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The Crossing (Harry Bosch #20) by Michael Connelly

The Crossing (Harry Bosch #20) by Michael ConnellyThe Crossing by Michael Connelly
Published by Little, Brown and Company on November 3rd 2015
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 400
Source: Borrowed: ebook
Goodreads
two-stars

Six months ago, Harry Bosch left the LAPD before they could fire him, and then hired maverick Defense Attorney Mickey Haller to sue the department for forcing him out. Although it wasn't the way he wanted to go, Harry has to admit that being out of the game has its benefits. Until Mickey asks him to help on one of his cases, and suddenly Harry is back where he belongs, right in the centre of a particularly puzzling murder mystery. The difference is, this time Harry is working for the defense, aiming to prevent the accused, Leland Foster, from being convicted. And not only does the prosecution seem to have a cast-iron case, but having crossed over to 'the dark side' as his former colleagues would put it, Harry is in danger of betraying the very principles he's lived by his whole career.

This book feels pretty fragmented to me. I think Connelly missed a great chance to showcase both Bosch and Haller in this one. Instead we primarily follow Bosch around as he acts like he is being tortured to investigate a case for Haller. And we weirdly have POV’s showing the killers in this one so you don’t have any kind of surprise when Bosch eventually finds out what is going on. I really hate mystery books that do this since you as a reader are just waiting for the protagonist to catch a clue about what is happening. I hope this is not a new thing that Connelly is going to include in the Bosch series.

I feel like I am missing a book between this and “The Burning Room.” We have a Bosch who is officially retired again, but is also suing the LAPD since he believes he was set up to lose the money that was owed to him when he came back under the Deferred Retirement Option Plan that the LAPD started. Bosch’s half brother, Mickey Haller (The Lincoln Lawyer) has taken up Bosch’s case and believes that in the end that he will get Bosch a great settlement. Bosch though is at loose ends and has no idea what to do with himself.

Haller then meets with Bosch and asks him to take a case investigating for him. Haller believes his client is innocent and that he is being set up by the police. Bosch of course doesn’t believe this, because the LAPD is always on the side of truth and justice (honestly this whole thing throughout the book with Bosch not wanting to work for a defense attorney was a crock to me) and refuses to officially investigate, but will take a look at what Haller has.

I totally just lowered this book another star because I found my ire rising just typing. Look, I don’t know who this Bosch is that Connelly is now writing. But look at how many cases Bosch was involved with that involved the LAPD doing something not sanctioned and or criminal? It doesn’t ring true at all with him being reluctant to investigate. He is supposed to be the one that cares about making sure the truth is found. Heck, that was the main premise behind “The Drop” was that Bosch was brought in by his main nemesis in the series (Irving) to look into Irving’s son’s death. Irving doesn’t like Bosch, but does not believe he would be used by the police in order to make Irving look bad. To me, Bosch’s reluctance to take this case up investigating for Haller does not ring true. And also reading pages and pages of Bosch studying the case, looking at photos, and a murder book do not a good book make. This book was boring from beginning to end even with what was going on.

We have appearances by characters that long-term readers should know by now: Maddie, Lucia Soto, and a woman that was investigating Bosch in “The Black Box” and his love interest from the last book too. Maddie still sucks so it was not awesome reading about her. She acts like Bosch is a serial killer or worse because he is investigating a case for the defense. Which of course begs the question of how Maddie treats her cousin (Haller’s daughter) when no one is around.

The writing was not as clean in this one. I honestly think the whole book just dragged. I did get my interest peaked a bit with Haller. But Connelly has me wondering what his deal is. Haller sounds like a creep who drinks and hits on women who are interested in him. I never got that impression from the movie (The Lincoln Lawyer). My plan was to read the Mickey Haller series and the books that showcase him and Bosch together after I got caught up on the Bosch series. Now I am kind of reluctant to even do that.

I have to say though that the ending for Connelly I guess was happy. We have Bosch interested in another woman, his daughter actually proud of him and not acting like a brat, and Bosch content that he did something that ended up being the right thing. I don’t get a sense of anything from Haller with this one unfortunately.

two-stars

The Burning Room (Harry Bosch #19) by Michael Connelly

The Burning Room (Harry Bosch #19) by Michael ConnellyThe Burning Room by Michael Connelly
Published by Little, Brown and Company on November 3rd 2014
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 388
Source: Borrowed: ebook
Goodreads
two-stars

In the LAPD's Open-Unsolved Unit, not many murder victims die almost a decade after the crime. So when a man succumbs to complications from being shot by a stray bullet nine years earlier, Bosch catches a case in which the body is still fresh, but any other evidence is virtually nonexistent.

Now Bosch and his new partner, rookie Detective Lucia Soto, are tasked with solving what turns out to be a highly charged, politically sensitive case. Starting with the bullet that's been lodged for years in the victim's spine, they must pull new leads from years-old information, which soon reveals that this shooting may have been anything but random.

