Published by Little, Brown and Company on November 8th 2000
Source: Borrowed: ebook
Terry McCaleb, the retired FBI agent who starred in the bestseller "Blood Work," is asked by the LAPD to help them investigate aseries of murders that have them baffled. They are the kind of ritualized killings McCaleb specialized in solving with the FBI, and he is reluctantly drawn from his peaceful new life back into the horror and excitement of tracking down a terrifying homicidal maniac. More horrifying still, the suspect who seems to fit the profile that McCaleb develops is someone he has known and worked with in the past: LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch.
Ehh. This one I did not feel at all. The book went back and forth between Terry McCaleb’s POV (way too much of him) and then Harry Bosch. Since the book is set up as Terry trying to tie Bosch into a murder of a man that was Bosch’s suspect in a prior case, I just couldn’t work up the energy to it. The flow was bad in this one too since it kept jumping back and forth. One of my friend’s told me that I should have read “Blood Work” first to get a better sense of Terry, but since I had a ton of books I went through like candy this weekend, I was not going to circle back to figure out a character who I found to be a big pain the butt through almost the entire book.
Terry is called in to investigate a possible connection between Harry Bosch and the murder of Edward Gunn. Terry is called in by an old friend, Jaye Winston. She wants Terry’s help in figuring out who could have murdered Gunn in a scene that calls upon a famous painting by an artist many readers will know from reading this series. At this point, I would have said this was some straight up obvious set-up, but we have to muddle through things with Terry as he realizes that maybe Bosch has turned a corner into being a murderer.
Bosch is up as a witness for the prosecution in the trial of David Storey. Storey is charged with murdering his lover and making it look like a suicide. According to Bosch, Storey confesses, but also says Bosch won’t be able to prove it. So the book flip flops between Terry’s investigation of Bosch, and Bosch’s testimony in court.
The book only improves when we have Bosch’s POV chapters. Connelly has Bosch locked down. And now we get why most of his chapters it felt like Bosch was holding a little back here and there. We don’t get to see until the end what our Bosch has up his sleeves. And when we see how these two men’s current cases tie together, I may have said “oh come on” out loud.
I really thought that Terry’s supposed insight into Bosch was weak as anything. Also I didn’t like the whole thing really being about Bosch going into the judge and jury. The POV of Terry of Bosch had Bosch just being really close to going around the bend. And also these guys (Bosch and McCaleb) has to be freaking clairvoyant to be able to figure out how the criminal trial case was tied up into the murder of Gunn. There was way too many plot holes with the whole book.
Secondary characters don’t really get developed in this one. I assume some of these people popped up in “Blood Work.” We have Terry’s disapproving wife who just, no. I didn’t like her or get her at all. She was just kind of there weeping and being negative all of the time since she doesn’t want Terry to be involved in profiling anymore.
The dialogue during all of the courtroom scenes was great. I wish more of that was included in the Bosch series. We get to see how Bosch is on a stand and how his notes are crucial to key evidence during a murder trial.
The flow didn’t work very well in this one. All in all, this felt like two books smashed together. I wish Connelly had kept McCaleb investigating Bosch with no back and forths between the two men, or just had Bosch being the main POV with no POV of McCaleb.
The setting of the book felt a bit disjointed. We have McCaleb away on an island and coming back and forth to LA to analyze Bosch. Bosch in court. And then McCaleb on his boat. I think those were the major settings besides a bar or two. This really didn’t feel much like a Bosch book.
The ending was definitely a what the heck just happened moment. I still don’t get everything that went down in this case.