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Avg. Rating: 4.25
I read BLOOD WORK a few months ago and thought it was so enjoyable that I had to read Michael Connelly's other books. THE BLACK ECHO was his first and it was excellent.
Harry Bosch, an L.A.P.D. detective recently demoted from the more prestigious Robbery-Homicide Division to Hollywood homicide, gets a call on what looks like a run-of-the-mill heroin overdose. But Harry recognizes the victim - a fellow "tunnel rat" named Meadows from his Viet Nam days - and he spots evidence that leads him to believe that Meadows was murdered. Harry unearths a connection between Meadows and a huge bank robbery, and after initially being tossed off the case, Harry is teamed with a female FBI agent on the theory that the bank robbers are the ones who murdered Meadows.
Connelly did such a great job in weaving this plot that I just followed the twists and turns as they came, not anticipating the outcome. You will suspect everyone and still be surprised by the ending. What an entertaining novel.
Excellent Debut for a Great Character
Michael Connelly won the "Edgar Award" for Best First Novel with "The Black Echo", which introduces us to LAPD Detective Hieronymous "Harry" Bosch. Bosch had formerly been a member of the LAPD's elite RHD (Robbery Homicide Division), but roughly a year before this book begins he killed a suspect in the 'Dollmaker Case'. As a result, Bosch was investigated by IAD (the Internal Affairs Department), suspended for a month and demoted to robbery-homicide team of the Hollywood Division. As it happens, IAD weren't entirely happy with this outcome, and are waiting for their chance to get Bosch out of the police force altogether. Malicious ? They make the 'real' villains look good.
Bosch proves to be an interesting character. With a reputation as being something of a loner, he's a jazz fan with a taste for coffee, beer and cigarettes. He served in Vietnam as a Tunnel Rat, before returning home and joining the Police Force.
It's Harry's time as a Tunnel Rat that comes back to haunt him in The Black Echo. The book begins with Harry being called out to Mulholland Dam, where a body's been found in drainage pipe. Dismissed by other officers at the scene as simply another drug user who'd accidentally overdosed - and therefore, not needing any further investigation - Bosch isn't quite so and decides to run with it. Things take a more personal twist when he recognises the corpse as a fellow Tunnel Rat, Billy Meadows. Things start looking more and more like Meadows was murdered - an autopsy seems to indicate he'd been tortured before he died, while a pawn ticket found in Meadows' apartment links him to a major bank heist carried out the previous year. This bank job is officially being investigated by the FBI and, as Bosch believes the men behind the bank job are also behind Meadows' death, he arranges a meeting with Special Agent Eleanor Wish. Harry's intention was to request a sharing of information but he doesn't exactly get what he wants out of the meeting - and things haven't finished going downhill for him.
Connolly's style of writing is excellent - a former Crime Reporter with the LA Times, I would assume there is a great deal of accuracy in his portrayal of a homicide investigation. He has created a very likeable character in Harry Bosch, while his descriptions of the city have left me feeling like I know LA. Definitely worth reading !
Enter Harry Bosch
An absolutely terrific first novel in the superb Hironymous Bosch series, introduces us to Michael Connelly's enigmatic and troubled LA detective. Harry Bosch lives for his job, and the cost to his personal life and relationships is troubling.
When we meet Harry, he has already been, in essence, demoted by being kicked off of the elite Robbery/Homicide squad and stuck in Homicide in the Hollywood division. But Harry is a pure detective, and will work every case with the same single-minded tenacity that gets results while alienating him from his fellows and irritating his bosses.
A throw-away death of a junkie found in a drainage pipe would have gone unnoticed if anyone but Harry Bosch had caught the call. But Bosch, while having a lousy personal life IS a superb detective, and he sees what many would miss. Not only that, but the victim is someone from Harry's past which further prompts him to look deeper. Harry's investigation causes him to cross paths with the FBI and his conflicts become even more personal when he becomes romantically involved with a female FBI agent.
The story unfolds with many surprises and the meticulous detail that we will come to expect from Connelly in the series. First rate all the way. A great beginning.
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