I am hard cringing at how much I disliked this book. I feel bad for it, I feel like it tried really hard and all I can keep saying is that it needs to do better. There are continuity problems galore, the fact that even though the years are passing (it’s been at least 3-4 years since the last book) that Bosch and his daughter Maddie are still the same age. We have Bosch investigating two cases (not related) and he stupidly gets in trouble for something that was not necessary at all except that I think Connelly wanted it that way. There are way too many police/science facts in this one. It felt like Connelly wanted to re-explain everything to a new reader who had never read a Bosch book before. I am usually a fan of every book needs to stand alone. But in this case, it’s an ongoing series, if you start with book #19 and get completely lost, that’s on you. I just found myself becoming more and more bored just reading about every little thing related to two separate cases.

Let’s get to it shall we?

In “The Burning Room” we have Bosch more than a year away from being done with his DROP (when he will have to retire from the LAPD and leave the Open/Unsolved unit he is part of) and he is starting to wonder why is he still plugging away at cases when the LAPD as he knows it has changed. Honestly, Bosch reminds me a bit of Poirot in the last couple of Poirot books. Poirot/Bosch both feel like they are still the smartest men around. Based on the last few books, you get the sense that Bosch believes he is the only one that cares about a murderer being brought to justice. And if he doesn’t do everything involved with a case, it will end up fouled up. Bosch still doesn’t get computers and hates how the police force has become more tech savvy and that people don’t go out and knock on doors anymore. Connelly implies via Bosch that the police have gotten more lazy as more sophisticated methods have come into play via forensic science. Considering the fact that in the end someone gets killed (that didn’t have to) because Bosch talked to someone he shouldn’t have, one wonders if maybe Bosch wouldn’t have been better tied to a desk.

Bosch also has a new partner in this one named Lucia Soto. Lucia we find is promoted up the ranks after a shootout involving her and her now dead partner. Lucia jumps over several other detectives to take a prime seat at Open/Unsolved with Bosch. If the book had focused on resentment from Bosch or others towards Lucia it would have been a better book. Instead Bosch opines about it, but honestly, that has nothing to do with anything. I felt there was a lot of that in this book.

If you are waiting to hear about where David Chu went, too bad. He is never mentioned at all. And speaking of Chu, we have some continuity errors here when Bosch speaks to Soto about previous partners. Bosch only references one partner getting shot and recovering (Kiz) and another one who killed himself (Sheenan who we know didn’t kill himself, he was murdered). But Bosch doesn’t bring up Iggie at all which I found cold. And he also doesn’t mention Chu or J. Edgar.

Between the partner continuity issues and the ever increasing Maddie doesn’t age at all in these books, I wish that Connelly would start tracking things a bit better. I have no idea how Maddie is only 17 in this book when at least 3-4 years has passed since the last book in the series, “The Black Box” when she was 15. And somehow Bosch never dances towards more than late 50s in these books. He has to be at least 64 years old at the time of this book. Okay, moving on.

There are not a lot of interesting people in this one I found. There is no real development with Soto beyond why she’s interested in one case. We find out that Harry’s long term girlfriend dumped him between books due to him not supporting her son’s parole. Which honestly, who was this woman who didn’t know that wasn’t going to happen? I think that Harry and Hannah had an interesting relationship and I hate that everything dealing with it happened off screen. But hey, we have another potential love interest in this one who I felt blah about.

We do get two people who reappear in this one from prior books. We get to see Rachel Walling again. I really want her to just tell Bosch to shove off since he only calls when he wants something. It appears that Rachel is happy and in a relationship though. We have a former Open/Unsolved detective (Jackson) that was in the last book giving Harry some details and that’s about it.

I wasn’t grabbed by the two cases that Lucia and Bosch were investigating. I thought that in both cases the solutions came about just a bit too easily, ie. in one case someone told them how/why someone was killed and then all they do is do research/interview to confirm this person’s account. I don’t get why Bosch held things back from his commander (I never get that) and at one point Bosch stupidly breaks into someone’s office for a freaking case file because he couldn’t wait until the next day to get it from that person. I honestly felt like most of this book was just a set-up to get to the next book in the Bosch series.

The writing was repetitive. If you want to read about how Bosch looks on in horror at something, enjoy. If you want to read about how Bosch doesn’t know how to use computers and depended on his partners to be in charge of all of that, enjoy. If you want to read about Bosch’s constant guilt about not being around for his daughter (and honestly not changing any of his habits to be there more), enjoy.

The flow was off from beginning to end. Connelly can usually juggle two cases and make them pop. But honestly, there was just too much happening that were separate from each other to focus on the story that Connelly wants to tell in this one.

I thought the endings to both cases was a disappointment. Especially because Bosch’s actions end up costing him a bit too much at the end of this book.

two-stars

The Black Box (Harry Bosch #18) by Michael Connelly

The Black Box (Harry Bosch #18) by Michael ConnellyThe Black Box by Michael Connelly
Published by Little, Brown and Company on November 26, 2012
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 413
Goodreads
three-stars

In a case that spans 20 years, Harry Bosch links the bullet from a recent crime to a file from 1992, the killing of a young female photographer during the L.A. riots. Harry originally investigated the murder, but it was then handed off to the Riot Crimes Task Force and never solved.
Now Bosch's ballistics match indicates that her death was not random violence, but something more personal, and connected to a deeper intrigue.

