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Harry Bosch #7

A Darkness More Than Night

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Terry McCaleb, the retired FBI agent who starred in the bestseller "Blood Work," is asked by the LAPD to help them investigate aseries of murders that have them baffled. They are the kind of ritualized killings McCaleb specialized in solving with the FBI, and he is reluctantly drawn from his peaceful new life back into the horror and excitement of tracking down a terrifying homicidal maniac. More horrifying still, the suspect who seems to fit the profile that McCaleb develops is someone he has known and worked with in the past: LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch.

470 pages, Paperback

First published November 8, 2000

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About the author

Michael Connelly

576 books28.2k followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads' database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Michael Connelly decided to become a writer after discovering the books of Raymond Chandler while attending the University of Florida. Once he decided on this direction he chose a major in journalism and a minor in creative writing — a curriculum in which one of his teachers was novelist Harry Crews.

After graduating in 1980, Connelly worked at newspapers in Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, primarily specializing in the crime beat. In Fort Lauderdale he wrote about police and crime during the height of the murder and violence wave that rolled over South Florida during the so-called cocaine wars. In 1986, he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of a major airline crash. They wrote a magazine story on the crash and the survivors which was later short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. The magazine story also moved Connelly into the upper levels of journalism, landing him a job as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, one of the largest papers in the country, and bringing him to the city of which his literary hero, Chandler, had written.

After three years on the crime beat in L.A., Connelly began writing his first novel to feature LAPD Detective Hieronymus Bosch. The novel, The Black Echo, based in part on a true crime that had occurred in Los Angeles, was published in 1992 and won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by the Mystery Writers of America. Connelly has followed that up with over 30 more novels.

Over eighty million copies of Connelly’s books have sold worldwide and he has been translated into forty-five foreign languages. He has won the Edgar Award, Anthony Award, Macavity Award, Los Angeles Times Best Mystery/Thriller Award, Shamus Award, Dilys Award, Nero Award, Barry Award, Audie Award, Ridley Award, Maltese Falcon Award (Japan), .38 Caliber Award (France), Grand Prix Award (France), Premio Bancarella Award (Italy), and the Pepe Carvalho award (Spain) .

Michael was the President of the Mystery Writers of America organization in 2003 and 2004. In addition to his literary work, Michael is one of the producers and writers of the TV show, “Bosch,” which is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

Michael lives with his family in Los Angeles and Tampa, Florida.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,197 reviews
Profile Image for James Thane.
Author 9 books6,915 followers
October 16, 2017
In this book, published in 2001, Michael Connelly brings together three of the characters he had previously used as lead protagonists: former FBI agent, Terry McCaleb from Blood Work, journalist Jack McEvoy from The Poet, and L.A. Homicide Detective Harry Bosch, whom Connelly had featured in several novels up to that point. McEvoy plays a relatively minor role here, while Bosch and McCaleb are center stage.

As the book opens, Bosch is assisting the prosecution in a high-profile Hollywood murder trial. A movie director is charged with murdering a young actress and then attempting to make the killing look like an accidental death. Bosch was the lead detective on the case and made the arrest.

As the case unfolds in court, L. A. County Sheriff's detective Jaye Winston seeks out Terry McCaleb, looking for help on a case that has dead-ended. McCaleb, who was forced to retire after having a heart transplant, is now living quietly, running a charter fishing boat, and carving out a life with his new wife, their daughter, and his adopted son. But he hasn't lost the drive and the curiosity that once made him a leading FBI profiler.

Winston's case involves a scumbag named Edward Gunn who was once arrested by Harry Bosch for the murder of a prostitute. Gunn managed to beat the charge and has now been found murdered in a ritualistic fashion. Winston's case is going nowhere and she fears that this may be a serial killer who will be targeting victims after Gunn. She appeals to McCaleb who had worked with her previously, to look at the evidence and offer an opinion.

Well, in for a penny....

The reader understands immediately, even if Winston doesn't, that once this case gets its hooks into McCaleb, it's not going to let go. Civilian or not, and whether anyone wants him to or not, McCaleb will wind up in the middle of it. And the deeper McCaleb digs into the case, the more the evidence leads him in the direction of a startling suspect.

Meanwhile, the trial in which Bosch is involved is having its ups and downs. Just when it appears that the prosecution team has pretty much nailed the case against the cocky director, things seems to take a bad turn. And as the case seems to be hanging by a thread, McCaleb's investigation intrudes into it, with potentially dire consequences for everyone involved.

This is another very good novel from Michael Connelly. Caleb and Bosch make a very interesting pairing and the plot takes one surprising twist after another. One might argue that the ending is a little forced, but that's a small complaint, and this is another story from Connelly that kept me turning the pages well into the night. An easy four stars.

Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,228 reviews2,058 followers
December 1, 2015
I started this knowing that it was Harry Bosch #7 but not knowing it was also Terry McCaleb #2. So not having read Terry McCaleb #1 I may have missed some of the overall goodness of the book. However I got enough to give it four easy stars. I have to admit I did not like McCaleb at all and this may be because I did not already know him. He drew his outrageous assumptions about people based on ridiculously tiny facts and generally just pottered around being a nuisance. Harry on the other hand dealt with his issues head on and I loved the way he kept popping up mysteriously just when he was needed. This was an easy book to read. I finished it in one day and am now looking forward to the next one/
Profile Image for Becky.
1,339 reviews1,633 followers
December 1, 2018
I have not read the first (and only other) Terry McCaleb book, Blood Work, and honestly, I probably never will. He is the reason I am annoyed with this dud of a book tainting what is otherwise a rock solid series. This cross-over book features characters from three of Connelly's series (serieses? serii?): Obviously Harry Bosch, Jack McEvoy from The Poet and The Scarecrow, and Terry McLame-o.

Jack had a walk-on role with a few lines, but really was just there as a "Oh, hey! That's that guy from that other book!" name recognition Easter egg. He could be replaced by literally anyone else and the story would be unchanged.

Unfortunately, Terry McBlah has a starring role, and this book is more of his story than a Bosch story. Which is... fine. It's fine. If I ever do a re-read of this series, I'll just skip this dud.

