The Concrete Blonde Mass Market Paperback – Jul 15 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Connelly, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, combines courtroom drama and police procedural in this thriller about a serial killer thought dead.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Harry Bosch, hero of the Edgar Award-winning The Black Echo ( LJ 1/92), is in hot water: the family of a serial killer whom Bosch shot during an arrest accuses him of killing the wrong man.
Copyright 1994 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
The Dollmaker Case resurfaces in this book. Bosch and the Police Department are being sued by Church's widow, claiming that her husband was innocent and that Harry had killed the wrong man. Her lawyer is Honey Chandler, a civil rights attorney who specialises in police abuse cases. Bosch meanwhile - like the police department - have no doubt that Church was the Dollmaker, and "good" for the eleven killings. Unfortunately, for Bosch there's a fly in the ointment. Just as the trial starts, a new body is found buried beneath a concrete slab in a derelict building. The directions to it were contained in a note delivered to Harry's station - not only does it claim responsibility for the murder, but it also matches some other notes attributed to the Dollmaker.Read more ›
Only Michael Connelly would dream up a story where a beleaguered police detective being sued for use of excessive force would spend every hour outside of the trial tracking down a serial killer. The Concrete Blonde picks up on the back story behind the first book in the series, The Black Echo, in which Harry Bosch it is reported that Bosch had been previously demoted from the elite Robbery-Homicide Division to the Hollywood Division's homicide squad for not having followed the procedure of calling for a back up before shooting and killing a serial murder suspect while the suspect was reaching for his toupee. The Concrete Blonde opens with the scene in which Bosch shot the suspect.
The City of Los Angeles and Harry are being sued by the widow of Norman Church, the man Bosch killed. The widow has a tough attorney and Bosch has a stumble bum from the city attorney's office. The case seeks to exonerate Church from having killed anyone. But Bosch knows better. The evidence pointed to Church being the Dollmaker, a serial killer who applied extensive make up to the victims.
During the trial a shock arrives. Another dead body is found that looks like it has been killed by the Dollmaker . . . but the body is fresher than Church's death. Does this mean that Church wasn't the Dollmaker . . . or is there some, more sinister, explanation?
While Bosch is defending himself in court, another deadly game is being played behind the scenes. Who will win?
For me, The Concrete Blonde nicely captured the strengths of The Black Echo that made that book such a remarkable detective story that introduced this outstanding series. I was glad to see Mr. Connelly return the series to its excellent roots.
Have a ball!
The novel is heavily laced with court proceedings about the widow's revenge, Harry's love affair with the widow of the man he kills in "The Black Echo," and Harry's conviction that the Hollywood police have a copycat murderer (instead of not having caught the right guy the first time).
These two subplots, and primary plot, should have made this one of the better novels, and according to the reviews, most readers liked the latticed effect. I thought it too divisionary. The subplots are necessary, but could have been severely cut to keep the main story in focus. This criticism aside, I liked the novel, but it is the least favorite of mine after reading four of Connelly's other Bosch novels..
"Black Ice" is recommended before reading the "Concrete Blonde."
There are a few bloopers along the way. Lawyers would not abide a US district judge who commented on their opening arguments to the jury with "They may make some highfalutin allegations, but just because they say it doesn't make it true. After all, they're lawyers [pronounced lie-yers]."
A real estate agent would be unlikely to hold an open house because she has two interested buyers. (Open houses are held to _get_ buyers, not because you have them.)
Improper statements made in court are _not_ "struck from the record." If the statements were deleted from the record, it would be impossible to argue their effect to the court of appeals.
If an attorney died, attorney fees would still be owed -- to the attorney's estate.
If Mora's divorce took place in California in the mid-1980's, mental cruelty would not be a ground of divorce -- that was eliminated in 1970. Connelly's use of the term "loss of consortium" is outside the usual context -- the term is usually used in cases where an injury to one spouse prevents marital relations, not a divorce where a spouse decides to stop relations.
In all, it's a worthwhile and entertaining book for a day or two's good read. See if you can figure out who the Follower is before Bosch does!
Most recent customer reviews
Michael Connelly is a contemporary master. From the inventive story lines to the lean, muscular prose, this is crime fiction at its best. Read and enjoy.Published 6 months ago by D. F. Bailey
Excellent story, well written,well developed characters ,especially Harry. Really enjoyed the ending,looking forward to reading more of Harry's adventures. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
Started a little bit slow but picked up momentum quickly and was very hard to put down. Lots of suspects, many twists and turns till the end.Published 11 months ago by Brian Rolheiser