The Night Fire

Book Notes

This is book three of the Renée Ballard/Harry Bosch crossover, continuing the world of Bosch's Los Angeles.

Okay, at the funeral of Bosch's mentor, he is handed a murder book by the mentor's widow. Bosch is confused why, after illegally removing the unsolved murder murder book, his mentor didn't actually do anything with the case. Puzzling indeed, until plot twist at the end, when we realize the mentor didn't want anyone to investigate the murder. So there we go.

Given the events at the end of the previous Bosch/Ballard book, Bosch isn't a cop any more. The need for justice is strong in this one, however, so he keeps at the investigations as an investigator for his half brother (yeaaaaaaah, I'm not a big fan of the Lincoln Lawyer, Mickey Haller, and tend to avoid those books as a general rule). A simple confession isn't, and, hey, what do you know solving the one murder with the bogus confession leads to solving the "accidental" death that Ballard was investigating. Talk about a win-win!

I like Bosch books. He is, however, a 69 year old retired cop without a badge. There are only so many more books in the old guy. Ballard may be the way of the future, but I'm reading for the Bosch references.

If you're a Bosch completionist or fan, keep reading. If not, eh, they are reasonably good to read.

Domestic disputes were tricky. Calming anger, settling nerves, and then simply backing away might seem to be the most judicious path, but if an hour or a week or a year later the same relationship ends in a killing, the neighbors talk to the news cameras and say the police came out before and did nothing. Better safe now than sorry later. That was the rule and that was why the patrol officers wanted no part of the decision.
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Dark Sacred Night

Book Notes

This is book two of the Renée Ballard/Harry Bosch crossover, which is really the transition of one lead character that I like, Bosch, to another lead character, Ballard, that I am less fond of. I mean, in the Bosch books, you know there will be tunnels and the bad guy is a cop. With Ballard, you know that she has a messed up childhood, was the last person to see her dad go out surfing never to return, and doesn't really keep her dog well cared for, mostly.

That I took no notes from this book probably says something about my enthusiasm for the book. Or that I lost the notes. One of those things.

So, here we have Bosch trying to work an old case. I know, unsurprising there, quelle surprise, all that.

Ballard, also unsurprisingly, is still on the late shift, catches a murder, shows that it isn't a murder, but hey, two expensive paintings are gone.

The thread through all of the book is Bosch's death of Daisy Clayton, given that he helped her mother, Elizabeth, come clean. IDK, the death of a kid kinda sticks, so we know that even though Elizabeth is back, she won't be for long.

The book was an easy, fast read. If you're a Bosch fan, he's still working on things in in this book. Ballard is kinda super-human, which takes some of the intensity out of the books. We know she is going to live, Connelly isn't going all R.R. Martin on us. Worth reading if you're a Bosch fan or completionist. Not a series necessarily worth starting otherwise.

Two Kinds of Truth

Book Notes

Harry Bosch, Book 22, by my count, which, again, is inaccurate, but we're still going with it.

YEEHAW, I am, once again, all caught up in Bosch's world, having read these last three books. Yeah, the Lincoln Lawyer is in these books, but that's kinda unsurprising to anyone who is growing older: the older you are, the more you want your family around, for whatever definition of family works for you. Why would a fictional detective be any different? Answer: he wouldn't be.

So, yeah, I'm caught up. And Harry (this Harry, anyway, there are four you know) seems to have found his place: a department where he's respected and wanted and, most of all, believed when the shit hits the fan.

Slight spoiler alert (but only slight, since I'm spoiling only the first chapter, so I don't think it really counts), but an old case is reopened when a guy Bosch put away thirty years before is petitioning for release on the grounds of false imprisonment based on new DNA data. The question becomes where did this new DNA that was tested come from.

I know, I know, you're thinking TUNNELS! and BAD COPS! but it actually wasn't (I'm shocked, too), AND I didn't get the "how was this new DNA placed in a sealed box" technique quite right. My solution would have worked, but it was far too elaborate for what actually happened. Dammit.

If you're a Bosch fan, these last three books have been fun. I've been sick, so they have been fun reads during my "I really can't do anything but lie here" convalescence. If you're not yet a Bosch fan, go ahead and start at the beginning, most of the books are fun.

The Wrong Side of Goodbye

Book Notes

Harry Bosch, Book 21, by my count, which is apparently inaccurate, but that's my count, so let's go with it.

