Jenn's Reviews > The Black Echo

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly
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's review
Aug 30, 2010

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bookshelves: fiction, mystery, read-2010

The first in the Bosch series lost a little of its suspense for me because, well, I know how many stories there are to come. That being said, this novel did a great job of piquing my interest in exactly how far the author might go in making his character's life even more difficult. Along the way, it also painted an L.A. in which Marlowe would have been comforted by familiarity and the greatest cynics I know would have been delighted.

The book starts after Harry Bosch's biggest case and biggest fall. He's known city-wide as the man who caught (and killed) a serial killer named The Dollmaker. The bust that ended with Harry shooting the man has landed him a serious demotion, dropped from the elite Robbery-Homicide Special Homicide squad to a six-man desk in Hollywood. His partner would rather be selling real estate than dealing with a dead body found in a drainage tunnel -- but Bosch quickly realizes that not only is the man familiar, but so is the situation. They used to be tunnel rats together in Vietnam.

The war is present in this book in a way that would feel deeply contrived if it weren't for its actual use in solving the mystery. Bosch partners up with an at-first reluctant and then very willing FBI agent to investigate a bank robbery and a pair of murders. What you're left with at the end is both a triumph and an ugly feeling that the black echo is actually Connelly's picture of how justice works in Bosch's world -- one that's clearly based on our own.
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