Monday, July 18, 2011

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

From the Publisher: 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 horror of Nam. From a dangerous maze of blind alleys to a daring criminal heist beneath the city to the torturous link that must be uncovered, his survival instincts will once again be tested to their limit.

Joining with an enigmatic and seductive female FBI agent, pitted against enemies inside 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.

First line: The boy couldn't see in the dark, but he didn't need to.

My thoughts: I've read several books in this series but never this one, the first. So when it came up on my Nook for 99 cents I got it. After all it was time to see where Harry came from. This first book sets the scene, Los Angeles, and I learned a lot about Harry's life.  He is is 40 years’ old in this first book, his mother was murdered when he was young so he grew up in foster homes, he was a tunnel rat in Vietnam. A fun piece of info was that Bosch had a case in the past so famous that it was made into a movie and TV series. Bosch was paid to be a consultant. He was paid enough that he was able to purchase a home overlooking Los Angeles. Having been written in 1992, you get a sense of time and place different from ours today. For example, there were no cell phones: pagers were used. I enjoyed this look into the recent past.

This police procedural was a little slow to start but it picked up soon enough, caught my attention and pulled me along. The mystery was edge of your seat reading and there were a couple of twists along the way. I'll be reading more in this series, maybe even in order now.

This book won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1993.

Rating: B

Quote: The shirtless man grimaced, and Bosch noticed he had a blue tear tattooed at the outsied corner of his right eye. it seemed somehow appropriat to Bosch. It was the most sympathy the dead man would get here.

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