Jane Stewart's Reviews > Nine Dragons

Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly
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's review
Oct 04, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: crime-mystery-suspense, 4-plus-star-other
Read in October, 2011

4 ½ stars. Weak on character development but entertaining and engaging. More action/adventure than previous books.


This book does not have enough character development for the villains and Bosch’s sidekicks (his LA semi-partner Chu and his Hong Kong helper Sun Yee). It reads more like a movie script than the previous Bosch books – lots of action and suspense. Some of the things I loved in the previous books were Bosch’s thinking and actions, unexpected and unusual things, and the cop-speak dialogue. This book didn’t have as much of that. Part of the story felt like a scavenger hunt. Bosch rushes to one place, gets a clue, rushes to the next place, gets another clue, and so on.

Even though this was lacking or light on things mentioned above, I still had a lot of fun and enjoyed the book. It might not be realistic, but I don’t require realism when it comes to fiction. This was entertaining. It was an easy 4 stars for me.

Since I’ve read every Harry Bosch book (in order) prior to this book, I started off with a rich and full understanding of Bosch. When he learns that his daughter has been kidnapped by the Triad in Hong Kong he says the following. I’m flying over there. I’ll arrive Sunday morning. I have all day Sunday to find her and then I’ll be back on Monday. I started laughing. So many times in prior books Bosch knew without any doubt he would find the killer, or whatever he was after. I’ve never heard anyone so confident - to expect to find a girl so easily who’s been kidnapped by organized crime? But that made this fun, and it was unexpected. The thing is I know Bosch will find her, and he will do it in believable ways. Some books (by other authors) have depressed me when a child was kidnapped and held hostage to get the hero/heroine to do something. I didn’t feel that depression here which was good. My thoughts were watch out bad guys.

Someone shoots John Li the Chinese owner of a small grocery store. The main suspect is Chang who has been taking weekly payoffs from Li for the Triad (Chinese mafia). Bosch receives an anonymous phone call telling him to back off. The caller sounds Chinese. At the same time Bosch receives a video from his daughter’s cell phone showing her tied up and held against her will. His daughter Maddie lives with his ex-wife in Hong Kong. Bosch flies to Hong Kong to find her.

The narrator Len Cariou is excellent. He does a good job with both men and women. A couple seconds of music here and there was nice.

Unabridged audiobook length: 10 hrs and 58 mins. Narrator: Len Cariou. Swearing language: strong but not frequently used. Sexual content: none. Setting: 2008 Los Angeles, California and Hong Kong. Book Copyright: 2009. Genre: crime mystery suspense. Ending: Not an emotional high but satisfying.

I recommend reading the Harry Bosch books in order, but it would be ok to try “The Last Coyote” or “Lost Light” first, just to see if you like the style. Then go back and read the rest in order. Following is my recommended reading order. I’ve included two other series within this list because there is a date flow and the characters interact. All of these books could be read as stand-alones, but reading them in order provides richer character development.

3 stars. The Black Echo
3 ½ stars. The Black Ice
4 stars. The Concrete Blonde
5 stars. The Last Coyote
4 stars. Trunk Music
4 stars. Angels Flight
4 ½ stars. Blood Work (McCaleb series #1) Bosch is not in this.
3 ½ stars. A Darkness More Than Night (McCaleb series #2) McCaleb is the primary investigator, but he interacts with Bosch.
3 ½ stars. City Of Bones
5 stars. Lost Light
5 stars. The Poet (McEvoy series #1) Bosch is not in this. Read this any time before “The Narrows.”
4 stars. The Narrows (sequel to The Poet) Bosch is the main investigator.
3 stars. The Closers
3 ½ stars. Echo Park
4 stars. The Overlook (short, half-length)
4 ½ stars. The Lincoln Lawyer (Mickey Haller series #1) Bosch is not in this.
4 stars. The Brass Verdict (Mickey Haller series #2) Bosch has a small part in this.
4 ½ stars. Nine Dragons. Bosch book. Haller has a small part in this.
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02/23 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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William Thank you. I agree with you on most points. I'm not keen on McEvoy, McCaleb, or Haller really. I just like Bosch being Bosch.

Jane Stewart :-)

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