the city's nightmare is over. But then the dead man's widow sues Harry and the LAPD for killing the wrong man -- an accusation that rings terrifyingly true when a new corpse is found with the Dollmaker's macabre signature. Now, for the second time, Harry must hunt down a ruthless death-dealer before he strikes again. Careening through a blood-tracked quest, Harry will go from the hard edges of the L.A. night to the last place he ever wanted to go -- the darkness of his own heart...

A civil lawsuit is brought against Detective Harry Bosch for the wrongful death of a man that Harry believed to be a serious criminal. Harry had no doubts that the man was the rapist and murderer he was investigating -- until a new body is found and it matches the killings Harry thought he had stopped. Is there a copycat killer who somehow knows intimate details of the prior murders, or did Harry kill the wrong man?

This is the third Harry Bosch book and it is easily the best so far. I loved the duality of the investigation and the trial. I will admit my bias due to my interest and training in law, but I found it very interesting how Connelly developed the court case. Another factor that may have contributed to my enjoyment was that when Harry was in court he was vulnerable. And a vulnerable Harry Bosch is a better read than a Harry Bosch who is always in charge -- he often gets too over-the-top cowboy in those situations and it becomes unrealistic (see my review of Harry Bosch #2 - The Black Ice).

One thing that I like about Michael Connelly is how well he writes frustration. I find that many other authors who write serial detectives will always have them unsure of a situation to keep the story believable, but with those other authors you never really get a sense that the bad guy might get away. Granted, there are times when Connelly gets away from this, but I have already detailed that for you.

I'm through three Harry Bosch books now and they seem to be written more quickly than I read them (I don't like to read a series back-to-back), but I am still interested enough to try to catch up. And if the others are as good as this one, that catching up will be well worth my time.

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The Black Ice - Michael Connelly

February 27th, 2007

The Black Ice by Michael ConnellyNarcotics officer Cal Moore's orders were to look into the city's latest drug killing. Instead, he ends up in a motel room with his head in several pieces and a suicide note stuffed in his back pocket.

Years ago, Harry Bosch learned the first rule of the good cop: don't look for the facts, but the glue that holds them together. Now, Harry's making some very dangerous connections, starting with one dead cop and leading to a bloody string of murders that wind from Hollywood Boulevard's drug bazaar to the dusty back alleys south of the border and into the center of a complex and lethal game -- one in which Harry is the next and likeliest victim.

After his richly acclaimed debut, Michael Connelly brings Bosch back in an achievement even more stunning and suspenseful than its predecessor -- a time-bomb of a novel supercharged with tension and non-stop action that doesn't let up until the final, explosive ending.

I like reading Michael Connelly because typically he writes his characters as free-speaking without being too over-the-top. There is a certain irony with that feeling and this book, but I still enjoyed it. Harry Bosch is Connelly's serial character and he is a misfit detective in Hollywood because...well, because cops who get along with other cops are no fun to read about.

I found myself thinking that, in The Black Ice, Harry Bosch was a little too "rogue warrior action hero." Some of the things he did and situations into which he was written were maybe a little extravagant. I wondered if after the book was released if anyone considered optioning the character for the Harry Bosch Action Figure.

Normally when you read detective fiction you should expect to read about cops who have seemingly endless supplies of both cash and contacts which move their cases along with the greatest of ease. I have come to accept that. It doesn't bother me anymore, and I definitely know that it is not how things really work (most of the time); it just makes good books. This was a little different from that, but while it stood out in my mind, it did not bother me.

Rather than read the Harry Bosch books as they come out and skipping the earlier books because I found the series late, I have decided to read the series in order. The Black Ice is the second installment. It had the unfortunate duty of following a very highly praised novel in The Black Echo. The Black Echo lacked the commando vibe I tried to describe about The Black Ice, so I had not expected it. Sophomore slump? I don't think so. I think I liked The Black Ice a little more than The Black Echo. So who knows, maybe there will be more of that feeling, or maybe not. I am not done with this series, not by a long shot.

I love a good mystery/suspense novel. Sometimes the lengths to which the detectives go are a little unrealistic, but that is part of why it is on the fiction shelf. The Black Ice was a little unrealistic at times, but it was still a fast-paced story that I enjoyed greatly.

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The Black Echo - Michael Connelly

September 25th, 2004


The Black Echo by Michael ConnellyFor maverick LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch, the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal...because the murdered man was a fellow Vietnam "tunnel rat" who had fought side by side with him in a hellish underground war. Now Bosch is about to relive the horror of Nam. From a dangerous maze of blind alleys to a daring criminal heist beneath the city, his survival insticts will once again be tested to their limit. Pitted against enemies inside his own department and forced to make the agonizing choice between justice and vengeance, Bosch goes on the hunt for a killer whose true face will shock him.

Author Michael Connelly has now written 10 books about detective Harry Bosch, The Black Echo was the first.

Harry Bosch is a loner. He has been in and out of institutions his entire life and seems to have never developed the ability to get close to other people. He is very good at what he does, arguably one of the best, but he is forever chastized for not being part of the police "family." This makes for a very interesting perspective on a mystery; Bosch solves his cases with very little direct help from others.

This is yet another mystery novel that I was unable to put down until I was able to find out "who dunnit." Until the very last pages I was still learning details about how the case was solved, there were no slow moments.

| Forum | Also by Connelly: Void Moon | The Poet