by Michael Connelly, 2003
I had never read any of the Harry Bosch murder mysteries before, so I came to the series late. I was immediately impressed with the quality of the writing, which is sharp and moves at a smooth pace. The characters are realistic and the descriptions of them show insight.
The plot seems to have one hole: When two million dollars goes missing from a movie set, the reader immediately suspects the director who demanded the money to be on the set, but that’s just ignored. But it's an interesting plot nonetheless: When Harry starts looking into the case, he uncovers a labyrinthine plot within the FBI to cover-up the entire mess. And someone is willing to commit murder to cover their trail.
Harry is an interesting, lived-in kind of character who sounds very real. He's a pro; smart, dedicated, and tenacious. But he's also human. Not only does he care about the victim in a years-old case, but this ace detective stumbles all over himself when faced with the possibility of reuniting with his ex. At the same time, he's something of a boy scout or knight errant who is dedicated to finding justice. Real police detectives clock-in, clock-out, and treat their job like it's a job. Frankly, that's the healthier attitude. But it doesn't make for entertaining reading.
There’s one surprise after another in the last four or five chapters. Some involve Harry’s case and some involve Harry’s life. Though this was my first Harry Bosch novel, I’ll be on the lookout for more.