If you have read any of the Harry Bosch books, you know what you are going to get here: the grumpy but determined detective making his way to solve a crime, regardless of the cost. The setting now is slightly different, with Bosch out of the Los Angeles headlights, and operating as a sort of volunteer detective for the nearby town of San Fernando.
Harry’s main challenge in San Fernando is to track down a rapist. But, simultaneously he is rather naughtily working on a private commission from a dying billionaire to search out a possible heir to his fortune.
Although this is a well constructed book, with a decent plot and interesting characters, it doesn’t quite reach the giddy heights of Connelly’s best work.
For example, the search for the heir has no real bite to it, despite attempts to inject some edge to the investigation. And the hunt for the rapist doesn’t seem to be as pressing as you might expect. The narrative falls somewhat flat in places, and even when the action and the interest picks up, it’s not enough to restore the book to the top of the quality tree.
If you are a fan, you will read this and love it. I thought it was OK, but that underwhelming impression might be because Bosch is on his way out, and the author’s attention is clearly moving on.
If you have not read any Michael Connelly, don’t start here; instead go back to the first Bosch book, The Black Echo, and read them in order. By the time you get to this one (the 19th according to the official list) you’ll be well hooked and gladly excuse the author a less than perfect performance.