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Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Black Box by Michael Connelly (Bosch #21)

The Black Box (Harry Bosch, #18; Harry Bosch Universe, #21)The Black Box by Michael Connelly

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb:  In a case that spans 20 years, Harry Bosch links the bullet from a recent crime to a file from 1992, the killing of a young female photographer during the L.A. riots. Harry originally investigated the murder, but it was then handed off to the Riot Crimes Task Force and never solved.

Now Bosch's ballistics match indicates that her death was not random violence, but something more personal, and connected to a deeper intrigue.

Like an investigator combing through the wreckage after a plane crash, Bosch searches for the "black box," the one piece of evidence that will pull the case together.

Read as an audio book. Narrator changed again.

Harry has been with Detective Chu now for a couple of books - a record I think. Harry still treats Chu like an idiot, which is probably my main contention with this series: Bosch treats everyone like they are stupid and that gets old.

The thing I do like about this book is instead of being a current or active murder investigation, Bosch is working on a cold case from 20 years prior, one that he had to pass along from the '92 riots. Even after 20 years, the case carries with it political baggage, the question of why is the LA homicide department focusing on the murder of a white, Danish, woman while so many black people's murders remain unsolved. Pressure is coming down from the top to slow the investigation, and when Harry is slapped with a internal investigations order, he knows he has to work outside the box.

What I did enjoy with this installment was, Harry actually treated the gang detective and ballistics expert with something bordering on respect, as if they were equals rather than the usual everyone is stupid and hindering "his" investigation. That was a much needed character flaw improvement. I liked how the author had Harry taking vacation to finish working on the case. I really liked the twists and turns that spanned 20 years.

The ending (no spoilers!) was a bit unrealistic, as if the author got Bosch into a pinch and wasn't quite sure how to get him out. I didn't quite buy it, but hey, it worked and I could suspend my disbelief. Kinda. There was a bit of eye rolling.

Overall, one of the more enjoyable books in the series. Recommended if you've read the first twenty.

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