Published November 3rd 2015.
No cold cases this time…
Connelly at his worst is still better than most crime novelists ever achieve. I think I’ve said this each time I read one of the new ones just out. I would file this one under the category of a good airplane novel that passes the time on a long flight, but one that leaves readers hoping for a better outing next time. But no worries. I’ll still read Connelly’s books as soon as they come out.
Once again, Connelly’s attention to detail, as well as his ability to personify Bosch, even after 20 years of novels is something quite spooky. As some will know from my past reviews of the series (Everybody counts or nobody counts: "The Burning Room" by Michael Connelly, "The Gods of Guilt" by Michael Connelly), the interlacing of characters from his other series brings each book new life and forces me to pick them all up, even if Bosch only makes a cameo therein. His characters build off one another and you never know when one will pop up and then reference this experience in a future book. Bosch is that detective I never tire of reading, since he has not lost his passion for the job. Only the politics of those trying to control him annoys him. He always “goes to the end of the earth and back”, always pushing to better himself in a professional and personal manner. His streak of sarcasm stings before it soothes. I always see in him my everyday guy, just trying to do the right thing, and make ends meet.
One of the things that Bosch has been losing is his hard-boiled streak. The down-to-earth obstinate son of a bitch who always got his man does not inhabit the Bosch of the latest books.
Once again we see Bosch meticulously putting together the puzzle of a crime by using the murder book. The fact that he’s no longer in the police force in an official capacity is not a deterrent to him. He keeps on gathering clues and piling them up, pondering and meditating, and eventually getting the piece that brings things together. Formulaic for sure, Not fancy, but plenty enjoyable, with a quaint charm.
What I’ve been missing in the latest installments is the energy and urgency of those early books. It’s all gone. What remains stems largely from spending some time with an old friend, even if the friendship's intensity isn't what it used to be.