Fast on the finishing of The Crossing, I kept going on the Bosch books. I can think of no fictional person to keep me better company when sick than a guy named Harry, with this being one of the last three books about Harry {Dresden, Potter, Hole, Bosch} that I haven't read yet. Now that I think about it, there was that other Harry series with a surprise new book. Hmmmmmm....

As with the last one, I enjoyed this one, too. It is far more contemporary, and we have Harry less internally twisted about working on a defense case, and more with him solving a bad-guy case as well as a not-so-bad-guy-but-still-bad-guy case. The two separate cases, however, work well together, with just enough internal strife to keep them plausible as happening at the same time.

What cracked me up, no it didn't crack me up, was, however, and I really wish I could say I was spoiling this book for you by saying this, but I'm really not if you've read any of my other reviews, the book is classic Bosch: someone dies, a bad cop did it, tunnels.

Okay, okay, okay, not really. But a bad guy did do it. And there were tunnel references!

Anyway, I enjoyed this book, too. I, on my sick bed, immediately started the next one upon finishing this one.

The Crossing

Book Notes

Harry Bosch, Book 20 by my count, which I've been informed is inaccurate, but whatevs.

A group of my friends were recently ranting about how they have to go through a number of pages, IF NOT DOZENS to get to the meat of the article they are trying to read, or the recipe they are trying to find, and how frustrating this is. Given my book reviews really are just my discovery of the book, and not really reviews, per se, hell, you could call these blog posts that I write when I finish a book, even, I'm good with my lack of book-reviewing-book-reviews.

What does that have to do with this latest Bosch book? Absolutely nothing.

I've been sick the last five days. Today, I read this book, start to finish, because doing anything else required too much effort. That said, I enjoyed this book. Yeah, it was a crossover with the lawyer dude, which is where I think my book count is off, with the books that have the half-brother in them, but the book is mostly Bosch, and it was a good detective adventure.

Unsurprisingly, BAD COPS! No tunnels, though. Odd that.

If you're a fan of Bosch or happen, like me, to have all twenty something books available and you're reading them, keep going. This was fun.

All of the patients Bosch saw leaving were women, all of them middle aged or older, all of them by themselves.

All of them probably trying to hold onto an image of youth, pushing back that moment they feared when men would stop looking at them. It was a rough and tough world out there.

The Burning Room

Book Notes

Harry Bosch, Book 19

As far as Bosch books go, it isn't clear that this is the *last* one, but it is currently the last one published. In it, Harry has about a year to go before he's completely dropped from the police force. You would think that at SOME POINT in his career, he would be able to figure out how to be political. You would think at some point he would have learned how to be just enough manipulative to get his own way. But, no. He hasn't (er... hasn't been written that way), and so, goes out on a stupid thing like, "getting a report for the amazing TWENTY YEAR OLD CASE I JUST SOLVED." Come on. You reward shit like that, you don't fire someone 6 months from retirement.

Okay, so, Harry is an old fart now. It happens. He's, what, 64 at this point? Yeah, old.

And yet... someone dies, a bad cop did it, tunnels. Still.

19 books worth of that plot.

And I read them all! Take that reading list goal! CRUSHED YOU!

Anyway, if you like the first few books, enjoy 19 books of essentially the same plot, with a few clever twists. I've enjoyed them enough that, SHOULD ANOTHER BOSCH BOOK COME OUT, I will read it.

Yeah, I kinda miss the guy already.

The Black Box

Book Notes

Harry Bosch, Book 18

Okay, come on, how much coincidence can one stand? I mean, yeah, an author is going to write a nailbiter, create some suspense, but coincidence after coincidence after coincidence allows this seemingly random 20 year old case to be solved. Classic Bosch, too! Someone dies, the bad cop did it, tunnels. In this particular case, it's not a tunnel, per se, but it totally the darkness of the tunnels, so let's say metaphorical tunnel.

This is the second to last Bosch book currently published. There was enough eye rolling with all the dead cops but the case is still solved after twenty years that, well, I have to admit this counts as the first of two bad books that might make me stop reading the series (two books in a series in a row bad, and I now stop). Bosch's girlfriend is clearly completely annoying, and clearly there only for filler. She doesn't add much to the plot, yet is insecure enough to be awkward. The real Bosch would have dumped her already, as he tried to do at the beginning of their relationship in the previous book.