Like an investigator combing through the wreckage after a plane crash, Bosch searches for the "black box," the one piece of evidence that will pull the case together.

Image result for what's in the box gif
I am so going to need someone to hold Bosch down one of these days and say going off to investigate solo has never worked out well for him. Bosch runs afoul of another person who is in charge of the Open/Unsolved unit he is back on who is out to get Bosch tossed. And due to Bosch ticking off the Chief of Police (seriously at this point how does Bosch have a job) he may be getting kicked after the events of this book. You don’t know since that is left up in the air. I do have to say that it’s getting a little old that Bosch is always the only person in the world to care about victims. If anything, I say his single minded obsession ends up getting everyone else around him killed. And for such a smart guy he keeps getting into it with people in power. He literally has no one to keep him safe anymore so I am just wondering about the long-game with this character.

It’s been a year since the events in “The Drop” which gets referenced throughout this book. After the events of the case involving Irving’s son that Bosch investigated, we find out that Irving did not get re-elected to the City Council. A more pro-police person won the seat. Kiz and Bosch have not spoken after he finds out she used him to set up Irving. Kiz is now a captain somewhere and the Chief is struggling to hold onto his job. The last thing puzzles me since it seemed like based on the previous books the Chief was well liked. But now he’s a politician according to Bosch so that makes him a not okay guy. Bosch seems to have few friends and is still dating a woman from the last book he met named Dr. Hannah Stone.

Bosch investigates a cold case involving a victim that he and his former partner J. Edgar called Snow White. The victim was found shot to death during the LA riots and many thought she was just in the wrong time and place. However, Bosch believes a gun that was used was involved in several other gang related homicides and starts trying to track down who owned the gun first. We have Bosch exploring the world of gangs in LA and also how this all tracks back to the Iraq War (Desert Storm).

This is typical Bosch going blundering around and acting like a jerk to a ton of people. There’s also a weird scene when Bosch is reprimanded for calling someone by their last name and he realizes he may have been insulting his partner David Chu for years by calling him Chu, and then proceeds to keep calling him David that was just awkward to even read about. Lord Bosch needs to do something besides listen to jazz. Maybe read a book on how to interact with others or something. His romance is pretty boring and part of me wonders why he is even with Hannah Stone. At this point he has been dating her for at least a year. He knows about her son and even gets into some trouble because of him. I am surprised he didn’t cut his losses and break up with her. I guess we will see what goes down between them in the next book.

Bosch’s daughter Maddie is now 15 or 16. I can’t even remember. She is in this book more than previous books though so that’s one positive step forward with her character. However, I am going to complain that I found most of the things that Connelly included about her to just be padding the novel. We go off with Maddie and Bosch at one point where he takes her to a simulator that the police use to train. And Maddie is apparently the best shot ever and also has better critical thinking than the average person. So yeah, we are setting her up to be a special snowflake. Sigh. I heard from a fan that he thinks that the Bosch novels are ultimately going to focus on Maddie. I don’t know if I will continue with the series if they do. I ultimately find nothing about her compelling.

There’s really no one else in this book besides Bosch, Maddie, some references to Chu (they barely interact), Hannah Stone, and Bosch’s new boss and the Chief of Police. Bosch takes one of the guys from the unit into his confidence, but once again Bosch can’t listen to anyone giving him rational advice so that character gave me no joy. He’s not talking to Kiz, J. Edgar, his other two partners are dead. Bah.

I have to say I ultimately found this case boring. Bosch is focused on this case because reasons. I called BS on the whole story-line (we find out who murdered the victim and why) since it was such a mess with plot holes galore that I kind of gave up trying to make it make sense. I also laughed when it looks like Bosch is finally going to meet his maker, and then someone randomly shows up to get him out of trouble. I mean hello plot contrivance.

In the end I just found the book all over the place.

three-stars

The Drop (Harry Bosch #17) by Michael Connelly

The Drop (Harry Bosch #17) by Michael ConnellyThe Drop by Michael Connelly
Published by Little, Brown and Company on October 27th 2011
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 388
Source: Purchased: ebook
Goodreads
four-stars

Harry Bosch has been given three years before he must retire from the LAPD, and he wants cases more fiercely than ever. In one morning, he gets two.

DNA from a 1989 rape and murder matches a 29-year-old convicted rapist. Was he an eight-year-old killer or has something gone terribly wrong in the new Regional Crime Lab? The latter possibility could compromise all of the lab's DNA cases currently in court.
Then Bosch and his partner are called to a death scene fraught with internal politics. Councilman Irvin Irving's son jumped or was pushed from a window at the Chateau Marmont. Irving, Bosch's longtime nemesis, has demanded that Harry handle the investigation.

Relentlessly pursuing both cases, Bosch makes two chilling discoveries: a killer operating unknown in the city for as many as three decades, and a political conspiracy that goes back into the dark history of the police department.

Trigger warning: Child rape and pedophilia.

