Michael Connelly's ace homicide detective Harry Bosch is back with LAPD after three years' retirement
by Michael Connelly
Little, Brown, 416 pp., $26.95
Michael Connelly's ace homicide detective Harry Bosch is back with LAPD after three years' retirement. No surprise there, but there's still plenty of suspense and mystery of the sort you'd expect from a writer audacious enough to name his protagonist after a painter whose name has been synonymous with hell even longer than people have been reading Sherlock Holmes. Bosch's new assignment with the cold case unit includes murders going back to 1967 and the summer of love, when Bosch was in Vietnam. "I missed it. Maybe that's what's wrong with me," he muses. What's unsettling to Bosch at first is that he actually finds himself liking both the new police chief and his boss in the unit. Dedicated Connelly fans will smell a rat already. Noir aficionados will appreciate all the cool allusions, beginning with the crisscrossing elevated freeways on the jacket forming a stark concrete X in the sky. Plus, there are references to James Ellroy, another guy whose name is synonymous with obsession and darkness, and a novel by Charles Willeford, who elevated the police procedural to high art. One of the cases Bosch and his partner are assigned reeks of "high jingo," cop talk for a case involving brass in the department. Dangerous territory, yes, but do we wonder for a nanosecond whether our hero will fear to tread there? Of course not, but it does heighten the tension and dribble even more black into the shadows. Viva le dark.