Book: Michael Connelly “The Poet”

September 27, 2015

I have become somewhat obsessed with Michael Connelly this year, marching may way through the Harry Bosch series.  However I’ve now decided to read his books in published order after discovering in “A Darkness More Than Night” that other characters have guest experiences.  So I’ve gone back to read “The Poet” where we first meet crime reporter Jack McEvoy.

bookMcEvoy’s twin brother, a homicide detective, has apparently committed suicide. In a complex plot McEvoy works out it was homicide, there are links to other apparent cop-suicides and eventually a serial killer is discovered.  McEvoy (a reporter remember) manages to get inside the FBI investigation of this killer, mainly because he discovered what was going on.  He falls for an FBI agent he is assigned to.  They get close to the killer – but then in the closing chapters of the book there are more twists than a twisty thing has on a twisty day!!

OK, so there are too many perfect murders in this story and falling for the only non-incidental female character was predictable but little else was.  The story is also written from two points of view, Jack McEvoy and ‘the killer’ which adds a nice pace and insight to what is going on.

Book: Michael Connelly “A Darkness More Than Night”

September 14, 2015

Things just got confusing in the world of Harry Bosch.  Earlier this year I stumbled across the Harry Bosch TV series, enjoyed it so downloaded the Kindle version of the first Harry Bosch book, and debut novel from Michael Connelly “The Black Echo“.  Since then I’ve worked my way through “The Black Ice“, “The Concrete Blond“, “The Last Coyote“, “Trunk Music” & “Angels Flight”  Which brings me to this book, “A Darkness More Thank Night”, only to discover that Michael Connelly has written books about other characters in the Harry Bosch version of LA and this book seems to involve at least two of them (as well as Harry).

book2The plot opens with retired FBI profiler Terry McCaleb (from a previous Connelly book “Blood Work” that I’ve not read) is pulled back from retirement by an unusual case.  Terry knows Harry and goes to talk to him about this case, even though Harry is at the start of a very high profile trial.  So in this book we have the ‘who done it’ of the original case and an insight into the case that is on trial each written from a slightly different point of view.  This starts to get even more interesting when it turns out (spoiler alert) that Harry is the perfect and therefore prime suspect in the original murder Terry is looking into!

Has Harry lost it enough to start killing bad guys rather than putting them away?  Once Terry has convinced everyone that the only possible person to carry out this killing is Harry Bosch, he is then approached by Bosch to prove someone else did it.  Harder to explain than read, this is a fantastic story where two well rounded and well written.  Made me immediately go back and fill in the gaps I had in Michael Connelly’s work by only reading the Bosch series.

Book: Michael Connelly “Angels Flight”

September 13, 2015

Another Harry Bosch book, I’m flying through these!  I really enjoyed the ongoing politics in this one.  A high profile lawyer is found murdered on the Angels Flight funicular railway.  Since he specializes in lawsuits against the police every LAPD cop as potential suspects and if it looks like the police are dragging their heals the city will light up with riots (again).  The case is passed to Harry Bosch and his team, and has to work with his adversary John ‘Sustain’ Chastain from Internal Affairs. It soon becomes apparent that getting this cleared up quickly, to avoid unrest, is more important than really solving the case.

Angels Flight coverAgain this is incredibly fast paced, with all the action taking place in a three day period, and very little sleep taken by the main players.  There are the twists and turns expected from a good crime thriller and well executed by Connelly.  A great read and possibly best in this series so far.

Book: Michael Connelly “Trunk Music”

August 1, 2015

The fifth Harry Bosch book sees him back in Homicide after disciplinary leave picking up his first case.  A corpse in the trunk of a white Rolls Royce, it looks like a mob hit.  The investigation takes Bosch to Las Vagas, again a mob connection, and here he stumbles on Eleanor Wish.

Trunk_musicWish appeared in Connelly’s debut novel THE BLACK ECHO as an FBI agent who Bosch was involved with but who…  well I can’t tell you about that bit.  Anyway her circumstances are very different five years on. The relationship now between Wish and Bosch is a little unconvincing, but looks like she will be a long term character.  The investigation is good – I didn’t see where it was going and again this is well put together page turner.

Book: Michael Connelly “The Last Coyote”

August 1, 2015

The forth Harry Bosch book from Michael Connelly. I’m going through these fairly quickly using kindle app on my phone.  They are really easy to pick up at any point in the plot without needing to keep track of everything.

The_Last_CoyoteThis story opens with Harry on involuntary stress leave and having to attend regular sessions with a police psychologist. He is also rebuilding his house which has been officially condemned following an earthquake.

During this suspension Harry starts looking back at the murder of his own mother many years earlier.  Was this case poorly investigated covered up?  Well his one man investigation opens up long term political corruption and many secrets.

Book: Michael Connelly “The Concrete Blonde”

July 2, 2015

The third book this series takes place while Harry Bosch is on trial (well the widow of a serial killer is suing the city for an unlawful killling by Harry).  The case has been referred to in the previous two books so it is good to get around to knowing more about this.  The serial killer, known as the Dollmaker had some fairly specific ways of staging the killing and during this trial a new body is uncovered that looks like the same killer but who was killed after Harry killed the suspected Dollmaker.

bookSo was Harry wrong, did the police plant evidence to clear the crime and how did this new body fit in?  All the twists and turns you expect from these thrillers so that just as you find out the truth you can think that you almost guessed the correct outcome.

Book: Lee Child “Personal” (Jack Reacher 19)

June 2, 2015

Having read every Jack Reahcer book, and all the short stories I can find, it is fair to say I like this character.  I enjoy Child’s writing style (usually) and his stories are well crafted and full of pace, racing along with twists at the end of each chapter that draw you into reading the first few sentences of the next till you just can’t stop.

However this book was more disappointing.  Not all Reacher novels are great, there have been some hickups along the way, but event poor Jack Reacher books are still good stories in them selves – just not up to Lee Child’s high standards.  This time it isn’t even a very good story.

bookReacher is tracked down – in an odd way in my opinion – by a general who needs him for a job only he can do … yada yada.. there’s a female officer he has to work with (who is really only there so he can explain the plot to her) .. he has to travel to Paris (which was a good part since Jack Reacher’s has a past in Paris – his resistance fighting mother) then to London on a wild goose chase after a sniper who yada yada might be the best -snooze- sniper in the world and has a grudge against —-….  oh man this was a slow, meandering and pointless plot.  By the time the book finally got to the plot twist at the end I couldn’t have cared less.

In part the book was building to a Boss level fight between Jack and his target, but it felt like Child had also lost interest as the final meeting of the two ends fairly simply.  I will read the next and the next and the next but I do hope they get back to form.


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