So this was a pretty cool Bosch book. We have Harry trying to work two cases with his new partner David Chu who readers met in “Nine Dragons”. And Bosch acting like a jerk again (that’s becoming a theme). If you expect to get any back and forth with Bosch and his daughter Maddie in this one, you will be sad. Seriously, at this point Maddie is practically a pet that Bosch refers to but doesn’t seem to know what to do with (Connelly does not either).

Bosch is called in to investigate when former Captain Irving (and current nemesis of Bosch) son dies. It appears that it is an open and closed suicide. However, Irving wants Bosch to investigate. Even though the two men don’t like each other, Irving knows that Bosch will be up front about what happened, no matter what the cost is.

Bosch has also gotten DNA back in a young woman’s rape and murder from 1989. The DNA matches a convicted rapist. It seems like an open and shut case until Bosch and Chu realize that the man whose DNA it matches would have been 8 years old when the rape occurred. This honestly was the most fascinating case. I was surprised at the twists and turns that Connelly throws out and when we finally realize what happened and who was behind the 1989 murder your skin crawls. There was also a couple of graphic scenes with a man who was molested as a kid and…yeah the imagery that Connelly inspires made me want to take a few showers.

We have Bosch with another love interest in this one. She is not that interesting. I think at first I liked the character since we have Bosch attracted to someone whose job would go against the grain of his. But in the end, her whole story seemed unfinished. We find out why she took the job she did and why she is so adamant about finding the underlining reason why some men rape and molest when they come from what others would consider good homes.

We continue the parade of Bosch is better than his partners in this one. I liked Chu in “Nine Dragons”. Mainly because we got to see Bosch realize that for once he may not be as smart as someone else and heck he needed to apologize about all of the assumptions he kept making about him. But in this one of course Connelly paints Chu in a negative light and Bosch acts like some spurned lover the whole time. Men are exhausting. And I honestly hate how Bosch cuts Chu out of one of the investigations. He claims he is doing it for him, but I didn’t get that sense at all. He wants Chu to be the computer guy why he investigates and interrogates everyone. I can see why J. Edgar and Kiz got tired of his crap after a while.

As I said above, don’t expect to get much out of Maddie living with Bosch in this one. She’s barely in the story. I wanted to see if Bosch was continuing her therapy after the death of Eleanor Wish in the last standalone book, but I guess not? Who knows.

We have Kiz in this one and once again I hated what Connelly did with the character. At this point, everyone in the LAPD is a bad person but Bosch. There’s never any shades of gray with anyone.

There are other secondary characters that I definitely felt for in this one.

The writing was fast paced in this one since we had Bosch investigating two separate murders from beginning to end. Honestly Bosch’s final confrontation with Irving was a bit of a boring scene to me. I know that Bosch is all “het” up about it, but I really shrugged. Since Irving has done his best to come after the LAPD since being part of the City Council, I don’t get what Connelly was trying to say what was behind the motivations of others in this book. It definitely seems like something shady was going on based on Irving’s son’s job and what the man’s own wife said about him.

This book didn’t have a typical noir feel to it. It just felt a little paint by the numbers at times. I liked it, but I think splitting Bosch’s focus in this one was why it felt a little off to me. I wish we had the Irving investigation as it’s own separate book in a different book or something. Connelly does combine them together quite well, but you definitely know you are reading about two separate cases. Thank goodness that Connelly does not try to combine them by some ridiculous coincidence though.

The ending once again lives Bosch standing alone and one wonders what his future is going to bring since he has made even more enemies at this point.

four-stars

Nine Dragons (Harry Bosch #15) by Michael Connelly

Nine Dragons (Harry Bosch #15) by Michael ConnellyNine Dragons by Michael Connelly
Published by Little, Brown and Company on October 13, 2009
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 385
Source: Purchased: ebook
Goodreads
three-stars

Fortune Liquors is a small shop in a tough South L.A. neighborhood, a store Bosch has known for years. The murder of John Li, the store's owner, hits Bosch hard, and he promises Li's family that he'll find the killer.
The world Bosch steps into next is unknown territory. He brings in a detective from the Asian Gang Unit for help with translation--not just of languages but also of the cultural norms and expectations that guided Li's life. He uncovers a link to a Hong Kong triad, a lethal and far-reaching crime ring that follows many immigrants to their new lives in the U.S.

And instantly his world explodes. The one good thing in Bosch's life, the person he holds most dear, is taken from him and Bosch travels to Hong Kong in an all-or-nothing bid to regain what he's lost. In a place known as Nine Dragons, as the city's Hungry Ghosts festival burns around him, Bosch puts aside everything he knows and risks everything he has in a desperate bid to outmatch the triad's ferocity.

Well this is one of my least favorite Bosch books. We get Bosch just bumbling from the beginning of this book to the end. We have Connelly get rid of two characters we have been following for a number of books now in completely (IMHO) stupid ways, and I don’t know, I think Bosch is just casually racist towards Chinese people. I also didn’t get a sense of Hong Kong at all while reading this book. I felt like Connelly watched “Knock Off” a few times, visited Hong Kong, took a couple of terrible pictures he inserted in this book and called himself done. As someone who has been to Hong Kong and adored it, he completely misses the mark on just how big the city is and how many people are there. I also think the fact that Bosch is there for about 24 hours makes the whole story-line dance towards ridiculous by the time we get to the end and realize what happened with Bosch’s kidnapped daughter.

