It's FBi agent Rachel Walling back in Harry Bosch's life. And somehow the on-and-off thing between these two horribly damaged people keeps flickering on and off. Personally, I wouldn't wish either of them as a romantic partner on my worst enemy... but they're fascinating crime-fiction characters: tenacious, insightful, and principled in their own ways. The murder that starts off this book--which Harry is investigating-- involves the theft of cesium from a hospital. Terrorism is the obvious factor, hence the FBI and Agent Walling enter the picture. Plenty of turf battling and institutional double-dealing ensues, but somehow Harry begins to piece together the complicated story behind the crime. The final solution is a bit of a stretch, but I was quite willing to suspend my disbelief because I was enjoying the ride so much this time around.
This story originally came to life as a 16-part serial written by Connelly for the New York Times Sunday magazine. He did a commendable job of seamlessly connecting it into a unit. Perhaps as a result, this novel runs a bit shorter than most of its companions and has a slightly different, more aggressive rhythm to it. As usual, the book is also full of scenes from my adopted city of Los Angeles (Connelly especially seems to love the area around the Hollywood Reservoir and overlooking the Hollywood Bowl), and that just adds to the fun for me-- Connelly's careful descriptions of locales I've been to many times and can easily picture in my own mind.