Anyway, let's get to the point here. Terry McWhatever is SUPPOSEDLY a professional, prestigious, retired FBI profiler recovering from a heart transplant and apparently a lobotomy and personalityectomy, and he's looped into a case that has the lead not-Bosch detective stumped, and as soon as I saw that the lead detective was not Bosch, I knew where this was going, and was not wrong. Mr. Expert Profiler Man is led precisely by the nose to the conclusion that veteran detective Bosch is the killer, because the crime scene was staged with imagery and symbolism literally taken from Hieronymus Bosch's (the painter) artwork.

FYI: My cat makes a better profiler than Terry McDerpface. The guy is so unimportant, such a non-entity in his own book that even the Goodreads book description of some editions can't bother getting his name right. It lists his first name as "Terrence", but he's actually a "Terrell". I find this amusing. (As a GR Librarian, I did attempt to edit it but I'm not sure if it took, and honestly, don't care that much. Let him be Terrence or whatever if the GR gods will it.)

Anyway, Terrence McClam doesn't even make a good investigator, let alone a trained profiler. His style is more of a "I got a square piece of evidence here, how do I cram it into the triangular hole of the 'gut instinct' theory I literally was fed by the killer's misdirection?" method than "Let's look at the evidence and see where it actually takes us" method. Literally as soon as the painter Bosch was mentioned, Tryhard McFailure stopped investigating the case and started fitting the investigation around Bosch the detective.

Obviously Bosch is a flawed and imperfect man, and that is why he is compelling and interesting and his series didn't stop at a duology, Twobook McWho. But a sadistic killer he is not. There's never a single doubt in my mind on this point, no matter how hard TERRENCE tried to force it all to fit. And it was so frustrating that he tried so hard to make it fit. Being forced to watch him "work" this case was exhausting to my eyes because they kept trying to roll out of my skull every 2 minutes or so as the logical leaps and fallacies abounded.

I'm going to do you all a favor and copy Turdy McGee's profile of Bosch (which should be a red flag, because he's shouldn't be profiling a PERSON in the first place), in its entirety, so you can understand how expert he is at this:
Institutional - youth hall, Vietnam, LAPD
Outsider - Alienation
Eyes - lost, loss
Mission man - avenging angel
the big wheel always turning - nobody walks away
what goes around comes around

divorce - wife? why?
justice system - "bullshit"
carriers of the plague

Harry = Hieronymus
owl = evil
evil = Gunn
death of evil = release stressors

paintings - demons - devils - evil
darkness and light - the edge
mother - justice - Gunn
God's hand - police - Bosch
punishment = God's work

A darkness more than night - Bosch
This, friends, is not a profile. I'm no expert, but I've seen many seasons of Criminal Minds, and therefore I am an expert, and a profile should be formed around the traits that a killer may likely possess to have committed the crime at hand, and should be used to help narrow down a suspect pool. It should NOT be a bunch of disparate thoughts and observations and out-of-context comments centered on and used against a single person who all-too-conveniently fits the theory that you're trying to square-peg-round-hole together.

Damn this was... not great.

Profiling is hard. I say this as an expert. WRITING a compelling story about profiling is probably just as hard, because not only do you have to get into the killer's head and understand motivations that may be incomprehensible (not that this was, at ALL. Sheesh, so transparent.), but then you have to weave that into a compelling and suspenseful narrative with believable characters and plot and pacing and dialogue and everything.

And it just didn't hit the mark for me on most of those points. I felt like the whole plot was too convenient, too try-hard. It felt forced and stilted. Every scene Terry was in felt awkward to me. His dialogue was so formal, he was so... boringly wholesome, with his "I see God in my baby daughter's eyes" shit. Gag. His relationship with his wife was eye-rollingly pathetic. Oh, tell me more about how she was totally fine with you coming out of retirement to investigate a murder that mattered to HER - and even more recently after heart surgery... but NOW that she's your wife and the mother of your god-eyed baby, she's gone all mother hen about you working THIS case, clucking about how dangerous it is, and how scared she is, and blah blah blah. Stereotypical "concerned wife" bullshit, and irritating as hell.

And ugh - Tweedle McDee correcting his 10? 12? year old step-son Raymond when he said "yeah" with "You mean 'yes'?" every time made me want to stab him in the face. Dude, don't be a dick. He's a kid, and you're a fucking stick in the mud. Get over yourself.

Ugh... so much to dislike in this book. I sincerely hope this is the last I ever see of Troopy McCrawdad.

The ONLY saving grace to this book was that Bosch was in it. In all the ways that Typo McSnooze failed as a character, Bosch doesn't. He's got a supporting role in this book, but his sections were the highlight of the story for me. I love his nuance, I feel like I get his jadedness, and identify with his disgust with a system that fails in its duty to carry out fair and blind justice more often than not. I understand him, I think. And I root for him. Even when he fucks up, badly, I still feel like he's on the right side of things, and I can understand why he does what he does, even if I can't condone it.

So, Bosch is why this is getting 2 stars instead of an otherwise well-earned 1 star.

And now, back to our regularly scheduled Bosch series... Please? :D
Profile Image for Justo Martiañez.
377 reviews117 followers
May 27, 2022
4/5 Estrellas

Nos adentramos en la parte más oscura de Harry Bosch. ¿Después de tanto tiempo luchando contra el crimen, se habrá pasado al lado oscuro nuestro detective? ¿Habrá sucumbido a sus demonios? ¿Habrá decidido utilizar la guerra sucia para combatir a sus enemigos?

Embarcado en un importante y mediático juicio contra un conocido cineasta, las alarmas y los indicios contra Harry empiezan a saltar. El encargado de desvelarlos será uno de los personajes importantes que irá apareciendo en distintos libros del autor a lo largo de los años, el ex-agente del FBI, Terry McCaleb. Antiguo compañero y porque no, amigo, de Harry, se embarca en una complicada investigación a título personal (está retirado), donde las cosas no son lo que parecen....o si. Tendréis que leerlo y sacar vuestras propias conclusiones.