In “Nine Dragons” we have Bosch investigating the murder of a Chinese store owner that Bosch feels a connection to since he gave Bosch a match to light a cigarette. I am not kidding people. That is something that Bosch repeats to himself and others throughout the story. I maybe wanted to smack Bosch across the face when he says this to the victim’s son. And then we have Bosch acting like how come no one gets what he is talking about and man oh man I broke out some wine since I could see we were dancing towards that kind of story.

When Bosch and his partner (poor Iggie) investigating the murder, Bosch brings in someone from the Asian Gang Unit to lend a hand (David Chu). Bosch though of course acts like an asshole to David and to Iggie so that’s like negative 10 we got for Bosch at this point in the story. When David and Bosch start to dig deeper, it looks like the murder may have links to a local Triad. And when Bosch swoops in to make an arrest, everything gets “F” up when his 13 year old daughter Maddie is kidnapped.

From prior books, readers know that Bosch has a daughter named Maddie with former wife Eleanor Wish. Maddie and Eleanor live in Hong Kong where Eleanor makes a living playing poker (don’t ask). Though Bosch has had relationships with other women, he still sits around thinking about Eleanor and how one day things may work out (considering how she left him and didn’t tell him about his daughter for I think 4 years I think Bosch is out of his mind). We never get to see Bosch and Maddie interact at all with each other until this book so I had a hard time with Maddie in this one. She was being a brat up until she went missing, and when we find out about what went on I definitely didn’t like her one bit. And Bosch questioning Eleanor’s parenting style…look there’s a lot to yell at this character about, but she’s the main parent taking care of Maddie while Bosch is off avenging folks. And him being a jerk about the new man in Eleanor’s life, sigh at this point we are at about minus 1,000 with Bosch.

I ended up feeling really sad about what happens with Iggie and other people in this one. I think Connelly was so focused on moving the action to Hong Kong he didn’t sit and think about how other people got the end of the short stick in this one. Since Bosch treated Iggie terribly in the last book (IMO) I was not feeling him acting as if Iggie was being a baby or less of a cop since he got shot in the last book. I would think Bosch could feel some type of empathy towards Iggie who now has three kids, but nope, he acts like unless Iggie lives and breathes the job he is less of a cop than Bosch.

Connelly of course nails Bosch’s voice. But I have to say, he is way more bumbling in this one. His arrogance as far as I am concerned got people hurt. Going to a foreign country and trying to show your ex wife’s new boyfriend you know better than him was just eye roll inducing. I want to say something about Ugly Americans, but I want this review to be over and am going to skip over it.

The setting of Hong Kong wasn’t used very well at all as I said above. Bosch flies in and manages to wreck havoc in 24 hours. I don’t even get a sense of Hong Kong in this one probably because Bosch was too busy obsessing over Eleanor and being a jerk. And then we have Bosch flying back to LA and somehow setting up his daughter with a therapist to discuss what happens while continuing his case against someone he believes murdered a shop keeper. I got whip lash while reading this book. The flow was off as soon as Bosch gets to Hong Kong and never gets fixed. And the fake out ending making you think that someone was dead and you find out that actually someone else died off screen was BS of the first water. I was mad at the way Bosch showcased this character’s death (not at all) and the character of Bosch not really giving two craps about it that I could see.

three-stars

The Overlook (Harry Bosch #13) by Michael Connelly

The Overlook (Harry Bosch #13) by Michael ConnellyThe Overlook by Michael Connelly
Published by Little, Brown and Company on May 22nd 2007
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 225
Source: Borrowed: ebook
Goodreads
three-stars

In his first case since he left the LAPD's Open Unsolved Unit for the prestigious Homicide Special squad, Harry Bosch is called out to investigate a murder that may have chilling consequences for national security. A doctor with access to a dangerous radioactive substance is found murdered in the trunk of his car. Retracing his steps, Harry learns that a large quantity of radioactive cesium was stolen shortly before the doctor's death. With the cesium in unknown hands, Harry fears the murder could be part of a terrorist plot to poison a major American city.

Soon, Bosch is in a race against time, not only against the culprits, but also against the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI (in the form of Harry's one-time lover Rachel Walling), who are convinced that this case is too important for the likes of the LAPD. It is Bosch's job to prove all of them wrong.

Eh. This was not my favorite Bosch. After a couple of home-runs with this series, this was definitely a disappointment. About half the length of his usual books, Connelly uses this to just show readers excerpts from his other books. I hit the finish line with this book at 74 percent I think. The remaining was just excerpts.

