The Black Echo Mass Market Paperback – Dec 1 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Connelly transcends the standard L.A. police procedural with this original and eminently authentic first novel, featuring Hieronymus (aka Harry) Bosch, a former hero cop exiled to the small-time Beverly Hills force. In July, Little, Brown will publish a sequel, Black Ice .
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.
From School Library Journal
YA-- Harry Bosch likes order, contends that there are no coincidences, and keeps meticulous records in his ``murder book.'' When the body of a former ``tunnel rat'' from Vietnam is found in a drainpipe, Harry is the detective on duty and is called to the scene. His identification of the body begins an investigation that leads to more murder, bank robbery, heroin, diamonds, and betrayal. Connelly's descriptions of autopsies, murder scenes, and police procedure are vivid and realistic. The use of acronyms and police jargon puts readers in the middle of the action. A real page turner with gutty realism and an unusual twist.
- Debbie Hyman, R. E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
1. comes from a horrible family background (his mother was a woman who rented by the hour and was murdered, leaving Harry to the foster care system),
2. lived a nightmare as a tunnel-rat fighter in the Vietnamese War, and
3. this investigation has enough darkness in it to put out a search light.
The book's title is a reference back to tunnel fighting.
Most new detective series begin with a character who is breaking in. During the subsequent books, the detective gradually develops skill and a career.
Connelly does something different: Bosch is a virtually burned-out case who lives only to bring down the bad guys (be they in LAPD or outside). He's beyond the classic rebel without a cause (James Dean would have been frightened of our Harry). This story picks up on Harry after he's well along on a slide in losing control over his anger.
It's the weekend and Harry's partner is out selling real estate. Harry covers what appears to be an OD by an addict until things don't add up. Pushing forward, Harry convinces himself it's a murder. No one is happy about it. But life is proceeding until Harry checks in with the FBI to find out about a bank robbery that seems connected. Harry feels like he's stepped into something he shouldn't, but the icy FBI agent, Eleanor Wish, attracts his interest anyway. Soon, the LAPD Internal Affairs team is after Harry. Can he brazen it out and keep his investigation?
This story has more surprises in it than you would expect.Read more ›
When we meet Harry, he has already been, in essence, demoted by being kicked off of the elite Robbery/Homicide squad and stuck in Homicide in the Hollywood division. But Harry is a pure detective, and will work every case with the same single-minded tenacity that gets results while alienating him from his fellows and irritating his bosses.
A throw-away death of a junkie found in a drainage pipe would have gone unnoticed if anyone but Harry Bosch had caught the call. But Bosch, while having a lousy personal life IS a superb detective, and he sees what many would miss. Not only that, but the victim is someone from Harry's past which further prompts him to look deeper. Harry's investigation causes him to cross paths with the FBI and his conflicts become even more personal when he becomes romantically involved with a female FBI agent.
The story unfolds with many surprises and the meticulous detail that we will come to expect from Connelly in the series. First rate all the way. A great beginning.
The story is well-hewn, but not as taut, as some of the other Bosch novels. Parts VI, VII, and VIII (about 100-200 pages, depending on edition) especially could be radically reduced with a finer sheen. The story sort of drags to bring in some characters that have only incidental merit to the overall plot.
As a Californian, I knew many of the acronyms and numerical titles for PCH (Pacific Coast Highway), 405 (San Diego Freeway), 10 (Santa Monica Freeway), but Connelly uses these shorthand equivalents in a way that might make the distant reader feel confused. He's given to using these initials in the text (such as O.M. for Old Man), that's rather offputting.
Anyway, all that aside, there's an interesting quote, when Harry and his love interest, FBI agent Eleanor Wish, are conversing at one point. She asks Harry has he heard what J. Edgar Hoover said about justice. No, he says, but he probably said a lot. "He said justice is incidental to law and order."
Is that Platonic, or what? Nietzschean? Hitlerian? Well, anyway, it's cute. It simplifies everything for law enforcement people, don't you think?
Great book. That's why I'm not telling you what happens. Read it and find out! Diximus.
Most recent customer reviews
Lots of detective cliches surrounding bursts of really good writing.
Written in the 90's but evokes an earlier era of Raymond Chandler and Philip Marlow.
This is my second Harry Bosch novel I am reading. I'm beginning to sympathize with the fellow. I think I may read the whole series. Very enjoyable.Published 5 months ago by John Petryszyn
I look forward to reading more about Harry Bosch, and his future adventures, in the order in which Connelly created them.Published 6 months ago by Richard Morais
Another great story. I enjoyed reading about one of Harry's earlier cases and finding a little more information about his connection with Elinore . Read morePublished 7 months ago by jeanne harcourt