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Book Review: The Black Box

BlackBoxAuthor: Michael Connelly

Publisher: Little, Brown, and Co., Nov. 2012

Genre: Mystery/Police Procedural

My Rating: A

The Black Box is Michael Connelly’s latest book featuring Harry Bosch. For those of you who don’t know him, Harry is a detective working for the Los Angeles Police Department. He’s not a super-macho cop who goes around shooting off his guns. Harry’s weapons are his understanding of human nature, a good memory and a good analytical brain.

Harry is working for the Cold Case unit. The case he’s on is a homicide case he first saw briefly back in the 1990s. It was during the LA riots when the whole police force had more than they could handle. Harry and his team were ordered to move on to other homicides and this one was handed to another unit and then went cold. Now twenty years later, Harry’s trying to find witnesses and evidence that can shed light on the case.

There are lots of elements to this story that make it an interesting puzzle. The victim was a journalist from Europe. Harry gradually learns she was not in LA to cover the riots. She seems to have been working on an expose connected to the war in Iraq. How Harry puts together a theory based on obscure details is truly amazing. I don’t want to spoil the story for you so I won’t tell you too much more. I think you’ll enjoy following all the various clues. That was as exciting as the finale that uncovers quite a conspiracy.

There were other elements to the novel I also enjoyed. I liked that we got to see more of Harry’s sixteen-year-old daughter. There is also a look at Harry’s mean-spirited boss and a self-serving police chief. But best of all, I thought this was a good close-up look at Harry himself. Now that he’s a “mature” man, he’s spending time evaluating himself, the things he’s done and the future. Very interesting.

Highly recommended, especially for Harry Bosch and Michael Conelly fans. Thanks to my sister for recommending this one. I’ll pass on her warning: Set aside plenty of time for this one. Once you start, you won’t want to put it down.

 

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