Rigor judicial, más que policial, en esta entrega. Trama equilibrada y bien hilvanada, con su dosis de incertidumbre final. Quizá le falta un poco de chispa en algunos momentos, aunque yo, personalmente, no necesito grandes giros para engancharme a la historia. Sólido y fiable Connelly, no defrauda. Seguiremos con él, poco a poco.
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,347 reviews4,863 followers
September 10, 2021

This 9th book in the 'Bosch Universe' pairs two popular Michael Connelly characters: Harry Bosch and Terry McCaleb. The book can be read as a standalone.


Harry Bosch is a detective in the Los Angeles Police Department who almost always closes his cases, but is usually on the wrong side of his superiors.

Terry McCaleb is a former FBI profiler who - after a heart transplant - moved to Catalina Island with his wife, stepson, and baby girl. Terry now runs a charter fishing business and tries to avoid stress.

As the story opens Terry is contacted by Sheriff's Deputy Jaye Winston, who asks him to have a quick look at the file of a puzzling murder case. The victim is an alleged killer named Edward Gunn, who was trussed up and murdered in a horrific fashion. Terry is reluctant to get involved - and strongly discouraged by his wife - but is drawn into the investigation anyway.

In the meantime, Harry Bosch is the main witness at the murder trial of David Storey, a Hollywood director accused of murdering a young woman. In court Harry describes the evidence against Storey AND says that - when no one else was around - Storey admitted he killed the girl and boasted he'd get away with it.

A scandal involving Harry would negate his testimony against Storey, and it looks like one is about to break thanks to Terry McCaleb. When Terry studies the scene-of-crime photos in the Edward Gunn murder file he observes deliberate symbols that remind him of a painting by 17th century Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch, called 'The Garden of Earthly Delights.'

The Garden of Earthly Delights

As it happens Hieronymus Bosch happens to be Harry's given name, and Terry puts two and two together to make five. He tells Deputy Winston he thinks Bosch killed the trussed up victim. Oh no.....say it ain't so!! 😕

As things play out Harry's old partner Kizmin Rider is tricked into talking about him; information is leaked to reporter Jack McAvoy; Terry's life is endangered; and surprising secrets come to light.

A good deal of the novel is composed of courtroom scenes, with witnesses being questioned and cross-examined, lawyers maneuvering to influence the jury, and so on. Courtroom drama is one of Connelly's favorite tropes, and I always enjoy it, but he goes a bit overboard in this book.....and it slows down the story.

Still, I'd recommend the book to mystery readers, especially Harry Bosch fans.

You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....
Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,206 reviews927 followers
August 14, 2016
You get two character focuses in one in this story. It really serves you well to have read Blood Work first to get a good sense of Terry McCaleb. I believe it made a difference in my enjoyment. While this is the 7th book in the Harry Bosch series, it's the 8th in that universe and the second in the Terry McCaleb series.

For a large part of the story, McCaleb and Bosch are operating independently until their worlds connect. Terry believes Harry is behind the murder of Edward Gunn because aspects of the crime scene seem to provide a connection. What makes this story compelling are the contrasts of the investigative styles of these two men. Both have really good instincts but their approaches couldn't be more different.

I wasn't all that happy with the narrator of the story, particularly his interpretation of Harry. In all fairness, I'm an ingrained Dick Hill fan so he had a steep hill to climb. Otherwise it was okay but I'm glad to see a change with the next book.

This is another fascinating chapter of the Harry Bosch world with the added bonus of Terry McCaleb. While the ending left me a bit adrift, it seemed fitting for both men.
Profile Image for Jim.
Author 7 books2,030 followers
May 21, 2016
I'm close to giving this 5 stars. It was a perfect storm in so many ways & it makes me very glad that I read the books in published order, not by series. Not only does Connelly bring many of his characters together, but he does it in such a perfect, real way. We start off following Terry McCaleb & see a lot of Harry Bosch. Jack McEvoy has a small, but good part. Cassie Black doesn't make an appearance, but there is a nod to her as well.

The plot was as twisty as ever, but the end... wow. Just wow. I like Bosch even better now. He's a miserable SOB in a lot of ways, but he's a smart one.
Profile Image for Richard.
452 reviews104 followers
October 8, 2015

Surprise, surprise, another top notch book by Michael Connolly. Man, is this guy predictable. I bet he sits there thinking about writing a terrible book and then just laughs it off as it’s easier to come up with a stonking effort. No change with this one. There was a slim hope for me at the start though with a split narrative and one of the leads being from the only Connolly book I have disliked (“Blood Work”). Then Connolly ramps things up to 11 and pushes what could have been a tedious read into the usual top notch affair.

As this is a Bosch novel things don’t really get going until Bosch turns up, but do they get turned up! In quite a role reversal to the usual Bosch novels, Bosch is on the back foot and not the lead investigator. He’s a star witness at a trial and is actually being investigated by an ex-FBI agent after some murders point suspiciously towards Harry Bosch and a hidden vigilante.

Connolly has to be the best writer of courtroom scenes (I’d be happy for any other recommendations)? Whenever Bosch or Haller are in the courtroom I could literally read from start to finish. The tension and excitement are really ramped up and that is exactly what happens here. All the courtroom scenes make up for the slow start in this one.

Not one to start the series off with but definitely one to advance it. I’m glad I read the standalone “Blood Work” before reading this (even if I disliked it) as the main characters from that are in this one and there are some things that happen in that which influence this book. Not essentially, but advisory. Yet again though, Connolly reminds me why he is one of my top “go to” authors with a great novel. Looking forward to the next one.

If you like this try: “Lincoln Lawyer” by Michael Connolly
Profile Image for Julie.
1,953 reviews38 followers
March 12, 2023
I fell asleep while listening and was woken up by suspenseful music, which was a bit disorientating and creepy! This was a download via Overdrive, perhaps the music is a signal for the end of the disc on the original CD disc version, as the music appeared at intervals.

I was surprised and delighted by the inclusion of the art of Hieronymus Bosch, which I am familiar with through art class. I also happen to own a jigsaw puzzle version of The Garden of Earthly Delights, one of Bosch's paintings that is referred to in this book!