This felt and reads more like a short story. We have so many plot holes I don’t even know which to begin with in “The Overlook.” It’s been a year since the events in “Echo Park.” Harry is still bitter that Rachel Walling cut him off (I would have too) after his shennigans in the last book. He is still visiting his daughter in Hong Kong when he has time. He now has a new partner, after Kiz has gone back to working for the Chief of Police. His partner Ignacio (call me Iggy) Ferras is younger than Bosch, and their partnership is not going very smoothly. I wish I could sympathize with Bosch more, but honestly I was tired of his games from beginning to end in this one. And thankfully Bosch finally got it through his thick head he can’t just do what he wants with no blow back. Maybe nuclear material entering the picture in this one was what he needed.

Bosch is no longer in Open/Unsolved. Now he is a unit called Homicide Special Squad. Bosch and Iggy (I don’t care that Bosch doesn’t like the guy’s nickname, he was being an ass by refusing to use it) are called to a homicide where a Doctor Stanley Kent is found with some bullets to the head. It looks like a simple case of possible robbery gone wrong until Bosch is informed that Kent has access to radioactive material due to his job and a possible terrorist may have gotten his hands on it. Enter Rachel Walling and her colleagues from the FBI.

I was happy to see Rachel back in Bosch’s face and Bosch realizing that many at the FBI think and know what a loose cannon he is. Bosch has hurt feelings about the whole thing and I may have stated mumbling “boy bye” under my breath. I like Bosch. But I am over the martyr act he has going for most of this book. Also since tracking down radioactive substances is more of an issue than him finding out who killed Stanley Kent I felt like his pissing match with the FBI was just ridiculous.

We get some new faces in this one and of course new with Iggy and some others. We see a reappearance of J. Edgar who once again proves that tv J. Edgar is better than book J. Edgar. It always makes me uncomfortable how Connelly portrays him as lazy and homophobic. Ugh.

The writing wasn’t on par with previous books. I counted so many plot holes I gave up after 10. I think my biggest issue is that it doesn’t make sense when you find out the why behind Kent’s murder. It’s beyond stupid. Why do something that would bring in the cops and the FBI? I think at that point you want to get caught. That’s all I am going to say about that.

The book ends on a weird note. I know Bosch isn’t dead (hello other books in the series) but it leaves things on a fraught note with him maybe getting in trouble due to being around some of the radioactive material. We have another partner of his who may be down and out. And at this point, you couldn’t pay me to partner with Bosch.

Image result for harry bosch gifs

three-stars

Echo Park (Harry Bosch #12) by Michael Connelly

Echo Park (Harry Bosch #12) by Michael ConnellyEcho Park Published by Little, Brown and Company on October 9th 2006
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 405
Source: Purchased: ebook
Goodreads
five-stars

In 1995, Marie Gesto disappeared after walking out of a supermarket in Hollywood. Harry Bosch worked the case but couldn't crack it, and the 22-year-old woman never turned up, dead or alive. Now Bosch is in the Open-Unsolved Unit, where he still keeps the Gesto file on his desk, when he gets a call from the DA. A man accused of two heinous killings is willing to come clean about several other murders, including the killing of Marie Gesto.

Bosch must now take Raynard Waits's confession and get close to the man he has sought - and hated - for eleven years. But when Bosch learns that he and his partner missed a clue back in 1995 that could have led them to Gesto's killer - and that would have stopped nine murders that followed - he begins to crack.

What can I say about Bosch at this point? This book gives you a great mystery, politics, and finally someone just calling out Harry for the crap he keeps pulling when it comes to always doing things his way and his whole damn the consequences thing.

“Echo Park” is the 12th book in the Harry Bosch universe. With Harry now back working Open/Unsolved cases with his partner Kiz, he feels better than he has in a while. However, one of Harry’s past cases which has haunted him is coming back in a big way with it looking like a serial killer may have been behind his victim’s disappearance. What makes things even bigger this time for Harry is that this case could possibly lead to the LAPD being put under more of a microscope with regards to their actions due a possible change in the DA’s office and the city council. I wish I could say that all of Harry’s moves are going to go down easy this one, but they don’t. I think that Connelly played it this way just to show even more that Harry’s sense of right and wrong is skewed at times. If this was Biblical or even Medieval times I would be all for it. But he’s still supposed to be a police officer and his job is to protect and serve. Not to make sure that karma/justice comes and gets people every time.

“Echo Park” opens with Harry and his former partner J. Edgar working a case about a missing young woman named Marie Gesto. She disappeared from the grocery store back to her place and her parents contacted the police. Harry and J. Edgar eventually find her car, but never do figure out what happened to Marie. Harry believes she’s dead, but without a body or a perpetrator, he doesn’t want to let the case go until he can tell her parents what happened to her. The book then fast fowards to Bosch in the present day working at Open/Unsolved. When a fellow officer contacts Bosch about the Marie Gesto murder book, Bosch refuses (of course he does) to turn it in until he is kept privy about why her case is being looked at. When Bosch and Kiz find out that a man the police have brought in via a routine traffic stop is connected to Marie and other murders, it looks like Bosch has got his man. However, things are not what they always appear, and this time through, a lot of stuff comes out in the wash in this one.

Bosch is feeling his age a bit and is lonely this time through. We know that his ex-wife and daughter are living in Hong Kong with Bosch apparently visiting his daughter between books. Every one of these books is about a year after the previous one, so we know it’s been about a year since Harry has been back in Open/Unsolved with Kiz.

