Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Book review: Intriguing Bosch gets lost in 'The Black Box'

For tenacious, irascible homicide detective Harry Bosch, the 1992 Los Angeles riots created an unbearable situation. Taking one of the most popular and consistently exciting cops in contemporary crime fiction back 20 years is author Connelly's way of celebrating the publication of his first novel, which also starred Bosch, in 1992. [...] Bosch - full name, Hieronymus Bosch - has appeared in 19 of Connelly's 25 novels, usually as the main character. "The Black Box" features most of the aspects that have made Connelly's Bosch novels among the most intriguing and surprising crime novels on the market: misdirection, countless obstacles thrown in Bosch's path by friend and foe, the detective's determination to be the advocate for a forgotten victim and Bosch's own internal conflicts and issues. The Bosch books have more product placement than a Bond movie in the form of Bosch's (Connelly's?) favorite bars, restaurants, taco stands and jazz clubs, all prominently, and sometimes inelegantly, inserted. [...] there are the constant references to Connelly's current beloved jazz heroes (his website, michael, includes a section on the music in his books). The novels have their own form of prose music, the equivalent of haunting, nonmelodic, powerful jazz, never pretty but with a harsh beauty.

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