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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, excellent
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...
Published on July 19 2004 by Roger Long

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3.0 out of 5 stars Skull Fractured Kids & Pretty Girl Suicides
"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...
Published on May 3 2004 by Lee Armstrong


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4.0 out of 5 stars Harry Sees Monsters Everywhere, June 30 2008
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
The Harry Bosch series has a dual purpose: entertain us with crime and detection stories while portraying the depravity of our culture. In City of Bones, Michael Connelly expresses the kind of world-weary despair that causes many to lose faith in God . . . and humanity.

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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Where Next, Harry Bosch ?, Jan. 25 2007
"City of Bones" is Michael Connelly's thirteenth book, his eighth to feature Harry Bosch and was first published in 2002. Orphaned at the age of twelve when his mother was murdered, Bosch spent his teenage years in and out of orphanages. He enlisted in the army and served in Viet-Nam, before returning home to Los Angeles and joining the police force. Once a member of the LAPD's elite RHD (Robbery-Homicide Division), he was demoted in the Hollywood Division following an Internal Affairs investigation. Bosch has occasionally been seen by some as a maverick, but increasingly by others as a 'man with a mission' and an excellent homicide investigator. Harry is one of the senior detectives at Hollywood's homicide table, and is Squad One's team leader. Although he continues to work with Jerry Edgar, the team's third member - Kiz Rider - has yet to be replaced following her promotion to RHD.

"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. The best initial guess for the time of death, meanwhile, is between the mid-seventies and the mid-eighties - making the investigation a 'cold case', the hardest cases to close. The first step, obviously, is to identify the victim - a process that included looking at the list of missing persons who match the criteria for age and the time of disappearance. As harsh as it sounds, the injuries that made the boy's life so difficult may provide the key identifying him - and, possibly, the killer.

When Bosch first arrives at Dr. Guyot's house, a couple of uniformed cops are already there. The junior partner, Julia Brasher, is a rookie (or 'boot') who Bosch is immediately attracted to. Given that Bosch is at supervisor level, it's against regulations to allow anything other than a professional relationship between the pair. However, given a pretty face, who also seems rather taken with him, and a chance to bend the rules, there's generally only one thing Harry Bosch is capable of doing...and when Bosch bends the rules, it generally means trouble.

