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Friday, March 21, 2014

The Concrete Blonde by Harry Connelly (Bosch #3)

The Concrete Blonde (Harry Bosch, #3)The Concrete Blonde by Michael Connelly

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb:  In this classic from a #1 "New York Times" bestselling author, Detective Harry Bosch thought he'd stopped the serial killer known as the Dollmaker. Now the dead man's widow is suing Harry and the LAPD for shooting the wrong man--an accusation that rings true when a new victim is discovered with the Dollmaker's macabre signature.

"Read" as an audiobook. Narrated by Dick Hill. 

The mix of an on-going court trial covering the four year old shooting of a murderer known as the Dollmaker and a current investigation into a copy-cat murder was an interesting mix of dual plots.

In the court trial, Bosch is on the stand for the use of unreasonable force in his shooting of the suspected murderer known as the Dollmaker.  His city appointed lawyer is an inept buffon who has to match wits with Honey "Money" Chandler, one of the toughest prosecuting attorneys in LA.  Chandler shreds the defense on the stand and manipulates the entire trial with a deft and practiced hand.

In the secondary plot, Bosch realizes that there is a second Dollmaker murderer - a Follower, as he is dubbed, who is playing the LA Homicide department and subsequently, the trial, like a puppet show.  Everyone is dancing to his tune. 

Where I thought the plot fell apart was the romantic relationship between Bosch and Sally (whom he met in book #2).  One moment everything is going smoothly, Bosch is realizing things about himself, his past and his relationship, and then she cracks like a egg hitting the floor just when he needs her the most.  Ultimately I found her to be...pushy, whiny and annoying.  She was a cops wife, she knows what being married to cop is about, so why she thinks it would be different with Bosch is puzzling.   

My other complaint was with the "red herring".  I thought the attempt at subterfuge too obvious and blatant, to the point where it detracted from the plot rather than enhancing it because I just wanted to blast through the smoke screen and get to the actual murderer.  

Recommended, especially if you have read the first two books.

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