I’m clearly into to a crime patch at present, what with Donna Leon, my first Val McDermid and even the so-so The Island of Lost Maps: A Story of Cartographic Crime.
Still, it’s nice to come back to old friends like Connelly’s Harry Bosch, particularly when you find them in an early part of their life. In The Concrete Blonde, Harry is on trial for the murder of Norman Church, the man LAPD had identified as a serial killer years back, and whom Harry had shot dead, he says in self defence. Fast forward a few years to the present, and LAPD are called in to investigate when the body of a blonde woman is found, buried under concrete poured after Norman Church’s demise, but bearing all the signs of the original serial killer …. And then there’s Harry’s love life to consider…
Amazon.co.uk link: The Concrete Blonde – Michael Connelly
Another encounter with Harry Bosch, this time with a new partner and investigating the roadside shooting of a hospital doctor high up in the Hollywood Hills overlooking the mansions of the rich and famous. Although his maverick investigative style seems to be semi-sanctioned by the LAPD, the discovery that the murder related to the victim’s access to radioactive cesium soon brings the involvement of the FBI and some elaborate twists and turns of the plot. A cracking crime read.
Amazon.co.uk: The Overlook – Michael Connelly
One of Michael Connolly’s best crime novels featuring Harry Bosch.
In City of Bones Harry seems a much younger version of the grizzled, cynical, persistent and effective LAPD homicide detective than he must be in terms of when the book is written/set. He’s still the jazz loving cop, with sidekicks Jerry Edgar and Kiz Rider, but there’s no mention of his ex wife and child and instead the love interest focus is on rookie cop Julia Brasher who he meets investigating the murder of a child whose bones are unearthed in the Hollywood Hills.
Amazon.co.uk: City of Bones – Michael Connelly
From the Yemen to Los Angeles, for a rendezvous with Harry Bosch, himself returned to the LAPD and working alongside former cop partner Kiz Rider. This time round they are part of the Open-Unsolved Unit, doing what Harry and Kiz do best: solving old, cold cases – in this case, the murder of Becky Verloren, a high school student, 17 years previously.
Connelly’s novel brings in the racial tensions of the late 1980s, in particular the institutional racism characterised by the police beating of Rodney King and the resultant race riots of 1992. Did the initial investigators deliberately overlook the fact that Becky was the daughter of a white mother and a black father, or were they persuaded to look elsewhere by Harry’s nemesis, Irvin Irving?
There’s also Becky’s secret abortion to explain and the exact role petty criminal Roland Mackey played in 1988 – scientific advances have allowed the police to identify his DNA from a skin sample caught in the trigger of the gun that killed Becky.
Amazon.co.uk link: The Closers – Michael Connelly
One of Michael Connelly’s better Harry Bosch novels, with the action, as well as drugs, moving between LA the US/Mexico border towns, and between good and bad cops inside and outside the local police forces.
As to where it fits in the overall timeline, I’m not entirely sure – but Harry’s certainly having far more sex than in other novels, so I’d guess it’s an earlier rather than later story! I’m also sure that there should be some significance to the “The” in the title, I just can’t work it out.
Amazon.co.uk link: The Black Ice – Michael Connelly