As well as art, religion also appears in this volume and one passage that chilled me is:

"God's work was never done. When a killer was out there using His name as part of the imprint of his crime there often meant there would be more crime. It was said in the bureau profiling offices that God's killers never stopped of their own volition. They had to be stopped."

It was interesting to read about how in the past the bureau and to an extent the police department were divided into two groups when officers chose to join a church to impress their deputy chief, a lay preacher, in the hopes of increasing their odds of promotion, or just receive better assignments. "It was like the saints and the sinners - two distinct groups. The born again and the born against."

Michael Connelly writes thoughtfully about homicide detectives that they "were usually of two kinds, those who saw their jobs as a skill or craft, and those who saw it as a mission in life."

A discourse follows on what motivates homicide detectives: "For some it would seem as almost a game to prove they were better, smarter, more cunning than their quarry. Others saw themselves as being speakers for the dead. There was a sacred bond cast between victim and cop that formed at the crime scene and could not be severed."

The conclusion is that they make the best, most committed detectives leaving no stone unturned and overcoming obstacles along the way, as they seek to discover the perpetrators of the cruelest crimes. They walk a tightrope over the dark abyss.

This is a suspenseful, thoughtful and satisfying read.

Profile Image for Jim.
562 reviews85 followers
January 20, 2019
“The monster goes back into the darkness from which it came.”

This novel brings together three of Connelly's protagonists. Harry Bosch, Terry McCaleb (Blood Work),and Jack McEvoy (The Poet). McEvoy only has a few brief appearances in the story. The story opens with Bosch visiting a lowlife named Edward Gunn in jail. Bosch has a standing request in with all of the watch commanders ... whenever Gunn is picked up they are to call Bosch. He once arrested Gunn for the murder of a prostitute but Gunn was released on a technicality. Bosch hasn't forgotten it and can't let it go. It is New Year's Eve and Gunn is too drunk to even talk to. This encounter sets the stage for the interaction between Terry McCaleb and Harry Bosch that is the basis for the story to follow.

Harry is assisting the prosecution in a high-profile Hollywood murder trial. A movie director, David Storey, is charged with murdering a young actress and trying to make it look like an accident. Harry was the lead detective and made the arrest. Storey boasted to Harry that he was God and couldn't be touched.

While Harry is involved with the latest celebrity trial L. A. County Sheriff detective Jaye Winston visits Terry McCaleb, the former FBI profiler who retired after a heart transplant. Edward Gunn was found dead in his apartment on New Year's Day. A ritualistic murder. The case has hit a dead end but Winston is afraid she may have a serial killer on her hand and Gunn's murder is only the first. McCaleb is now living quietly, running a charter fishing boat with his new wife, adopted son and daughter. Winston had worked with McCaleb previously and she wants his help in putting together a profile of Gunn's killer. Just look at the case documentation and give her a profile. McCaleb may be retired but as he starts working on a profile he becomes hooked and can't let it go.

As McCaleb works on his profile he learns of the connection between Edward Gunn and Harry Bosch. He also discovers that the ritualistic murder scene resembles a painting by Hieronymous Bosch. McCaleb soon realizes that the profile points to Harry Bosch. How far would Harry go to see that Edward Gunn did not get away with murdering the prostitute?

As the story unfolds the reader will find a connection between the murder of Edward Gunn and the David Storey trial. What is the connection? Bosch and McCaleb may be the good guys but they deal with monsters. They are human and they have flaws. How does working with the worst humanity has to offer affect them?

"You don’t go into the darkness without the darkness going into you."
Profile Image for Obsidian.
2,736 reviews941 followers
February 6, 2017
Ehh. This one I did not feel at all. The book went back and forth between Terry McCaleb's POV (way too much of him) and then Harry Bosch. Since the book is set up as Terry trying to tie Bosch into a murder of a man that was Bosch's suspect in a prior case, I just couldn't work up the energy to it. The flow was bad in this one too since it kept jumping back and forth. One of my friend's told me that I should have read "Blood Work" first to get a better sense of Terry, but since I had a ton of books I went through like candy this weekend, I was not going to circle back to figure out a character who I found to be a big pain the butt through almost the entire book.

Terry is called in to investigate a possible connection between Harry Bosch and the murder of Edward Gunn. Terry is called in by an old friend, Jaye Winston. She wants Terry's help in figuring out who could have murdered Gunn in a scene that calls upon a famous painting by an artist many readers will know from reading this series. At this point, I would have said this was some straight up obvious set-up, but we have to muddle through things with Terry as he realizes that maybe Bosch has turned a corner into being a murderer.

Bosch is up as a witness for the prosecution in the trial of David Storey. Storey is charged with murdering his lover and making it look like a suicide. According to Bosch, Storey confesses, but also says Bosch won't be able to prove it. So the book flip flops between Terry's investigation of Bosch, and Bosch's testimony in court.

The book only improves when we have Bosch's POV chapters. Connelly has Bosch locked down. And now we get why most of his chapters it felt like Bosch was holding a little back here and there. We don't get to see until the end what our Bosch has up his sleeves. And when we see how these two men's current cases tie together, I may have said "oh come on" out loud.

I really thought that Terry's supposed insight into Bosch was weak as anything. Also I didn't like the whole thing really being about Bosch going into the judge and jury. The POV of Terry of Bosch had Bosch just being really close to going around the bend. And also these guys (Bosch and McCaleb) has to be freaking clairvoyant to be able to figure out how the criminal trial case was tied up into the murder of Gunn. There was way too many plot holes with the whole book.

Secondary characters don't really get developed in this one. I assume some of these people popped up in "Blood Work." We have Terry's disapproving wife who just, no. I didn't like her or get her at all. She was just kind of there weeping and being negative all of the time since she doesn't want Terry to be involved in profiling anymore.

The dialogue during all of the courtroom scenes was great. I wish more of that was included in the Bosch series. We get to see how Bosch is on a stand and how his notes are crucial to key evidence during a murder trial.

The flow didn't work very well in this one. All in all, this felt like two books smashed together. I wish Connelly had kept McCaleb investigating Bosch with no back and forths between the two men, or just had Bosch being the main POV with no POV of McCaleb.

