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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.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nine Dragons (Harry Bosch) by Michael Connelly

I'm looking for a new series to sink my teeth into, so when I saw the blog tour for Michael Connelly's 9 Dragons, it looked like a good way to see if this series might work for me.

Short version: It worked for me.

Long version: Harry Bosch is a no-nonsense hard nosed detective who is more concerned with solving his case than he is with social niceties. He can be nice if that will help the case, but if it won't help the case then he can be pretty harsh.

This case involves the murder of an elderly Chinese man, and Detective Bosch has to deal with translation issues and cultural issues along with everything else.

The author got a few cultural explanations wrong, but he got a lot of them right, too. The things he got wrong were annoying to me, but most people won't realize it. It's probably not something most readers will realize, so I won't bore you with the minutia.

I particularly liked Michael Connelly's descriptions of Hong Kong - he gave wonderful descriptions of the sights, sounds, humidity, and even the smells that make up this fabulous city. Some parts made me laugh out loud - like the part about people not bearing to the right on the sidewalks. It's such a small thing, but when you are walking in Hong Kong, it's really disconcerting until you get used to it.

The book is fast paced with a lot of action and a lot of multitasking. The plot is excellent (well, plots, really) and the pacing is perfect.

There are two main plots to the book, the first being the murder case Harry is working, and the second being Harry's trip to Hong Kong to rescue his daughter. The author talks about this second part of the plot here:

Since this book is my introduction to Harry Bosch, I have a feeling it's pretty important to start at book one in order to fully grasp some of what happened in Nine Dragons. That's not to say I was lost, because I didn't feel lost at any time. But once I know more of the backstory I think some of the events of this book will probably mean more.

Here is the blurb from michaelconnelly.com:
From the streets of L.A. to the shimmering skyline of Hong Kong, Harry Bosch must find his missing daughter.

Harry Bosch is assigned a homicide call in South L.A. that takes him to Fortune Liquors, where the Chinese owner has been shot to death behind the counter in a robbery. Joined by members of the department's Asian Crime Unit, Bosch relentlessly investigates the killing and soon identifies a suspect, a Los Angeles member of a Hong Kong triad.

But before Harry can close in, he gets the word that his young daughter Maddie, who lives in Hong Kong with her mother, is missing.

Bosch drops everything to journey across the Pacific to find his daughter. Could her disappearance and the case be connected? With the stakes of the investigation so high and so personal, Bosch is up against the clock in a new city, where nothing is as it seems.

I'm giving Nine Dragons a 10 of 10. Without reading the rest of the series I can't rate the series at this time:

Book Review, Nine Dragons: 10 of 10

I look forward to starting at book one and working my way through the series.

The Black Echo (1992)
The Black Ice (Harry Bosch) (1993)
The Concrete Blonde (1994)
The Last Coyote (1995)
Trunk Music (1997)
Angels Flight (1999)
A Darkness More Than Night (2001)
City of Bones (2002)
Lost Light (2003)
The Narrows (2004)
The Closers (2005)
Echo Park (2006)
The Overlook (2007)
The Brass Verdict (2008)
Nine Dragons (Coming October 2009)

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