Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Revisiting the scene of the crime: Harry Bosch #1

The Black Echo (Harry Bosch, #1)There are 18 books in the Harry Bosch series with the first THE BLACK ECHO (1992) introducting the world to Connolly as a serious crime writer. Recently I decided to go back and reread the first installment and plan on getting myself up to date all the way through to the most recent book.

Harry Bosch Background: Born in 1950 in Los Angeles to Marjorie Phillips Lowe. He was named Hieronymus Bosch after the 15th century Dutch artist and nicknamed “Harry.” He became an orphan at 11 when his mother, a prostitute, was murdered. He grew up living in a youth hall and foster homes. He joined the army and did two tours in Vietnam. Harry returned to Los Angeles and joined the LAPD in 1972. He became a detective after five years in patrol. - take from Michael Connolly's website http://www.michaelconnelly.com/extras/series/

My review:

THE BLACK ECHO is a police procedural that encompasses a bank robbery, police corruption, and a murder investigation which conjures violent imagery of the horrific tunnels of close quarter claustrophobic Vietnam combat, set amidst a seedy backdrop of the underbelly of Hollywood. It’s a great start to the Bosch series, introducing a deep and insightful character with flaws and a lone wolf persona who doesn’t care if the truth harms his fellow lawmen.

“There was no name for it, so we made up a name. It was the darkness, the damp emptiness you’d feel when you were down there alone in those tunnels. It was like you were in a place where you felt dead and buried in the dark. But you were alive. And you were scared. Your own breath kind of echoed in the darkness, loud enough to give you away. Or so you thought...It’s hard to explain. Just ... the black echo.”

Re-reading THE BLACK ECHO was just as enjoyable as the first time ‘round many years ago. Connolly adds depth the core plot by virtue of a deep backstory and a solid grounding to Bosch and his previous cases (of which I’m sure if further elaborated in subsequent instalments). The action isn’t over the top and the natural progression of the plot comes full circle as a greater mystery unravels.

Formulaic in a sense but interesting enough to entice more re-reads of Bosch and his exploits.

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