The setting of the book felt a bit disjointed. We have McCaleb away on an island and coming back and forth to LA to analyze Bosch. Bosch in court. And then McCaleb on his boat. I think those were the major settings besides a bar or two. This really didn't feel much like a Bosch book.

The ending was definitely a what the heck just happened moment. I still don't get everything that went down in this case.
Profile Image for kartik narayanan.
735 reviews205 followers
December 9, 2018
I loved A Darkness More Than Night.

First off, it is narrated mostly from Terry McCaleb's perspective. This change in perspective did a lot to shake the slightly monotonous feeling I was getting from binge reading Harry Bosch.

Secondly, Harry Bosch comes across as the antagonist for the majority of the story. This, again, helped in making the story much more interesting, especially seeing Bosch from a different perspective. In fact, I think this might be the first story where the book is actually way better than the prime video series. The video series shows us what Bosch is up to right from the beginning while the book keeps this as a mystery right till the end.

But, on the flip side, this is more of a Terry McCaleb novel than it is a Harry Bosch. At best, it is equal billing.
Profile Image for John.
1,147 reviews85 followers
January 20, 2023
This story revolves around McCaleb doing a profile of who murdered a suspect of a murder in a grisly manner. Harry is in court trying to put away a Hollywood celebrity called David Storey for the murder of a woman.

As always very easy to read and with a few surprises with Rudy Tafero a retired cop Harry worked helping Storey get off the charges. The use of owls as portents of evil in Hieronymus Bosch paintings as clues was entertaining.


The ending with Harry saving McCaleb from Tafero and his brother was timely. McCaleb figuring out that Harry all the time knew he was being set up as a murder suspect was a nice twist. An entertaining read.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jane Stewart.
2,462 reviews848 followers
September 6, 2011
3 ½ stars. I had a few complaints, but the series is so good that I’m glad I read it, and I’m on to the next.

Two stories are being told interspersed. Gunn was found murdered in his home in an elaborate method patterned after a scene from a painting. Detective Jaye Winston is in charge of the investigation which has stalled. She asks retired FBI profiler McCaleb to help her.

The second story is a murder trial. A wealthy movie director Storey is charged with murdering an actress and making it appear as a suicide. Bosch is the arresting officer and star witness in the trial. Storey bragged to Bosch that he killed her and that he would get away with it. The confession was not on tape so it’s Storey’s word against Bosch’s.

As I’ve said before, I’m enjoying this series. This is book 7 in the Harry Bosch series. As I finish one, I go right on to the next one. I’m doing them all as audiobooks, which might mean something. This one is not typical Bosch because the main detective work is being done by McCaleb, not Bosch. We are in McCaleb’s mind through most of the story. It was good, but I prefer Bosch as the main investigator, not McCaleb. This book is also listed as book 2 in the Terry McCaleb series. This could be read as a stand-alone, but I recommend reading it after McCaleb’s first book “Blood Work.”

Things I did not like:
The murder trial story was mostly being done through trial testimony. This resulted in a “telling” feel rather than “showing.” So it wasn’t the best way to hear a story, but it was ok. I viewed this as a supporting story to the McCabe investigation.

I wish the author had spelled out things more clearly at the end. McCaleb accuses Bosch of knowing something and doing things without telling McCaleb. Bosch subtly acknowledged this, but as the reader I wanted more specifics. I wanted to know exactly what Bosch knew, how he knew it, and what he did. The overall story and resolution were good, but I didn’t like having to make assumptions.

To avoid a spoiler I’m going to be vague here. I didn’t see the logic of why McCaleb thought Gunn’s murderer was X. The murder scene was made to look like a painting that many people owned copies of or had seen. So why did he suspect one of these people as a murderer? My immediate reaction was this could be a set up or a frame, but McCaleb didn’t consider that. The reason I like this series is because McCaleb and Bosch are smarter than I am, but that wasn’t happening here. McCaleb’s conclusion as to X being a suspect should have been better justified.

I did not like the narrator Richard M. Davidson. His interpretation of some characters came out too arrogant and negative somehow. McCaleb and Bosch weren’t as enjoyable because of this interpretation. It made me realize how wonderful Dick Hill was who did the first six books. My biggest problem with Dick Hill was his effeminate gay guy voice for some of the female characters. He did that in the early books, but not in the later books. So he improved. In this book, Richard Davidson used a deep super-gravely bass voice for Bosch which didn’t feel right to me. In another scene Buddy was saying something in a “pleading whining voice” (author’s words), but the narrator used an almost arrogant tone for that phrase.

Unabridged audiobook length: 12 hrs and 33 mins. Narrator: Richard M. Davidson. Swearing language: strong but not frequently used. Sexual content: none. Setting: 2000 mostly Los Angeles, California, plus nearby Catalina Island. Book Copyright: 2001. Genre: crime mystery. Ending: The bad guys lose.
Profile Image for Scott.
425 reviews48 followers
August 26, 2019
** Continuing my read and review of Michael Connelly’s Detective Bosch series **

Connelly’s 10th book and 7th outing with Bosch - “A Darkness More than Light” - was published back in 2001 before cell-phones and social media played a key role in police work. Detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch is a Vietnam war veteran and a twenty-year police officer serving in the Los Angeles, California police department. Harry was previously a star in the Robbery/Homicide division, working out of the LA city headquarters. However, Harry’s bad habit of fighting the formal structure of the police department and especially those in leadership positions has had him demoted to the Hollywood detective squad.

Although this book is labeled a “Bosch” book, that is not completely true. It has dual protagonists. This time out Harry shares the stage with Terry McCaleb, ex-FBI profiler, and the lead character in Connelly’s previous book, “Blood Work”. Terry and Graciela Rivers, whose sister provided him with his heart replacement, have married. They have a baby daughter, Cielo, and Terry runs a fishing charter off Catalina island.

The book begins with sheriff's deputy, Jaye Winston, bringing Terry a current murder case file that scares her deeply. It involves a gruesome murder with bizarre and dark artistic elements that makes her think a serial killer may be at work. Jaye asks Terry to look over the case file and let her know his thoughts because the police are getting nowhere on it. However, the trouble begins after Terry performs his analysis and the clues point him towards a certain police officer that he knows from a previous investigation before retiring – LAPD’s own Harry Bosch.

