The Burning Room

Book Review

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 Review

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 Review

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 Review

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 Review

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!

Brass Verdict

Book Review

Harry Bosch, Book 14

Okay, this wasn't REALLY a Harry Bosch book. It was a Mickey Haller book, I think book three of that particular series, maybe book two. I don't know. While the book itself was entertaining, and there's enough background to understand some of the Mickey Haller series, I was reading this book because it was a Bosch book. It wasn't really a Bosch book. Bosch is a secondary character to Haller, only part of the plot.

For the book itself, even though it wasn't what I was expecting, it was entertaining enough. There were a number of plot twists and quite a few, "And I figured it out for myself" Haller moments to get the gist of the Haller character. The book is written in the first person, which was great for explaining the actions and interpretations of Haller, as the main character. First person books done right are great reads. This was a fun read about how a courtroom might actually work. Having not been in a courtroom for anything more than a parking ticket, I can't say that it is or isn't an accurate portrayal of reality.

There's one big twist at the end of the book that I didn't see coming. I liked it.

I'll read the next Bosch book, even knowing that Haller comes back in two books, and that I probably should just stop reading this series. Still trying to get to book 19.

While this wasn't a Bosch book, per-se, it's on the Bosch list, and listed as book 14. There was only one mention of a tunnel, and hey, maybe a bad cop didn't do it, so maybe, just maybe, this isn't a Bosch book for-realz.

If you're reading the series, keep going. If you're not, start with books 1-3 to see if you like them enough to keep going. They're all pretty much the same book.

The Overlook

Book Review

Harry Bosch, Book 13

Lots of references to Echo Park and the screw up that it was, in this book. I didn't recall that in the last book, but, hey, let's go with it.

This is a short book. I read it in two evenings, with a monster headache happening during both evenings. It was classic Bosch: someone dies, he follows a trail, OH LOOK IT MIGHT BE ANOTHER BAD COP (you weren't going to read this far into the series, were you? Okay, maybe you are, but I can't possibly be spoiling the plot or the outcome because THAT'S HOW EVER SINGLE BOSCH BOOK ENDS: the bad cop did it). There was only a passing reference to a tunnel.

Surprisingly little jazz in this book.

And no woman / sex line. More than a little refreshing. Oh, and a new partner! Who doesn't go along with Bosch! Win!

My conversation about the book at work went something like:

> Not recommended if you haven't read the previous 12 books in the series and liked them
I feel like this is the reading equivalent of "It gets good about 40 hours in"

Nope. Never really gets good. I just like the cranky main character.
Here's the plot of every book in the series: someone dies. a bad cop did it. tunnels.



Yeah, so, if you're reading the series, clearly you like them enough to keep going, so yes, read this one, too. If you haven't read any Bosch, read books 1-3 first and see if you can stand this many in this series. I'm going to 19, or two bad ones in a row, which ever comes first!

Echo Park

Book Review

Harry Bosch, Book 12

I rather took a break from the Bosch books, and nose-dived into non-fiction books, work reading, and, well, the Silo books, leaving this one dangling in my started-and-not-finished in progress list. I came back to it today and finished it.

I can summarize it as "Classic Bosch."

Which is to say, "Murder Solved!" and "Tunnels!" and "Bad cop!" The elements that Connelly puts into every Bosch book, it seems.

This one was a little different, however, in that it had a couple twists that were unexpected (which is a great delight), as well as HARRY BEING WRONG. That's one of the better aspects of this book. Too many times in previous books, he just creates a theory and boom, it's the right one, mystery solved. In this one, he was wrong, and it makes him more believable as a character. I'm not sure just how many of these "unsolved cases that Harry just couldn't let go" Harry is supposed to have, but he's bound to run out at some point, right?

Yeah, so, if you're a Bosch fan, keep reading. This one was classic Bosch style, which, if you enjoy it, makes this a good read.

The Closers

Book Review

Harry Bosch, Book 11

Okay, so this book should likely be the end of the Bosch series. He is back from retirement, because, as Connelly comments, no private detective ever solves a murder case, and Connelly wanted to keep writing this character. Of course he did, he already killed off MaCaleb, who sucked anyway (as a written character, I'm sure he was a lovely person in real life). Bosch makes Connelly money, of course Connelly wanted to keep the story line going.

Right, so, back from retirement, and working a cold case from 17 years prior. I'll give the ending away: IT WASN'T A BAD COP. I know, shock, right?

What this book did have, as a complete turn around from the usual Bosch books, was a leadership that supported him and closure. I suspect this book is a turning point in the Bosch series.

I enjoyed this book, even if I had identified the bad guy when he was first introduced to the plot. Recommended if you are a Bosch fan (yes, keep reading if you're already on the way).

Two books left until I have read all the Bosch books up to the one I bought in error.

The Narrows

Book Review

Harry Bosch, Book 10

I listened to this book instead of reading it. Surprises no one. What surprised me about this audio book was the production of it. In particular, the MF annoying sound "enhancements" in it. The producers of this book should not be allowed to produce another book if their style includes adding annoying music to a book.

In reading this book, though it was book 10 of the Harry Bosch series, I feel like I've missed some book between 9 and 10. There were references to previous events that I know I hadn't read, and I've been reading the Bosch series straight through.

As mentioned in my In Progress notes, Connelly, the author, thought mixing the first person (Bosch's) view point with the third person omniscient (everyone else's) was a good thing. I think it was a cop out. Was a half-hearted literary attempt at cleverness that failed.

If you're a Bosch fan, keep reading. If you're not, start with the first book to see if you like them.

In Progress notes
Okay, book 10 in the Harry Bosch series. This one has some FBI agent in it, according to the first chapter. It's also written in 3rd person omniscient, where we hear the thoughts of all of the characters. Which is weird, because the Harry parts are in the first person. The dichotomy is annoying. As annoying as the literary cheating is, nothing compares to the tear-my-hair-out run-around-screaming annoying musical "enhancements" the audiobook producers have added to the beginning and ending of each chapter. HF, annoying.