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City of Bones [Paperback]

Michael Connelly
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 1 2003 Paragon Softcover Large Print Books
Detective Harry Bosch tears open a 20-year-old murder case - with an explosive ending that will leave all Bosch fans hungrily awaiting the next instalment. When the bones of a twelve-year-old boy are found scattered in the Hollywood Hills, Harry Bosch is drawn into a case that brings up the darkest memories from his own haunted past. The bones have been buried for years, but the cold case doesn't deter Bosch. Unearthing hidden stories, he finds out the child's identity and reconstructs his fractured life, determined that he not be forgotten. At the same time, a new love affair with a female cop begins to blossom for Bosch - until a stunningly blown mission leaves him in more trouble than ever before in his turbulent career. The investigation races to a shocking conclusion and leaves Bosch on the brink of an unimaginable decision.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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From Amazon

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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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, excellent July 19 2004
If there is a better police procedural crime novel, I've missed it. I approached this book with some misgivings, having been disappointed by "Chasing the Dime." But Henry (Hieronymous--I liked that little touch) Bosch is a first-class, believable detective, all the way. He's jaded to some degree but tries to maintain some touch with the populace. The us-them relationship police have with the press and the "looky loos," as civilians are called, is there, certainly, but outwardly subdued.
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.
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By A Customer
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. Unlike some authors who write about LA and put Downey next to LAX, Mr. Connelly's Southern California is accurate. The little bits of ambience he throws in ---Philippe's sandwiches, farmer's market donuts --are pleasant, but you don't have to be an Angeleno to enjoy his work. With the exception of the Julia Brasher character (I couldn't figure out what was going on there), I enjoyed each of the people I met in the book, from the stars to the bit-players. Little vignettes, like the auditioning LA police officers, the SID scientist who was an avid skateboarder, the anthropologist at the Page Museum who could read a person's history in their bones, the retired doctor, made the book come alive. I'm looking forward to reading more of this author's works.
I also want to thank the people who write reviews. I read them in order to decide whether I will enjoy a book or not. I'm not a professional book person by any means, but by adding my voice, I hope that I can help someone decide whether this is a book for their tastes.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Skull Fractured Kids & Pretty Girl Suicides May 3 2004
"City of Bones" was the first book I've read by this author. Connelly did create a great page burner. The chapters are short, the vocabulary is easy as we zip through the tale.
For me, the best character was Dr. William Golliher who examines the bones and projects that the victim suffered many fractures and repeated abuse over a long period of time. He offers the only real character depth as his faith in a Higher Power is challenged by the brutality shown by the evidence. Unfortunately, his time in the novel is quite brief and not very affecting to detective Harry Bosch. I found it interesting that Bosch is named after the painter Heironymous Bosch whose fantastic religious imagery offers some of the greatest artistic puzzles. However, Detective Bosch does not believe in a Higher Power; his motivations are humanitarian.
The second most interesting aspect was Bosch's romance with Julia Brasher. Unfortunately, we never really come to get a grip on what makes her tick. Did she have an accident or was she a pretty girl with a death wish? For some fleeting chapters, we think Bosch may find personal happiness, but it's not to be. His exit at the end after pages of recitation about dedication to the job left me puzzled. How the novel built to that final act remains undetected.
The most interesting incident in the book is when the press-hungry Teresa Corazon gets locked in a port-a-potty. Now that could have been some great comic relief! Instead, Bosch seems to start and end in a state of depression. Many of the supporting characters were quite captivating from Dr. Guyot to all of the dysfunctional Delacroix family. In the end, "City of Bones" is like a fast meal that tastes good going down, but leaves one hungry for some substance. Caleb Carr's "The Alienist" was far more gripping for me. "CoB" is a definite maybe!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Bosch series just gets better & better April 23 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've been reading the Bosch series from book #1 & on. Not one has disappointed me, including City of Bones.
In City of Bones Bosch is working on a case where human remains have been found after buried for nearly 20 years. This book is very fast paced and step by step through his detective processes, you find yourself not being able to put the book down. Trying to figure out, who did it and why. Another great aspect of this book is that some of the background players in the series, like his partner Edgar, are given time, the relationships developed more. Which is very satisfying for those who have been reading the series for years.
Overall, I loved the story and the twists and turns in the plot kept me guessing until the end. As always, I wasn't able to guess the ending. My only complaint is that I think the resolution of who murdered this person wasn't as good as it could have been. I don't want to give anything away, so you'll just have to read it! Do check out this book- but if you've never read the series before, I would recommend starting with the first book (The Black Echo) and working you way through, it's not necessary, but I think it's very worth it- as I said, they're all excellent reads!
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the detail and step by step of these detective ...
Love the detail and step by step of these detective stories! Connelly is a master of realism, especially in dialogue.
Published 2 months ago by David R. Foster
4.0 out of 5 stars Harry Sees Monsters Everywhere
The Harry Bosch series has a dual purpose: entertain us with crime and detection stories while portraying the depravity of our culture. Read more
Published on June 30 2008 by Donald Mitchell
4.0 out of 5 stars Where Next, Harry Bosch ?
"City of Bones" is Michael Connelly's thirteenth book, his eighth to feature Harry Bosch and was first published in 2002. Read more
Published on Jan. 26 2007 by Craobh Rua
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific
This being my first Michael Connelly novel I only knew him by reputation and didn't know what to expect of his writing. Read more
Published on July 16 2004 by Brkat
5.0 out of 5 stars The unsolved history
In this book both stories are unsolved, Why did Julia kill herself? Harry is really sure who was the killer of the kid? Read more
Published on April 15 2004 by Jorge Frid
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant work
A young child's humerus is found by a dog on a hillside in Hollywood. A closer search reveals a more complete skeleton. Read more
Published on March 9 2004 by Larry
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it but expected more
I agree that this book is a good story. It did keep me interested through the whole thing but it was a not so thrilling ride. Read more
Published on March 2 2004 by "xchrissy"
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting conclusion (sort of) to the series
Michael Connelly has been doing these Harry Bosch novels for some years now. Bosch is the stereotypical detective, and if anything that's always been my one main objection to him:... Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2004 by David W. Nicholas
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting conclusion (sort of) to the series
Michael Connelly has been doing these Harry Bosch novels for some years now. Bosch is the stereotypical detective, and if anything that's always been my one main objection to him:... Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2004 by David W. Nicholas
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