As for Harry, he is in the middle of a criminal trial involving an arrogant movie director charged with murdering an actress during sex, and then staging her death afterwards to make it look like a suicide. While Terry investigates Bosch for murder, Harry is busy testifying in court as the investigation team’s leading officer in a highly public case that includes the full frenzy of the Hollywood media following his every move. One of those media members includes, Jack McEvoy, the primary character from another prior Connelly novel, “The Poet.” Jack spends time with both Harry and Terry trying to get the inside scoop on a criminal story.

As Terry’s investigation into Bosch builds into an elaborate situation using historical art and ritualistic murder, uncovered clues seem to mysteriously overlap in strange ways with Bosch’s own movie director court case. As another surprising revelation unfolds, the two cases begin to pull McCaleb and Bosch into each other’s crosshairs in a dangerous game of cat and mouse and life and death.

Like most of Connelly’s previous books, this one takes place over a period of about a week or so. The two primary plotlines – McCaleb’s murder investigation and Bosch’s court trial – are both told in a fast-paced, rhythmic style that grabs you from the beginning and demands no less than your full attention. Connelly’s prior experience as a journalist feeds into his straight-forward cadence and style. There are no wasted words and his descriptions are crisp and fresh. Connelly moves back and forth between the two plots smoothly and effortlessly, making you feel like you are standing there right next to Harry and Terry each step of the way. You can smell Harry’s menthol cigarettes and taste Terry’s 27 pills being swallowed twice a day.

I especially enjoyed the interactions between Harry Bosch and Terry McCaleb. It would have been easy for Connelly to make them a super-team, working together like Batman and Superman to rid Los Angeles of evil psycho serial killers. They could have been the best of partners. However, Connelly truly understands what drives and motivates these two characters, including the inner-strengths that drive them to deal with the darkness of chasing killers and weaknesses that keep them from being real team players. Bosch and McCaleb are independent spirits, who by nature, must work alone to do what they do best. It is what creates great conflict between them and Connelly knows just how best to bring them together, using their differing personal philosophies to drive conflict between their methodologies and approaches.

As I continually describe in my Connelly related reviews, there are so many strengths that he displays as a writer. He is a master of plotting, characters, and setting – mixing each one together in a winning synergistic style of his own. Connelly’s plotting is tighter than a steel drum. He unfolds McCaleb’s investigation and Bosh’s court case in a methodical, no-nonsense, just the facts Mam, focus that demands and keeps our full attention, and catches us off-guard with well-placed twists and turns along the way. In addition, he uses the greater Los Angeles setting and locations to breathe vibrant life and energy into his story, adding an extra depth to the story.

Overall, Connelly delivers another splendid winner. He uses this book to bring together several returning characters in a creative and conflict filled thriller that consistently delivers an exceptional reading experience. It is incredible to me that somehow each of his novels (even without Bosch) continue to get better and raise the bar of the mystery / detective / crime fiction genre.

For me, it is really beginning to be hard to pick one of his books over another. They are all really that good. I cannot wait to open the cover of the next one and start reading again…
Profile Image for Harry.
319 reviews398 followers
December 1, 2012
Time saver tip: if you've read my review of any Harry Bosch book, you've read 'em all. Since I don't reveal plots and reserve my comments to the overall book/author, characterization, style, etc...I just don't feel the need to repeat myself as in most cases series books if any good at all do remain consistent. The star ratings might change, but not my opinion of the series as a whole.

Michael Connelly is a well know and very popular author in the mystery/detective and police procedural genres. Exploding onto the scene in the early nineties with his first six novels, and topping it off just recently with his 18th Bosch novel (The Black Box), Connelly has garnered most awards worth getting. Let's face it, the awards are well deserved, especially for those first novels (more on that later).

Having emerged onto the fictional world after a career as a journalist, culminating with his job as crime reporter for the LA times, and admitting to becoming interested in writing fiction as a result of reading Raymond Chandler early on in his journalistic career, Michael Connelly has since involved himself in several collaborations: notable the television series Level 9, and as co-writer with Val McDermid's Wire In the Blood series (and that spawned the wildly popular grim, noir BBC television series of the same name). If you're into Noir than this TV series is a must see.

Connelly has a knack for writing suspenseful tales that take quite a few twists and turns before being resolved with a stellar Who-Done-It that has most readers guessing till the very end (at least in his earlier books).

Heironymous (Harry) Bosch, the hero in this series, is named after a Renaissance painter who specialized in earthly sins, debauchery, fanciful and gruesome visions of hell, violent consequences from high above if not detailed looks at the tortures reserved for earthly residents. Score 1 for Connelly in choosing a very apropos name for our own tortured detective Harry Bosch.

Bosch is a complicated and conflicted character, a character that slowly develops across this series but whose emotive origin lies in the Viet Cong tunnels where Harry got his education in fear: underground, claustrophic, dark, drenched with blood, gruesome deaths, peopled with a savage enemy crawling within the absence of all light, hunting for the American soldiers like bloodthirsty rats. From these dark tunnels emerges Harry Bosch, LAPD detective, bent on setting the world right. From this darkness where pacific military command has sent Bosch to discover the inevitable conflict between a military order and the reality of carrying out that order, we find a detective in perpetual defiance of LAPD authority.

The Harry Bosch series, for me, are divided into two sets: the first 4 books, and the rest that follow. As mentioned earlier, the classic early 90's novels were better for me. Books starting with The Black Echo on through The Last Coyote all inherit the tortuous origins of Harry's artistic namesake. Reading these books I could actually feel my heart begin to race as I sped towards the inevitable ending, ones that actually kept you guessing to the very end. One reviewer (sorry, can't remember who it was) says the following of these earlier book titles:

[...]Even the titles of the books used to be cleverer. Compare The Drop (a simple reference to Deferred Retirement Option Plan) to The Concrete Blonde (a reference to both lady justice statue on the courthouse and the body of a blonde entombed in concrete. [...]

