Summer Reading

Michael Connelly's ace homicide detective Harry Bosch is back with LAPD after three years' retirement

Summer Reading

The Closers

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.

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    The Missing Person

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    Dark Matter, Reading the Bones: Speculative Fiction From the African Diaspora

    For those new to speculative fiction in general and African-American writers of the form in particular, the newest 'Dark Matter' anthology, edited by Sheree Thomas, is the perfect guide

    The R. Crumb Handbook

    The familiar self-portrait on the front cover of 'The R. Crumb Handbook' offers a warning before you crack the spine:'I'm not here to be polite!'

    Contrabando: Confessions of a Drug-Smuggling Texas Cowboy

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    The People of Paper

    Rarely does a novel succeed in strengthening itself through its own dismantling
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    Misfortune

    Anyone familiar with the musical output of John Wesley Harding (né Wesley Stace) knows that the artist possesses a sly wit and literary ear that sets him apart from his fellow folk singers

    Bitter Milk

    One big, crippling thought that makes you wonder how long John McManus has been waiting to confide it, this naturalistic first novel from the former Michener fellow and author of the short-story collections 'Born on a Train' and 'Stop Breakin Down' takes place in late-Eighties East Tennessee at the base of a ridge in the Smokies

    Embroideries

    In 'Embroideries,' Marjane Satrapi again returns to the Iran of her youth, this time taking readers to a more intimate place, the space inhabited by women

    Also Recommended

    Some other summer reading possibilities ...

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