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Bosch eventually reconnects with an old love interest, Rachel Walling. I skipped over the book introducing Rachel, so I don’t have much to say about her besides I like her better than Eleanor Wish. I am probably now going to read that book “The Narrows” though I already have a feeling it’s going to bug me because of the first person POV and third person POVs (why do authors do this in the same book?). I liked the profiling aspect of Rachel being involved. She definitely gives us more insight into the suspected serial killer. And I loved that she did not put up with Harry’s crap and called him out when she saw how reckless and single minded he was being about things.

We get more details about Kiz’s life as well and I am wondering due to the ending of this book how does this all shake up for her and Harry.

We have the specter of Irving rearing his head again. Even though the guy is gone from the LAPD, he is out to take them all down.

The writing is typical Connelly and he keeps the flow moving. I will say that this one played with so many elements I honestly didn’t think it would all fit. But we have callbacks to Bosch’s mother, his time spent in foster care and an orphanage, his prior cases, his other partners, etc. This whole book felt like a reckoning for Bosch, however, I don’t think the lessons are going to take.

I love Connelly’s Bosch series because it gives me that little taste of noir that I don’t know I need until I have not read one of his books for a while. We see Connelly taking real world events (9/11, the war on terror, etc.) and including that into his plot. We get to see the overreach by the FBI and the LAPD in certain cases. What I like best about Connelly’s books is you get to see the ending of a case and get to decide whether the ends justify the means. When I got to this ending, I definitely called BS like Rachel did.

five-stars

The Closers by Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch #11)

The Closers by Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch #11)The Closers by Michael Connelly
Published by Little, Brown and Company on May 16th 2005
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 416
Source: Borrowed: ebook
Goodreads
five-stars

He walked away from the job three years ago. But Harry Bosch cannot resist the call to join the elite Open/Unsolved Unit. His mission: solve murders whose investigations were flawed, stalled, or abandoned to L.A.'s tides of crime. With some people openly rooting for his failure, Harry catches the case of a teenager dragged off to her death on Oat Mountain, and traces the DNA on the murder weapon to a small-time criminal. But something bigger and darker beckons, and Harry must battle to fit all the pieces together. Shaking cages and rattling ghosts, he will push the rules to the limit--and expose the kind of truth that shatters lives, ends careers, and keeps the dead whispering in the night...

So this was the last Harry Bosch book I read this past weekend. We have Harry reunited with Kiz and now they are both working in the Open/Unsolved Unit in the LAPD (think Cold Case). Kiz pulled some strings and got Harry back with her and now the former partners are teaming up to figure out who was behind the murder of a young 17 year old girl in 1988. This book has a little bit of everything. You have Harry finally happy again because he is doing what he does best, closing cases. He has Kiz back by his side. He is now a father to a young girl (and by the way I am so confused by what her age is) and finally has another boss that he respects. You have Irving hanging around like a dark cloud (book Irving sucks by the way) and you get to once again see the dark side of the LAPD back in the 80s. With an ending that once again surprised me, you have to wonder how Connelly plans on topping this in book #12.

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We once again get Harry’s first person POV throughout this book. Excited and a little bit nervous, Bosch meets the new Chief of Police and pretty much gets a mission to go out and help silence those out there who have been murdered and their killers have never been found. It can read a bit hoky, but I actually found myself feeling moved by it. And you get that same feeling throughout the book. Bosch is pushed throughout to figure out who murdered 17 year old Rebecca (Becky) Verloren. You get to see the effect that her murder has on her two parents, both who seemed stuck and have no way forward without the daughter they loved. I get a sense that throughout the book Bosch is haunted that something can happen to his daughter Maddie, and it scares him a bit that he would end up as broken as the two parents are in the book.

Secondary characters once again get a chance to shine throughout. I also think that Connelly may be setting up future tensions between Harry and a lot of people though.

For example, Harry’s partner Kiz is definitely playing some political level games. I do wonder if this will end up affecting her and Harry’s relationship. We do get some glimpses of J. Edgar. However, he is still in Hollywood, left behind by both his former partners. I don’t know if Harry is picking up on J. Edgar’s resentment, or is he seeing something that is not there. Irving is back and has become the real life boogeyman in this series at this point. The man has done a lot of questionable and terrible things. I always felt like he had a reluctant admiration of Bosch. However, we find out that is not the case. Irving has been pushed out by the new Chief, and is just waiting for Bosch to screw up per usual, so he (Irving) can swoop in and take down the new Chief. So besides Harry trying to find out who Becky Verloren’s killer is, you have added pressure that if he makes one wrong room it can cost him and Kiz their jobs along with the Chief.

I felt haunted by Becky Verloren throughout this book. I really hope that the tv series considers turning this book into one of their upcoming seasons. There was so much going on here, but honestly Becky was the heart. Her parents are both devastated that the daughter they thought they knew apparently was in love and at one point pregnant. They can’t imagine who would have killer her since everyone loved her. Even Becky’s closet friends have no idea what she was up to and with who. I got a sense of a young girl who believed in true love until she realized that love was tainted. And when we find out who killer her and why I felt sadness for this fictional character. This is one of the reasons why I had to stop watching Cold Case. I usually turned into a blubbery mess when the victim would come back and smile happily at Lily, because her finding out who killed them had helped set them free.

