Tag Archives: los angeles

the black ice

The Black Ice (Harry Bosch #2) by Michael Connelly

From Goodreads:

Narcotics office Cal Moore’s orders were to look into the city’s latest drug killing. Instead, he ends up in a motel room with a fatal bullet wound to the head and a suicide note stuffed in his back pocket.

Working the case, LAPD detective Harry Bosch is reminded of the primal police rule he learned long ago: don’t look for the facts, but the glue that holds them together.

Soon Harry’s making some very dangerous connections, starting with a dead cop and leading to a bloody string of murders that wind from Hollywood Boulevard to the back alleys south of the border. Now this battle-scarred veteran will find himself in the centre of a complex and deadly game – one in which he may be the next and likeliest victim.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Loved this, it’s Bosch at his best, fighting hard to get to the truth and giving the finger to the brass on the way. The author really builds Harry here as the lone wolf but also betrays his lonely side through his attraction to two different women. His back story is filled in quite significantly and we get to know the man behind the man.

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the late show

The Late Show (Renée Ballard #1) by Michael Connelly

From Goodreads:

Renée Ballard works the night shift in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing none as each morning she turns her cases over to day shift detectives. A once up-and-coming detective, she’s been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.

But one night she catches two cases she doesn’t want to part with: the brutal beating of a prostitute left for dead in a parking lot and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting. Ballard is determined not to give up at dawn. Against orders and her own partner’s wishes, she works both cases by day while maintaining her shift by night. As the cases entwine they pull her closer to her own demons and the reason she won’t give up her job no matter what the department throws at her.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is just superb! Michael Connelly is best known for his books about LA detective Harry Bosch set in the 80s and 90s. This is a brand new character for him and is set in the much more modern mid 2010s. For an author that spent so much time writing about men this is a female character and from a totally male perspective I think he’s done a fantastic job of creating a strong female character working in a male dominated culture that is tough enough to get the job done but doesn’t simply become a man with a woman’s name*. Contrast that with David Baldacci’s Atlee Pine character.

If you haven’t read any of Connelly’s books before then it’s possible to start here as it’s a completely different storyline from anything else he’s written although there does seem to be some crossover in later books.

I don’t want to spoil the story so I won’t give much detail and to be honest I don’t really know how to add to the summary above. Simply put Ballard is a brilliantly constructed character and Connelly’s writing is so good that I struggled to put this one down and read it through in just a couple of days.

*so difficult to write that without sounding patronising and sexist!

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devil in a blue dress

Devil in a Blue Dress (Easy Rawlins #1) by Walter Mosley

From Goodreads :

In Los Angeles of the late 1940s, Easy Rawlins, a black war veteran, has just been fired from his job at a defense plant. Easy is drinking in a friend’s bar, wondering how he’ll meet his mortgage, when a white man in a linen suit walks in, offering good money if Easy will simply locate Miss Daphne Monet, a blonde beauty known to frequent black jazz clubs.

My Rating: ⭐⭐

I really struggled to get into this book. The storyline didn’t make any sense, the characters were superficial and hard to relate to and it jumped from scene to scene without much coherence. The author and the character get high praise from readers and reviewers so I’ll give leeway for a first book and probably try the next instalment rather than just giving up.

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the black echo

The Black Echo (Harry Bosch #1) by Michael Connelly

From Goodreads:

For maverick LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch, the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal…because the murdered man was a fellow Vietnam “tunnel rat” who had fought side by side with him in a hellish underground war. Now Bosch is about to relive the horror of Nam. From a dangerous maze of blind alleys to a daring criminal heist beneath the city, his survival instincts will once again be tested to their limit. Pitted against enemies inside his own department and forced to make the agonizing choice between justice and vengeance, Bosch goes on the hunt for a killer whose true face will shock him.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Yet another series of books that I’ve decided to read a second time. I’ve recently finished watching the TV series and it has given me the appetite to go back and enjoy the original character and stories. The TV show is very good but the books are fantastic. However, there’s now an added dimension to the books, the character I had imagined in my head has now been replaced by the onscreen actor. Thankfully it fits.

Harry Bosch is a great character. His drive to do the right thing makes for great reading. He’s not afraid to do what needs done and that includes putting himself in the firing line. The stories are pretty grim, there’s a definite dark side and not much happy stuff. However, it’s gritty and realistic rather than depressing.

With the books now being quite old (this one was published in 1992) I really enjoy the much less technological setting and the need for so much grind in the investigation process. There’s no Google, no GPS/mobile phone tracking and forensics is much more basic. Catching the killer involves traditional police work and it’s a great read.

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