Sunday, November 10, 2013

City of Bones, by Michael Connelly

One of Connelly's best.

Harry Bosch is sent out to see a bone unearthed by a citizen's dog. The discovery leads to the remains of a twelve-year-old boy, at least 20 years old, in the hillsides of the Santa Monica mountains.

As with all cases, Harry is impatient and wants to find the apparent killer immediately. He works night and day to identify the body,then track down possible suspects. In the course of the investigation he meets Julia Brasher, rookie cop, and finds a soulmate in her.

The investigation leads down one alley and then the other, at each turn encountering snags big and small. As usual, he is dogged by upper levels of police management wanting quick solves and willing to bend the truth to get there. The pursuit of image never interests Bosch and he insists on telling the truth every time.

More than once in the course of the story Bosch asks himself or is asked by others - what does he believe in? He says he believes in the "blue religion". The pursuit of the killers, the pursuit of justice, the truth. He is, however, as Deputy Chief Irvin Irving says, a "shit magnet". Bad things happen to Harry. Perhaps more so in this novel than in others.

IN the end the case is solved. But not particularly satisfactorily. We never really find out what happened, exactly, and the ending is ugly.

I have lived in Harry's body, in a way, for many months, as I read through this series. He would probably not find me interesting but I find him fascinating and very real. That reality comes from Connelly's attention to details. He doesn't have to trot out every injury in a homicide. Describe it fully. He doesn't have to tell us what a rich woman's house appears like to Bosch. He doesn't have to take us into the paperwork. But he does. And that's why I buy it all.

Note: I wrote this in 2009. I don't usually post reviews of mysteries here but I make exceptions.