Compare that to the later books in the series where we find a Harry Bosch notably mellower in his older age, where we find endings easily guessed at, where procedure begins to trump a superb plot. Bosch no longer smokes, doesn't drink and drive, doesn't slap people around anymore, where his defiance of LAPD authority is tempered by retirement, and let's face it, where my heart just doesn't race as often anymore. Let's say that his later novels are beginning to show an author's haste (is it me, or are the novels shorter and shorter?)

Don't get me wrong, I still love reading the latest Bosch novel. Where the earlier novels have a few things that can be improved on (dialogue could have been better) the later novels are polished, almost a little too much so. After 18 Bosch novels, is Connelly tiring? Maybe.

Beginning with the last 90's novel (Angels Flight) in which we are introduced to Bosch's latest romantic interest, Eleanor Wish, with whom Bosch is to have a daughter this mellowing process takes root. Connelly is absolutely right to introduce this notable character shift in Bosch from this book forward because as I can attest to in my own personal life: when you see your child born, a fundamental shift takes place in a man. For me, I was reborn from a devilish bachelor into a man who now bore the responsibility of an innocent life. It completely turned around my life for the better. And so it is with Harry Bosch. It is the presence of his daughter that transforms him from Heironymous to Harry.

Overall, I highly recommend this series.
Profile Image for William.
675 reviews325 followers
April 19, 2019
I really, really disliked this book. The pacing was bad, the rhythm of the writing did not seem like Connelly at all. The plot was poorly constructed and abusive to the reader's intelligence. In short, a mess.

After reading about 40% of the book, becoming more and more frustrated and irritated - especially the court scenes, and scenes between McCaleb and Winston - I finally decided I had had enough. Ugh.

I skipped to the last three chapters and started from there. The gory details are, of course, recounted even though "you would have read them" in such a way that I did not feel I had really missed much.

And finally, the end scenes between McCaleb and Bosch were crap.

Sorry, but I hated this book.
Profile Image for Heidi.
1,212 reviews132 followers
June 23, 2018
Interesting concept. A Harry Bosch book where Harry isn’t the main character. Still, a solid mystery and great crime procedural.

Unfortunately for me, this one was super close to the third season of Amazon’s Bosch series. Not nearly as suspenseful or fun to read when you know how it will end.

I did feel toward the end that Harry is heading to a cross roads. Maybe that’s why Connelly gives a view of him through the lens of another (albeit retired) cop.
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.3k followers
December 23, 2022
So there’s some playfulness in addition to the (from the title) predictable darkness in this volume, #7, A Darkness More Than Night (2000), the most recent Bosch novel. Just when we were settling into a kind of comfortable predictability of form, this book is told, for more than half of the book, from the perspective of retired FBI detective Terry McCaleb who is volunteering his talents on a case where the agency came to him for help. I looked up McCaleb and see that there is a previous novel featuring McCaleb (and no Bosch at all?).

These books are typically humorless, (and not all that quotable--not a lot of lyrical writing in it). But as if hearing from his critics, we see a guy named Rorschach (also a character in Alan Moore’s classic apocalyptic crime series, Watchmen. (That’s meant to make you smile, folks). McCaleb finds in the evidence some religious iconography, which leads him to name the case “Holy Shit,” which is a term cops use for such crimes in the LAPD. Ha ha? But hey, at least Connelly is trying!

But the book, the title says, focuses on the (spiritual) darkness in the life and soul of Harry Bosch, facing his own lonely existence, seeing deeply into case after case of human depravity, evil, in this case a woman killed in a sexual act by some predator (you know right from the beginning who this is, so the police procedural aspect of this is not filled with twists and turns).

“. . . special thanks to Raymond Chandler for inspiring the title of the book. Describing in 1950 the time and place from which he drew his early crime stories, Chandler wrote, ‘The streets were dark with something more than night.’ Sometimes they still are”--Connelly

In a parallel and of course interconnected investigation, McCaleb is led to believe that Bosch may be guilty (again, no surprise that the MC tec is not really the culprit--as the main character culprit never is, yawn).

What are unique aspects of this volume? Well, we already know that Hopper’s Nighthawks is a painting Bosch has on the wall; we are led to see him as still tunneling through darkness, a Nighthawk, a loner. Bosch worked in the dark tunnels in Vietnam, and we are to see him as still tunneling through darkness in so many ways. But Bosch’s first name is actually Hieronymous, after the seventeenth-century painter (his murdered prostitute mother liked his work). The painter (who painted dozens of ambitious paintings died at the age of 26!) depicted what he saw as the state of the world, reflecting in fantastical manner

“. . . the torment of the human soul in its inevitable journey to eternal damnation.”

McCaleb tries to convince us that Bosch might have, just like anyone, descended into darkness after watching so much dark human activity (you know, that Nietzschean injunction that has become a cliched: “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster”).

So Connelly uses artwork and moody jazz saxophone music for atmosphere, but he may have been surprised that few reviews had reflected on the relationship of the artist Heironymous Bosch to his MC of the same name, so since there are owls (seen as evil in the painter’s work) in the case, and Bosch has the painter’s work with owls in it on his wall, Connelly/McCalenb takes us through extensive art history research (so we don’t have to do it), so we could get insight into the case, but also into the darker side of Bosch:

Heronymous Bosch, The Last Judgment:


Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights (his most famous painting:


There’s also rock references: Seger’s Night Moves, Van Morrison’s “Wild Nights,” so its not all jazz in Bosch’s world.

Besides the predictability, I like all the painterly research and philosophical edge of this one.
Profile Image for Matt.
3,731 reviews12.8k followers
January 20, 2012
A highly interesting mix, where Bosch relinquishes the driver's seat in one of the novels co-attributed to his series. While he may not be front and centre, Bosch's person and history are certainly up for ananlysis and display.