The plot really kind of meanders just a bit though here and there. Even though Bosch and Kiz have DNA tying a man to Beck’s death, they have to work backwards to see if anyone knew him and how he came to be connected to Becky. This brings up white supremacy in LA in the 80s (seriously with real world events cropping up while I read a book from years ago) and how an earlier LAPD unit could have ties to this whole thing. It does work, but as I said goes a bit circular at times. The aspect of race is brought up again and again in this book as well. Due to Becky’s parents being an interracial couple in the 80s, Bosch and Kiz have to wonder if that could be the reason why Becky was targeted and murdered.

The writing is typical Connelly. I thought that he did a good job per usual with Bosch’s voice. I thought the flow towards the end got a little uneven. Not too bad though, just a bit. I think it was because I had to go back and re-read a few things since I was all, wait, did I get that right or am I missing something a few times.

I am going to start calling out Connelly though for the bad guy(s) always coming to a bad end when Bosch investigates though. It’s starting to become a thing in this series.

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five-stars

Lost Light by Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch #9)

Lost Light by Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch #9)Lost Light by Michael Connelly
Published by Little, Brown and Company on April 1, 2003
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 422
Source: Borrowed: ebook
Goodreads
five-stars

The vision has haunted him for four years--a young woman lying crumpled in death, her hand outstretched in silent supplication. Harry Bosch was taken off the Angella Benton murder case when the production assistant's death was linked with the violent theft of two million dollars from a movie set. Both files were never closed. Now retired from the L.A.P.D., Bosch is determined to find justice for Angella. Without a badge to open doors and strike fear into the guilty, he's on his own. And even in the face of an opponent more powerful and ruthless than any he's ever encountered, Bosch is not backing down.

This book was grim. It looks at a post 9/11 world and how many will just make excuses in the name of keeping our country safe. It also shows how trying to do the right thing could leave you in a hole in the ground dead.

Now that Bosch is no longer with the LAPD (read “City of Bones”) he is investigating a cold case that has haunted him for years. A young woman working on a film set was found dead and half naked on her front steps. It seems that her death may be linked to a possible robbery of $2 million dollars days later on the film-set that she worked. Though Harry is looking up this case for his own reasons, he is asked to also follow up by a former LAPD detective who is now looking a long life paralyzed from the neck down. Apparently he has a lot of regrets, and this case is one thing he wants tied up.

We get some reappearances of friends and foes alike in this one. We have Kiz warning Harry off and not being that friendly towards him after he leaves her high and dry to retire. J. Edgar still seems in Bosch’s corner, but per usual is not going to be dragged down with him. FBI agent, Roy Lindell has a personal connection to the case, and I wish that Connelly would just spin that character off already. We get a FBI agent who I definitely think is going to hold a grudge against Bosch, so it will be interesting to see if he pops up again in other books.

We also get Harry connecting again with his ex-wife, Eleanor Wish. Can I also call BS on that whole sub-plot. Seriously though, I wanted to whack Eleanor on her nose with a paper. I hate this trope (no spoilers) in romance novels, and I loathed it here. I won’t get into it, but I maybe booed out loud for a straight minute.

With the LAPD, the FBI, and a rogue U.S. government unit out to get him, you have to wonder how the heck Harry is getting out of this one with intact. We really do have Harry on his own, with no badge or warrants on his own in this one. And can I say that the guy just kept making stupid choice after stupid choice. I definitely buckled up and went along for the ride in this one.

The writing in this one is typical Connelly. He has finessed Bosch’s voice that this felt like drinking a nice crisp white wine to me after the last book. Can I say, I really don’t think that all authors can juggle multiple POVs in one book. I think Connelly shines when he writes with just Bosch’s POV so I plan on passing on anymore books in this series that he does this with in the future. It just worked my nerves too much.

The flow was pitch perfect. When we finally have Harry realizing how the two cases are linked and how a woman that Lindell is interested in finding is also connected your mouth may hang open. I couldn’t believe it. This was done very well and I have to say, I love being surprised and not realizing who the bad guy(s) are until the very end.

The book shifts back and forth between LA and Las Vegas. However, most of Las Vegas occurs in fits and starts. Due to Harry trying to keep the FBI off his back, he just lays trails out for him to follow which has him involving Eleanor again.

You have to wonder at the end of this one, where does this leave Bosch. He obviously still has a drive to solve cases even though he has left the LAPD. But with the fallout from this case, you have to think to yourself that Bosch would be better off just straight up retiring.

five-stars

A Darkness More Than Light by Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch #7)

A Darkness More Than Light by Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch #7)A Darkness More Than Night by Michael Connelly
Series: ,
Published by Little, Brown and Company on November 8th 2000
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 444
Source: Borrowed: ebook
Goodreads
three-stars

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.

three-stars

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