Sunday, July 7, 2013

Catching up on crime: THE OVERLOOK by Michael Connelly

The Overlook (Harry Bosch, #13)I have loads of great books in my TBR waiting to be read. Recently I picked up a copy of THE OVERLOOK by Michael Connelly, the 13th book in the Harry Bosch series. It's been a long time since I read Michael Connelly (not since THE BLACK ECHO, THE BLACK ICE), as a result I wasn't sure what to expect reading this, especially since a lot of water has passed under the bridge between book #2 (THE BLACK ICE) and book #13 (THE OVERLOOK). Luckily, THE OVERLOOK is read extremely well as a standalone and is a great jumping on point for readers looking to give Harry Bosch a try.

So what did I think of the book? Initially I'd thought it best to describe THE OVERLOOK as a police procedural semi detached from noir. The whole Mulholland murder mystery and LA place setting lends itself to the sub genre. However, once the book got into its grove, the premise underwent a change of pace and turned into something different altogether. Below is my review:
While being the 13th book to feature Harry Bosch, THE OVERLOOK is a great way to introduce new readers to the series long running character. THE OVERLOOK resumes Harry’s career in law enforcement tracking down murderers whilst working homicide. He’s got a new partner and a new case which looks very LA Noire on the surface, yet looks can be deceiving.

An execution style murder on the Mulholland overlook becomes much more when a link with a radioactive chemical is established and a plot involving terrorists emerges. The LAPD and FBI play the mandatory game of chess with each withholding important information – this tedious and predicable element is offset by a reunion between Harry and a former love interest which ultimately culminates in a pursuit for justice not bedded down (entirely) by interagency competition.

At times THE OVERLOOK suffered an identity crisis. The core plot elements switching from murder mystery/police procedural to race-against-the-clock-terrorism-thriller only to go back to the original theme. In the end it’s a man’s thirst for things he can’t have which drives this quick and easily readable piece of crime fiction. I will source more books in the Harry Bosch series – if THE OVERLOOK is anything to go by, Bosch is one interesting character with many interesting cases under his belt.  

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