Connelly has an excellent way of glazing over something in a book, usually at the beginning, that has happened between the previous book and the current one; a partner leaving, an incident that led Bosch into a pot of hot water, or a death. Connelly will not dwell on it, but the reader (at least any like me) will take tha splinter and not forget about it. It nags at you and leads you to wonder what happened and how it unfolded. We saw that with the Dollmaker case, Bosch's mother's murder, and now, with the previously hinted at issue of Bosch tossing his commander through a window and being suspended (which came up in THE LAST COYOTE). Here, we get a little more about what happened and why. We also get to learn a great deal more about the painter for whom Harry Bosch was named, and how that connection puts Bosch on the suspect list for some recent killings.

As Connelly does so well, he brings some of his characters together from other series (McCaleb, McEvoy) and blends them into the storyline. So much so, this book is actually considered the second in the McCaleb series, for good reason, as the former FBI agent takes centre stage.

A great book with some courtroom drama, gumshoeing, and the blame game, as well as some very detailed analysis of Hieronymous Bosch, the artist.

Well done, Mr. C. And now on to devour the next book!
Profile Image for Michael.
1,094 reviews1,510 followers
August 17, 2015
One of the best in the series of 18 about LA Police Detective Harry Bosch. In this 7th installment from 2001, former FBI profiler Terry McCaleb, recovering from a heart transplant covered in Connelly's excellent "Blood Work", is brought in on a brutal ritualistic murder case. His work ends up making Bosch a suspect and threatens to undermine his ongoing efforts in a murder trial of a prominent Hollywood director in an apparent case of rough sex that got out of hand. Thus we get the interplay of a thrilling investigation and an exciting courtroom scenario. Excellent development of the main characters and their motivations and pathways to insight. In the process we get some nice elucidation of noir themes developed by Chandler (the source of the book title). A quote on the corruption process: "When you look into the abyss, the abyss looks into you. You don't go into the darkness without it going onto you and taking its piece. Bosch may have gone in too many times. He's lost his way." A quote on the power of Hollywood to illustrate the dialog of darkness and light:
"The lights of Hollywood glimmered in the cut. A mirror reflection of all the stars of all the galaxies everywhere. A place where the earth could open up beneath you and such you into the blackness. A city of lost light. His city. It was all of that and still, always still, a place to begin again. His city, a city of the second chance."
Profile Image for Marge.
918 reviews4 followers
February 10, 2015
Another great book by Michael Connelly, this time getting together Terry McCaleb from Blood Work and Harry Bosch from several previous books. It was intriguing to see Bosch through McCaleb's eyes, and I thought his suspicion of Bosch was workable. I believe this book is much better because I've read Blood Work and the previous Bosch books. Otherwise the reader doesn't have a real sense of just how likely or unlikely the suspicion is or whether McCaleb is really as good as he thinks he is. If you don't read some of the previous books first, you will be missing a many of the nuances and undertones which are important to the enjoyment of the story.

While the interplay between McCaleb and Bosch was five stars for me, the court case Harry was sitting in on was a lot of show and tell that was not nearly as interesting. Some of it was necessary, but I felt a lot of it was padding.

Still, the interweaving of the main characters was nicely done, with some real heart-pounding tension in a few scenes. I would perhaps have liked to see Harry a bit more, but he still has plenty of scenes and is not just a brief walk on character. A good addition to the Harry Bosch compendium.
Profile Image for Robin.
1,702 reviews62 followers
August 20, 2016
Former Criminal Profiler Terry McCaleb is asked by the Sheriff's Department to look into a case that has grown cold. As Terry reads the file, he builds a profile of the perpetrator. As the picture in his mind becomes clearer, his suspect is none other than Los Angeles Homicide Detective Harry Bosch. Bosch knew the murder victim and had actually spoke to him the night of the murder. Did he follow the victim home? Would a decorated policeman stoop to cold-blooded murder? Or is Harry being set up?

This is an interesting merger of two of Michael Connelly's heroes. Terry McCaleb was introduced to us in "Blood Work". Harry Bosch has had six previous books in his series. I thought the story was interesting, but there seemed to be a lot of filler in this book. It began to drag a bit in the middle. I did like the ending, though it was rather obvious who was behind the murder. My rating: 4 Stars.
Profile Image for Fred.
572 reviews74 followers
September 8, 2022
The book is great showing how Bosch’s investigations are handled.

He takes difficult questions from a murder criminal report of strong “sexual” attacks found, physically they need to be solved by evidence found by him.

His expertise & professional investigator abilities for truths are attacked.

He’s questioned on the court stand by lawyers & of the evidence found.

Bosch & Jerry Edgar
591 reviews
May 7, 2018
All of Michael Connelly's books are five stars for me. Terry McCaleb is the main character in this one. It's an older book. I don't know how I missed it. Terry is a former FBI agent who lives on Catalina Island. He's recovering from a heart transplant when a police officer from LA asks him to help solve a murder. All the clues point to someone he knows. Good story.
Profile Image for Tim.
2,133 reviews200 followers
February 4, 2013
After a slow beginning the last half of this novel excels. It’s just too bad it takes so long to get there.
Profile Image for Mark Harrison.
704 reviews20 followers
April 2, 2018
Such a good story. Harry Bosch is the arresting officer in a high profile trial of a Hollywood producer accused of murder. Elsewhere Terry McCaleb is asked out of retirement to look over a murder stumping old colleagues. Nice complex twists follow, lots of favourite characters are involved and there are plenty of shocks. Wonderfully written and really clever. No faults here.
Profile Image for Juan Nalerio.
457 reviews76 followers
September 13, 2022
Lectura rápida en zona de confort para dejar de pensar en el tedio de la vida. Clásica historia de investigación policial + juicio donde nada es lo que parece.

En este volumen Bosch interactúa con el agente retirado del FBI, Terry McCaleb, otro personaje recurrente en las novelas de Connelly.

Varias vueltas de tuerca; nada nuevo bajo el sol. A leer que se acaba el mundo.
Profile Image for Zuzu.
1,018 reviews31 followers
November 14, 2021
4.5 stars

I’d forgotten how many times Harry was a suspect in these books. It is a bit over the top.
Profile Image for Geri.
319 reviews10 followers
March 22, 2020
Always enjoy a Harry Bosch although this one
did not have much Bosch but did have an ex-profiler
named Terry McCaleb.
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