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Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

The Black Echo (Harry Bosch, #1)The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb:  For maverick Lapd homicide detective Harry Bosch, the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal...because the murdered man was a fellow Vietnam "tunnel rat" who had fought side by side with him in a hellish underground war. Now Bosch is about to relive the horror of Nam. From a dangerous maze of blind alleys to a daring criminal heist beneath the city, his survival instincts will once again be tested to their limit. Pitted against enemies inside his own department and forced to make the agonizing choice between justice and vengeance, Bosch goes on the hunt for a killer whose true face will shock him.

First book in a "new to me" series that holds potential for keeping me interested.  This is also the third murder/mystery series that I've come across with Dick Hill as narrator.  I will forever associate his voice as that of Wallander's....

I found this murder mystery engaging, the female character portrayal typical, and got a kick out of the setting: hard to remember that yes, there was a time when people had to drive around looking for a pay phone to make a call and could smoke in the workplace.

My biggest issue with the book is how FBI agent Elenor Wish is portrayed.  She starts out as being a tough and flinty FBI agent who completely dislikes Harry Bosch.  Next page she's throwing herself into his arms and her bed.  I really couldn't find a reason why a supposedly smart woman would have such an about face for someone she immediately dislikes.  It would be nice if a detective/mystery book skipped the superficial sex for once.  Wish then spends the rest of the book trailing after Bosch, questioning what he's doing and defending the FBI, while he spends the plot taking her out to dinner, having sex, and belittling the work the FBI has done.

What I liked about this book was the sub-plot.  The inter-departmental game of cat and mouse to have Harry ousted once and for all from the force.  It added the right amount of tension to the plot, making the story just a tidbit more alluring than it might otherwise have been.  The ending was also not quite what I expected, but since I don't want to have to put a "spoiler" alert on this, I will only say I was pleased with some of the twists and turns the book took.

I was not pleased with the medical aspect of someone getting shot in the arm, then wandering all around Hollywood with a self-bandage.  Um, no. The shoulder is a very complicated joint and getting shot in the shoulder would be very debilitating.  You won't be driving around and doing paperwork.  Just sayin'. 

Overall, recommended.

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