After "A Darkness More Than Night", when the action was divided between Harry and Terry McCaleb, this is a return to a 'straightforward' Bosch book - and is much better for having only one 'main' character. You won't feel too left out if you've never read any of the other Bosch books before. However, it's probably better if you've read at least a couple of them : there's a few passing references to some of the events of his previous adventures - the story behind his scar on his shoulder and his relationship with Teresa Corazon, for example. Recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, excellent, July 19 2004
By 
Roger Long "longrush" (Port Clinton, OH USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: City of Bones (Hardcover)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars I Was Up All Night Reading This Book -I Wasn't Disappointed, May 13 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: City of Bones (Hardcover)
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
By 
Lee Armstrong (Winterville, NC United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: City of Bones (Hardcover)
"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
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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5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant work, March 9 2004
By 
Larry (Tampa, Florida) - See all my reviews
A young child's humerus is found by a dog on a hillside in Hollywood. A closer search reveals a more complete skeleton. Harry Bosch and his partner Edgar are assigned this case in which the murder is believed to have occurred over twenty years ago. His investigation resurrects painful memories of a dysfunctional family while driving another to consider suicide. In the midst of the case, Bosch manages to possibly find love. Can any form of happiness last for this tortured soul?
Harry Bosch is the prototypical modern fictional crime fighter. He is a direct descendant of Chandler's Philip Marlowe and Hammett's Sam Spade. Bosch is today's dark knight, lone wolf or, to use Mike Connelly's simile, The Last Coyote. He is also the one of greatest creations in the history of crime fiction. Many of us have repeatedly extolled the virtues of the writing of Mike Connelly. He is simply the very best of today's fictional crime writers. Readers should take note of the incredibly smooth lyrical writing. There is much personal angst Bosch suffers and this is so well conveyed through dialogue and other characters. Los Angeles has never looked more bleak than in the pages of this brilliant book. With each successive work, Mike Connelly continuously raises the ante in reaching new levels of excellence. This work is no exception. Read it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting conclusion (sort of) to the series, Feb. 16 2004
By 
David W. Nicholas (Van Nuys, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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: he's a bit too much of a stereotype, right down to the jazz on the stereo, the chain-smoking (though he did finally quit), the casual attitude towards superiors, and the dogged determination to clear every one of his cases.
The current book follows Bosch and his partner, Jerry Edgar, as they look into what they at first imagine is a false alarm. A man walking his dog in the Hollywood Hills has let the dog run wild, and the pooch returned with a bone in his mouth, which the man thinks is human. This happens regularly, and the bone is usually from an animal, but this time the dog's owner happens to be a retired doctor, and he knows what he's talking about: it's human. Soon Harry and Jerry are working a twenty-year-old homicide, apparently a runaway who was killed, for what reason they don't know. They can't even make an identification. Then it turns out there's a convicted child molester on the street, and things begin to go sideways and get ugly at the same time.
Connelly has this sort of thing downpat now. The mystery's not the most surprising one he's done, and the plot is somewhat meandering, but the characterization of Bosch is well-done, and the other characters are interesting too. There are several strange twists in the plot, things that you weren't expecting, all of which aren't directly connected to the mystery of who killed the kid. The ending, which I won't reveal (though I guessed what was coming), is something of a mystery too, though the preview of his next book in the back told me where he was going to take things.
Anyway, I enjoyed this book, and would recommend it, though of course anyone reading something like this should first read some of the earlier books, so that they get some background on the characters in the story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting conclusion (sort of) to the series, Feb. 16 2004
By 
David W. Nicholas (Montrose, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
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: he's a bit too much of a stereotype, right down to the jazz on the stereo, the chain-smoking (though he did finally quit), the casual attitude towards superiors, and the dogged determination to clear every one of his cases.
The current book follows Bosch and his partner, Jerry Edgar, as they look into what they at first imagine is a false alarm. A man walking his dog in the Hollywood Hills has let the dog run wild, and the pooch returned with a bone in his mouth, which the man thinks is human. This happens regularly, and the bone is usually from an animal, but this time the dog's owner happens to be a retired doctor, and he knows what he's talking about: it's human. Soon Harry and Jerry are working a twenty-year-old homicide, apparently a runaway who was killed, for what reason they don't know. They can't even make an identification. Then it turns out there's a convicted child molester on the street, and things begin to go sideways and get ugly at the same time.
Connelly has this sort of thing downpat now. The mystery's not the most surprising one he's done, and the plot is somewhat meandering, but the characterization of Bosch is well-done, and the other characters are interesting too. There are several strange twists in the plot, things that you weren't expecting, all of which aren't directly connected to the mystery of who killed the kid. The ending, which I won't reveal (though I guessed what was coming), is something of a mystery too, though the preview of his next book in the back told me where he was going to take things.
Anyway, I enjoyed this book, and would recommend it, though of course anyone reading something like this should first read some of the earlier books, so that they get some background on the characters in the story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars well-crafted, May 29 2003
By 
Sam C. Ogden (Tampa, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
After reading a few James Patterson novels, it is possible that any author could seem like a genious. However, I really did enjoy the reading of this book in its entirety. The one thing that I would like to point out here is that M. Connelly appears to be extremely talented in grafting out all of the facets in a story. The dialogue was intense enough so that you desired to be a part of the conversation, yet never was it too much. The same with detail. When the author described a particular setting, he was quick to give you what you needed to know. In other words, he did not ramble on for two pages about the appearance of one's house or computer (i.e. D. Koontz). And lastly, what goes on within the police force was brought together precisley so that even the simple reader can easily follow. This book is a definate reccomendation to all those that are tired of the same ol' myster writers that care more about culteralistic dialogue and more murders scenes than logical reasoning and reality.
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City of Bones
City of Bones by Michael Connelly (School & Library Binding - March 2003)
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