The One with the Danish Girl in L.A.

Michael Connelly, The Black Box (2012)

Thank goodness for steady writers who deliver, book after book. I get back to Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller regularly and it’s like being reunited with a long-lost friend. It takes only twenty pages to get reacquainted and then it’s like we were never apart.

This time there is a prologue set in 1992 during L.A. riots. The city police is running from crime scene to crime scene, and the cases are handled much too quickly to go really into details. Amidst the chaos, the dead body of a young female Danish journalist is found in an alley by National Guards. This case seems off but Harry Bosch, a then-young police inspector, has no time to dig deeper. Twenty years go by, and Harry Bosch now works in the cold-case unit as a veteran detective. He is now able to fulfill his promise to find Anneke Jespersen’s killer, especially now that the same murder weapon has come up in a gang killing.

The few last times I read Connelly I had chosen his Haller series which are more legal thrillers than police investigations. I had forgotten how addictive the latter are! Finding a killer after 20 years is a mix of tedious checks on cold leads, taking advantage of the progress of science and technology, and a lot of luck. Of course, people may find it hard to swallow that Bosch is able to find people who still remember what they did twenty years ago (I would be terrible! Don’t even ask me!), but Connelly doesn’t make it a rule for every character and his seemless plotting makes it believable enough.

I didn’t care much for Bosch’s perfect daughter and his taste for jazz music, but the plot! the twists! the action! Classic Connelly. He has a great recipe and doesn’t budge from it. Still, it is entertaining and dependable and I will go back to him when the taste for a meaty noir arises again.

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3 thoughts on “The One with the Danish Girl in L.A.

  1. I haven’t read Connelly but I do agree with you about those steady writers who provide you with book after book about characters who become old friends. They are the staple of my comfort reading.

  2. Connelly gets me hooked like no other writer currently at work. Yes, it is a puzzle or a mystery, but Harry goes to work in an orderly way and it is a joy to see how he puts the pieces together.

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