Nearly done with the series, which is good, because I've been tearing through these, and, well, with the end so close, I'll be somewhat relieved to finish the series. Even in his old age, Bosch is still a lone wolf, a keep-the-cards-tight-to-the-chest, if-I-die-the-case-goes-with-me sort of player. You'd think he would have mellowed out.

I don't recommend this book unless you've already been reading the series and want to finish it. Then it's classic Bosch, read it.

The Drop

Book Notes

Harry Bosch, Book 17

Okay, I have to say, Bosch has this most annoying habit of keeping all of his theories and suspicious to himself until he can play them out and confirm every little detail with them. I would f---ing hate working with him because of this trait. I want my coworkers to be working WITH me to an end goal, not hoarding knowledge and ideas that could help the rest of us achieve the goal we have set out for ourselves to accomplish.

This particular habit has become tiresome in this detective.

That all said, this was one of the better Bosch books. Oh, we had someone die. We might have even had a bad cop do it. And we most definitely had tunnels, though perhaps not in the most literal of ways.

There are two cases being solved in this book, the second was a bit too clean and, oh, look, one, two, three, follow the trail to the cold case perp. How convenient. Perhaps the whole idea of hiding in plain sight isn't so far fetched, though, really, this is fiction and all.

Yeah, so, it's a Bosch book. Bosch is getting old and I'm nearing the end of the series. Two more books and I'm done, even if there is another Bosch book after 19. After 19 books, ugh, this series is longer than the Dresden series, and THAT is a series I'll actually actively recommend.

The usual, if you're reading Bosch, clearly there's a reason why, so keep reading recommendation.

The Reversal

Book Notes

Harry Bosch, Book 16

This book was a Harry Bosch / Micky Haller combination book. Contrasting how the last Micky Haller book claimed to be a Bosch book wasn't really a Bosch book, this one is half of a Bosch book.

In particular, the narrator's perspective oscillated between third-person Bosch-is-doing-stuff to first-person here-is-Haller's-viewpoint. While initially jarring, the changing perspective worked for this book. I suspect that Connelly writes all of the Haller books in the first-person, the previous one was, so this is likely keeping in line with that style.

We see more of the dynamic between Haller and Bosch, and Haller and his ex-wife. There were a lot of mis-directions in the book, which, honestly, were a nice contrast to the normal Bosch style of he gets everything right. You know, part of the Bosch formula.

Speaking of that formula: someone dies, tunnels. The bad cop might not have done it. You'll have to read the book to be sure. I enjoyed the book enough to say it's not the first of two books in a row needed for me to stop reading a series, so I'll keep going. Bosch has to slow down at some point, right?

Nine Dragons

Book Notes

Harry Bosch, Book 15

With the speed that I have been reading these Bosch books, you'd think that I really enjoy them. You'd be somewhat right, I do enjoy them, but not necessarily really enjoy them. They are entertaining, to be sure.

So, in this book, as in thirteen of the last fourteen books, someone dies and there are tunnels. I know, I know, you're expecting me to say, "AND A BAD COP DID IT." Well, sorta. Read the book to understand what I mean. The series definitely took a right turn in the middle of it to a point of complete "Wait, WTF. Did that just happen?" The emotional stuntness (is that a word? it's a word now) of Bosch (okay, of Connelly's portrayal of Bosch) is stunning. The man cannot describe emotions to save his life. There is a dark abyss of raw pain that people descend into at certain points of their lives. That Connelly was unable to describe it well leads me to believe that Bosch's "mission" is a cover for his sociopathy. Here, let's look at Wikipedia's definition:

Psychopathy (/saɪˈkɒpəθi/), also known as—though sometimes distinguished from—sociopathy (/ˈsoʊsiəˌpæθi/), is traditionally defined as a personality disorder characterized by enduring antisocial behavior, diminished empathy and remorse, and disinhibited or bold behavior.

Antisocial? Check!
Diminished remorse? In this book, check!
Bold behavior? Check!

I understand the plot minimized the time available for any kind of mourning in the book, but come on, Bosch does not do emotions (or Connelly can't write them, I don't know which, as I don't know if being emotionally stunted is a deliberate creative choice).

Look at me, finally analyzing the characters!