2.5 stars because I cannot stand Mickey Haller and the plot collapsed like a pancake in the last 30 pages. Obvious revelation was obvious, plot twist2.5 stars because I cannot stand Mickey Haller and the plot collapsed like a pancake in the last 30 pages. Obvious revelation was obvious, plot twist was unlikely, not enough Madeleine. Barely enough Bosch. Not remotely enough L.A....more
I just don't like Mickey Haller, and whoever this Bosch was, he wasn't Bosch. The plot had some good twists but once it entered into the courtroom secI just don't like Mickey Haller, and whoever this Bosch was, he wasn't Bosch. The plot had some good twists but once it entered into the courtroom section the whole thing just died like a fart in a wind tunnel. I'm looking forward to reading actual Bosch again....more
I'll always be here for Bosch, but this just wasn't one of my favorites. It felt like Connelly dropped the ball on two of his subplots trying to do juI'll always be here for Bosch, but this just wasn't one of my favorites. It felt like Connelly dropped the ball on two of his subplots trying to do justice to Harry's return to the force, his ongoing feud with Irving and the actual case itself.
Also, too much department politics, not enough of Harry or L.A.
And now watch me keep on reading this series. ...more
So much promise, so much meh. Am I really supposed to believe that Walling, a top FBI profiler now in disgrace, doesn't know basic firearms maneuvers?So much promise, so much meh. Am I really supposed to believe that Walling, a top FBI profiler now in disgrace, doesn't know basic firearms maneuvers? Or that she'd rush into an active crime scene and start grabbing on things, without even a "I know I should've waited but, dang it, time was of the essence!" or "I lost my head! It won't happen again!"
Nada. She's just basically the worst law enforcement officer in existence. Nice work with the jumper cables, btw. *shakes head*
Still, the Bosch parts are good, like they always are, even if Bosch is still in the running for Most Emo Police Officer In Existence. Terry McCaleb was enjoyable as a character, finally, what with being dead, and Connelly continues to give amazing L.A., this time with a side order of awesome Vegas that was entirely missing from Trunk Music. And I liked the whole conversation about retired policemen, because it doesn't seem to come up as often or as well in other crime fiction.
A decent Bosch is better than no Bosch at all. ...more
What a terrible, cruel, devastating and amazing book.
A collection of mostly inaccessible stories that don't care at all whether they're ever accessedWhat a terrible, cruel, devastating and amazing book.
A collection of mostly inaccessible stories that don't care at all whether they're ever accessed or by who or what, that come together in a whip-stitched panoply of truly Kiernan things: transhumanism; the lie of gender; wet, gasping blind moist things; the world beneath the bricks and the dust; drowning girls and rotting metal.
If nothing else, it does what it says on the front cover: these are tales of pain and wonder, but you're never quite sure which at any given time....more
Loved the first half of the book, on board the Intrepid. Disliked the second half, with much less Intrepid, respected the hell out of the codas rightLoved the first half of the book, on board the Intrepid. Disliked the second half, with much less Intrepid, respected the hell out of the codas right up until the very last page, which is when the book went airborne.
But I'm going to read it again, just to be sure it annoyed me as much as I think it did....more
"Well, you shoot a man in the balls and he's going to be pretty docile."
Synopsis: Jaded, bitter L.A. cop gets handed a big bag of flaming poo and wind
"Well, you shoot a man in the balls and he's going to be pretty docile."
Synopsis: Jaded, bitter L.A. cop gets handed a big bag of flaming poo and winds up investigating other jaded, bitter cops while L.A. burns.
And I had to look up the definition of 'quinella'*.
I thought after Trunk Music that I was done with Harry Bosch. Honestly, I did. I barely made it through the last half of that book with all its Vegas and its epic manpain and mommy drama. Mainly it was the Vegas. Bosch is so very entwined with L.A., so much a part of the city that late in this book when he becomes so disenchanted about the whole case he equates his growing cynicism about the LAPD with a feeling of being cut off from the city he knows and loves. Whither Harry goes, so goes L.A.
Or something. I'm not sure, but you get my drift.
Harry gets called out of bed at 2am by an unwelcome summons to take on a politically and racially volatile case involving the shooting death of a black lawyer who made his living suing the LAPD.
Actually, that's not quite right: he's called away from pacing in front of his answering machine, waiting for his ghost-like new wife, Eleanor, to appear at 2am.
AND THUS BEGINS ONE OF THE MOST EMO COP SEQUENCES EVER.
Take a moment, if you will, and think about what it would be like if Harry was short for Harriet, and on her arrival as the lead investigator at a big deal double homicide, she kept whipping out her pager and checking to see if her husband called. Because that's what Harry does, to the extent that even I was like: girl, no. Focus.
Irving pairs Harry up with his long-time IAB nemesis Chastain, and that goes about as well as can be imagined. Harry tries, but he's still Harry, and one of Harry's charms is his prickliness and his inability to "go along to get along". This will be important later.
