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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Black Echo (Harry Bosch bk 1) by Michael Connelly

I decided to start at the beginning with the Harry Bosch series, and after reading The Black Echo, I'm really glad that I did. Nine Dragons now means a lot more to me than it did before, and The Black Echo was just... Wow. What a great book.

The Harry Bosch we see in The Black Echo is a lot rougher around the edges than the Harry Bosch in Nine Dragons. But that's to be expected, right?

When I see people talking about starting with one of the later Anita Blake books and then going back and starting from scratch I wonder how that would be.... reading about her when she's in a relationship with all those guys, and then going back and seeing the day she first meets many of them. That's kind of the way parts of The Black Echo felt at times, meeting someone for the first time when I know so much of what is going to happen about 15 years from then. It wasn't a bad thing, just.. different. And there were a couple of moments that gave me cold chills, too.

Anyway, the point is that I'm glad Harry isn't as sure of himself, isn't exactly the same person in The Black Echo that he is in Nine Dragons. People are supposed to grow, and change, and get more self confident.

As for the plot in The Black Echo, if all of Michael Connelly's plots are really multiple plots like they've been in Nine Dragons and The Black Echo, then I may read all of this books, not just the Harry Bosch books.

I did not guess the ending of this book ahead of time. Not even close. I figured things out about the same time Harry did, the plots were not so transparent that I knew what was coming long before the characters in the book did. I respect that.

Here's the blurb:

For LAPD homicide cop Harry Bosch — hero, maverick, nighthawk — the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal.

The dead man, Billy Meadows, was a fellow Vietnam "tunnel rat" who fought side by side with him in a nightmare underground war that brought them to the depths of hell. Now, Bosch is about to relive the horrors of Nam. From a dangerous maze of blind alleys to a daring criminal heist beneath the city to the tortuous link that must be uncovered, his survival instincts will once again be tested to their limit.

Joining with an enigmatic female FBI agent, pitted against enemies within his own department, Bosch must make the agonizing choice between justice and vengeance, as he tracks down a killer whose true face will shock him.

After reading The Black Echo I am really looking forward to continuing on with the rest of the series.

Harry Bosch is a loner, is very rough around the edges, and can probably be accurately described as downright rude in many ways. But he's got high morals, and he tries to do the right thing, even when he has to fight to do the right thing. When it would be easier to just sit back and do nothing instead of fighting the system in order to do the right thing... Harry fights the system.

Would I like Harry Bosch if I met him? I don't know. Probably not at first, but if given the time to get to know him then.. yeah, I think I would.

The Black Echo has excellent character development (both the main character and a whole cast of supporting characters), a perfectly executed plot, and pacing that keeps you glued to the book up until the very end. Michael Connelly is a very talented author. I'm giving the book a 10 of 10, and since this is the second book I've read in the series and both have ranked 10 of 10, I'll give the series a 10 of 10 at this point as well.

Book Rating, The Black Echo: 10 of 10
Series Rating, Harry Bosch: 10 of 10

1. The Black Echo (1992)
2. The Black Ice (Harry Bosch) (1993)
3. The Concrete Blonde (1994)
4. The Last Coyote (1995)
5. Trunk Music (1997)
6. Angels Flight (1999)
7. A Darkness More Than Night (2001)
8. City of Bones (2002)
9. Lost Light (2003)
10 The Narrows (2004)
11. The Closers (2005)
12. Echo Park (2006)
13. The Overlook (2007)
14. The Brass Verdict (2008)
15. Nine Dragons (Coming October 2009)

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