Published by Hachette Book Group USA on January 28th 1999
Source: Borrowed: ebook
An activist attorney is killed in a cute little L.A. trolley called Angels Flight, far from Harry Bosch's Hollywood turf. But the case is so explosive--and the dead man's enemies inside the L.A.P.D. are so numerous--that it falls to Harry to solve it. Now the streets are superheating. Harry's year-old Vegas marriage is unraveling. And the hunt for a killer is leading Harry to another high-profile L.A. murder case, one where every cop had a motive. The question is, did any have the guts?
Trigger warning: Child rape
This book had everything, in it. Though at times things felt a little bit confusing, Connelly manages to go back and smoothly walk you through things via Harry Bosch or third parties.
Howard Elias, who has been a thorn in the LAPD’s side for years, is found murdered on a trolley in the middle of the night. Another passenger was also murdered, but it seems as if the hit centered around Elias. Due to the fact that Elias was about to bring to trial several LAPD detectives that he claims assaulted his client while in custody, many are wary this could cause another large scale riot. However Chief Irving, specifically calls up Harry Bosch and his two partners, J. Edgar, and Kiz to be put on as the primaries to work this case. So besides Harry and company having to race the clock down to see who was after Elias (and there were a lot of people after him) and dealing with the fact he and his partners will be split up if this case blows back to them, we have Harry really feeling the pressure in this one. It also doesn’t help that Harry and his year long marriage to Eleanor Wish has hit the rocks. I have a totally not shocked look on my face.
Told in Harry’s first person POV again, we have him asleep slightly at the wheel in this one. Due to him feeling out of sorts because Eleanor keeps disappearing on him to go gamble, the marriage seems to be in its death throes. Harry doesn’t want to let her or their marriage go, because he is/was happy. I can see from Eleanor’s point of view why she is so unhappy though. She used to be an FBI agent, now she’s an ex-con unable to find work. So the only happiness she gets is when she sits down to gamble. I think that Harry doesn’t really get what’s wrong since he talks in this book how he brings up cases to Eleanor, and her keen insight is important sometimes to him solving a case. I wish we had seen more scenes like that, instead of one or both of them about to be in tears all the time. I have never wanted two fictional characters to break up this badly since Bella and Edward in the Twilight series.
With this going on, we also have Harry worrying about his partners, and trying to keep the IA people assigned to work for him out of his hair. This has him partnering up with John Chastain, one of his nemesis from the last book. I really thought that maybe John would have a better understanding of what exactly homicide has to go through to close a case, but besides his smart aleck remarks to Harry, he just doesn’t see why Homicide puts up with things witnesses and family members say to them.
With regards to Harry’s two partners, we get that Harry definitely seems to be a bit closer to Kiz in this one. He also trusts her more. She is more computer savvy than Harry or J. Edgar and she’s starting to come along as detective. Due to the last book, we know that Harry find out about Kiz being a lesbian and who she was involved with. It doesn’t seem to bother Harry though, and he initially is careful about his partners not being used for optics by Irving.
We also have Harry seeking out his ex-partner, Frank Sheehan, who was one of the LAPD detectives named in Elias lawsuit. Harry doesn’t think his friend could do what Elias claims and quickly shifts gears to keep him out of Irving and IAB’s crosshairs.
A character from the last book appears in this one who I just love because he gives Bosch crap, Roy Lindell. Now that Roy is back with the FBI full-time, he gets roped into this case to work alongside LAPD in order to show that no type of cover-up is going on.
What I did love about this book though is that Harry gets a dark look into what path his life may take if he is not careful. This case has a little bit of everything. We do find out who killed Elias and why. But you also get to see Harry solve another murder that the LAPD thought was closed.
I thought at times the subject matter was a bit awful to get through. When you get to the child rape aspect and pedophilia I almost lost my lunch. You may want to skip over that. I am now wishing that I had. Harry’s ability to think outside the box and size people up though is what keeps the case moving forward along with Kiz’s ability with a computer.
I was surprised by the ending in this book. I definitely did not see it coming. Once again Harry skates by due to just dumb luck though Irving was coming for him in this one. It be nice to see Irving taking down for good. I also hate the fact that the book shows that one of the guys in this book is down in by rioters. I don’t know, it just left a bad taste in my mouth due to what is going on in the US right now with many people claiming that protesters are destroying property and assaulting victims. You can see Harry’s POV that he thinks that most of the cases that Elias brings against LAPD are crap. But later on his views starts to shift a bit by just realizing what happened in the two cases he is working. I think that Harry was on the outs a bit with J. Edgar and Kiz in this one because even though he initially proclaims he won’t let them be used for optics by Irving, he does just that when he wants to use them to help out a friend. So you can see that Harry a few times was just being a hypocrite due to him wanting to do what he thinks is right to bring people to justice.