City of Bones Mass Market Paperback – Mar 1 2003
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Since his first appearance in 1992's Edgar-winning The Black Echo, Detective Hieronymous "Harry" Bosch has joined Dennis Lehane's Patrick and Angie, George Pelecanos's Derek Strange, and Greg Rucka's Atticus Kodiak in the pantheon of new-school hard-boiled detectives. Rather than giving Bosch a clever gimmick (like Jeffery Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme, who is a quadriplegic), Michael Connelly embraces the noir archetype: Bosch, an L.A. homicide detective, is a chain-smoking loner who refuses to play by his superiors' rules. Although he has quit smoking, Harry's still the same tightlipped outsider, taking each crime as a personal affront as he tries to cleanse his beloved city of the darkness he sees engulfing it.
In City of Bones, Connelly's eighth Bosch title, Bosch and his well-dressed partner, Jerry Edgar, are working to identify a child's skeleton, buried for 20 years in the forest off Hollywood's Wonderland Drive, and to bring the killer to belated justice. For Bosch this is more than just another homicide, as the mystery child, beaten and abandoned, comes to represent much of what he sees as evil in his city. Add in a tragic love affair with a fellow cop, complications from overzealous media, and the growing feeling that he's fighting a losing battle about which no one cares, and the usually stoic Bosch is pushed to his limits. This isn't the strongest plot Connelly has concocted for Bosch, but it leads to an ending the whole series has been building toward. The conclusion may not shock longtime fans, but it will leave them wondering where the series will go from here. --Benjamin Reese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Harry Bosch is at the top of his form which is great news for Connelly fans who might have been wondering how much life the dour, haunted LAPD veteran had left in him. His latest adventure is as dark and angst-ridden as any of Bosch's past outings, but it also crackles with energy especially in the details of police procedure and internal politics that animate virtually every page. What other crime writer could make such dramatic use of the fact that the front door of a house trailer swings out rather than in, creating problems for a two-man team of detectives? Who else would create to such credible narrative effect an egotistic celebrity coroner who jeopardizes an investigation because she lets a TV camera crew from Court TV follow her around, or an overage female rookie cop so in love with danger that she commits an unthinkable act? When the bones of an abused 12-year-old boy who disappeared in 1980 turn up in the woods above Hollywood (near a street named Wonderland, where former governor Jerry Brown used to live), the case stirs up Bosch's memories of his own troubled childhood. Also, as his captain so aptly points out, Harry is the LAPD's prime "shit magnet," an investigator who attracts muck and trouble wherever he goes. So it's no great surprise when the investigation takes a couple of nasty turns, right up through the last chapter. Connelly is such a careful, quiet writer that he can slow down the story to sketch in some relatively minor characters a retired doctor, a couple who lived through their foster children without missing a beat. (One-day laydown Apr. 16)Forecast: Connelly doesn't need much help in hitting the charts, but Little, Brown is going all out anyway, with a massive television, radio and print ad campaign, transit ads in New York and a 10-city author tour. Expect blockbuster sales and blockbuster satisfaction.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
As the story opens, it's the end of the year . . . a sad time for depressed people and two taxpayers take the quick way out. A call to Laurel Canyon reveals a bone that proves to be human, which also leads to a horrifying case of abuse. In searching for the rest of the skeleton, Harry is repulsed by the coroner's fixation on fame and glitter. He is refreshed to meet a mid-thirties rookie cop, Julia Brasher, who likes his style.
The investigation is quickly compromised by someone wanting to curry favor with a television journalist, with dreadful consequences. Harry is, as usual, annoying the downtown people who care more about their image than justice. More mistakes occur, and more harm is done. Clearly, the lesson is that it's dangerous to turn the police loose on crime.
If I could re-title the book, I would call it "People are never what they seem." You'll get more than your share of surprises in the book which is best appreciated as a deep character study.
For those who like action, linear progress, and a taut plot, City of Bones will be frustrating: This book is more like the sort of "why do I bother?" soliloquy that most of us conduct in our heads from time to time.
The investigating mistakes that Harry makes can be seen clearly if you read carefully: He's clearly not in a lucid state of mind. Exploring the sources and consequences of that displaced perception is the core of this novel.
The noir parts of the story are well wrought. I especially liked the theme of peoples' bones being picked clean by the denizens of Hollywood. The reference to piranhas was quite effective.
"City of Bones" provides both a difficult case and a rough ride for Harry. A retired doctor makes a call to the department, saying that his dog had returned from a run in the Hollywood Hills carrying a human bone. A number of calls like this are made every year, which normally turn out to be bogus: however, this time, there is no mistake. Dr. Guyot, the caller, has correctly identified it as a child's humerus and has also identified a healed fracture on the bone. Using the dog to discover where the humerus had been buried, a subsequent, more detailed search recovers about sixty per-cent of the skeleton. This includes the skull, where the fatal blow was apparently struck. The remains are of a boy, possibly as young as ten, and show evidence of several years worth of chronic abuse.Read more ›
The plot feels right, enhanced by the fact that the writer didn't try to tie up all the loose ends, such as, the surprising matter of Julia Brasher and, not to give too much away, the fact that the killer is not at all a sure thing when we reach the final page. Not all killers confess into a tape recorder and psychoanalyze their own motives.
Bosch makes mistakes. He goes down dead-end trails after false clues. He is imperfect. In short, he is realistic. So are the other characters, including his partner, the technicians, Bosch's superiors in the department, the suspects, the incidental personae--the entire cast. They don't always do what we expect, but people in real life don't either. Too many books have characters who appear to be "on rails." We know exactly where they are going and how the plot is going to follow them.
I realize I haven't outlined the plot, but others have, and sometimes they give away too much. Suffice it to say that I'll read more of the Harry Bosch series and hope for books that are in this same class.
Most recent customer reviews
this one so far I can't seem to bring up on my Kindle. would love to read it!Published 3 months ago by jeanne harcourt
what is there to say Michael Conneppy has never disappointed me = Great stoey teller Idina KirbyPublished 7 months ago by Idina Kirby
Love the detail and step by step of these detective stories! Connelly is a master of realism, especially in dialogue.Published 19 months ago by David R. Foster
This being my first Michael Connelly novel I only knew him by reputation and didn't know what to expect of his writing. Read morePublished on July 16 2004 by Brkat
I picked up this book after reading an article about the author in the New York Times. I couldn't put the book down and finished it in two days. Read morePublished on May 13 2004
"City of Bones" was the first book I've read by this author. Connelly did create a great page burner. Read morePublished on May 3 2004 by Lee Armstrong
I've been reading the Bosch series from book #1 & on. Not one has disappointed me, including City of Bones. Read morePublished on April 23 2004 by Theresa W
In this book both stories are unsolved, Why did Julia kill herself? Harry is really sure who was the killer of the kid? Read morePublished on April 15 2004 by Jorge Frid