I have to say, this is Harry at his super-prickliest so far, but with good reason. The deputy chief just basically changes updates that come to him so he can tell pretty stories at the press conferences. The FBI agent, while theoretically a friend from a previous book, basically nods agreeably at Harry's initial plan then sits in the deputy chief's lap for the rest of the book, panting and being petted. Brass want Harry's two black partners to show up at the press conference solely because they're black, not because they have any connection to the case. I have to think I'd be prickly too.
And there is so much beautiful L.A. architectural history going down all over.
Harry loves L.A. in a very specific way that's unique to what I've read of L.A. cop books. He loves it in a prickly, obsessive way, and it's wonderful.
Does this book pass The Bechdel Test? Of course not, but fuck, it's better than most. You've got the ghost-wife who Harry yearns for. You've got the independent prosecutor who infuriates and intimidates him. You've got his computer whiz partner, Rider. You've got Mistress Regina, who would probably be fabulous for Harry if he could wrap his head around going and seeing her. And you've got Kate Kincaid, who I am still grappling with. Perhaps it's just that I'm jaded and bitter, but at least there were no dead hookers. I'm starting to think crime fiction is really such a sausage factory that this one trope should be some type of genre-specific Bechdel Test.
Anyway. Four stars, my second favorite in the series so far, behind #1, The Black Echo.
*quinella: A system of betting in which the bettor, in order to win, must pick the first two finishers of a race, but not necessarily in the correct sequence....more
**spoiler alert** Jesus Scaramanga Fuck, what is this nonsense?
450 pages of stupid wrapped around 100 pages of closeted Alex coming face to face with**spoiler alert** Jesus Scaramanga Fuck, what is this nonsense?
450 pages of stupid wrapped around 100 pages of closeted Alex coming face to face with his fears: a crazy ur- man hellbent on fixin the lesbeens.
DO NOT WANT.
Gay aversion therapy is a shameful piece of this country's history and i don' t feel we're at a point where we can mine it for entertainment value without being very, very cautious and knowledgeable of what we're doing and in this book, Kellerman is neither of those things. And it doesn't even make sense, plotwise -- nothing in this book does but then this just comes out of left field right at the end. And I type this after having sat through the part of the book where the villains high-kick through an early scene all, "VILLAINS, (We Are Them! Ask Us How!) OH VILLAINS YES THAT'S US."
Alex: Hm. I should investigate the tennis pro who lifts weights at the beach.
And trees died so this stupid could be printed. Y'all, I am going to need a hella compelling reason to go on with this series after this because life is really too too short as it is......more
Technically proficient writing style, the plot holds water and yet the book features not one single character I didn't want to see flung at speed undeTechnically proficient writing style, the plot holds water and yet the book features not one single character I didn't want to see flung at speed under a train. Good grief, what a confusion of unhappy, unlikeable people!
The book reads as if the author really wanted to write in the "Sebastian? I've found some matchsticks." style but transplant it to Southern California. The result is what always happens when you try to take Sebastian and his matchsticks to Southern California: nothing trumps LA crass. It's a thin veneer of culture over a place that delights in having 84 flavors of crazy, each with its own zip code. What a mess.
Additionally, there's this:
Suddenly, Andrea remembered another picture in the box that she had passed over too quickly. She dug through the stack of photographs until she found it again ... Andrea scooped the pictures up like an abandoned hand of solitaire and put them back in the box. She kept the last one and hurried upstairs to the master bedroom to put it in her handbag. This one, slightly blurred photograph told her more than all the others combined.
By now you're probably asking yourself: so....what's in the photograph??????
Sucks to be you then, because the author has no plans to tell you for another thirty pages, on the very last page of the book where the contents are whipped out for a final overly melodramatic plot twist. This is called "cheating your readers" and authors, if you pull this kind of crap, you might log onto the internet one day to find tales of your book going airborne through someone's house. Do not do it. ...more
Basically, a disappointment, start to finish. From the introduction all the way through to the end -- with only two exceptions -- this book failed me.Basically, a disappointment, start to finish. From the introduction all the way through to the end -- with only two exceptions -- this book failed me. The stories were exceptionally drab and not very noir, while trying desperately to be "L.A. enough".
The two exceptions? Janet Fitch's "The Method", about a reclusive actress and two grifters, kept me guessing and felt the most authentic out of the group. And Scott Phillips' "The Girl Who Kissed Barnaby Jones" was disturbingly fun, but that's only 2 stories out of 17.
The thing I kept noticing was that more than a handful stories started out very very strong and then finished with unexpectedly weak or ill-fitting endings. Like, that was THE fatal flaw in all of them, which I found strange. Still, I don't think this book's terrible enough to put me off the series as a whole. Toronto, ho! ...more
The slowest Bosch so far, but even a mediocre Bosch is a darn good read.
I think it's a tough trick to make a thirty year old re-opened case pop and sThe slowest Bosch so far, but even a mediocre Bosch is a darn good read.
I think it's a tough trick to make a thirty year old re-opened case pop and sizzle, but this one steams along okay until the last 150 pages of the book, which sort of turn the heat down. And simmering's nice, but it gets a little hard to take.
Also, I wasn't entirely sure I bought the degree of repercussions on Harry from his department. That's one hell of a guardian angel....more