The thing with Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch novels is that I can tell in the first 20 pages if it’s going to be a good one or not. Trunk Music and Concrete Blonde are examples of the good ones, A Darkness More Than Night and Angel’s Flight less so. One just seems to know in advance how Connelly is going to hit his beats and if said beats are going to work with you.
This one really worked for me and, while almost all of Connelly’s novels are set in Los Angeles, this one felt especially LA, maybe because it connected so many of the disparate parts of the City of Angels (police, FD, past, present, movie industry, lower class) without trying too hard. Connelly knows his city (obviously, Harry Bosch does too) and that comes across in these books. I’ve only been in in LA once but it definitely has a specific vibe. Not a “vibe” in the way the word has been co-opted but just a general sentiment, like a weird mix of startling possibilities and failed dreams.
Harry here is trying to solve a cold case while also juggle a new love interest. The love interests are always the least exciting part of Connelly’s books (and most mysteries if we’re being honest) but the way Connelly writes shoe leather police work as a thriller is something to behold. I’ve never read anyone else who does this as effectively. It keeps building up to its conclusion that is kind of weak but not enough to deter from the entertainment value of the book.
I’m gonna keep picking my way through this series at my leisure. It’s good.