The Black Box – Michael Connelly

This novel sees detective Harry Bosch look back at an old (1992) case which he came across during the Los Angeles riots. Still unsolved, Harry remembers the naive (daft?) promise of justice he then made to the victim. Now working in the Open Unsolved Unit, the case comes back to his attention, and a fresh investigation is started.

Connelly does a wonderful job of drawing the reader in to the investigation (and the story) as the threads from some surprising quarters, are woven into a cohesive whole. ┬áIt’s safe to say, without disclosing any of the plot, the author has done some solid research outside his usual areas of expertise, and used that research wisely.

In terms of character, Bosch is one of the best. In terms of backdrop, Connelly knows, loves, and reproduces LA as a super support for the developing plot. In terms of story, Connelly is a master and this is one of his good performances. The plot unfolds with fine, steady pacing, building up the pressure so that the violent finale is almost inevitable. And, in terms of flaws, if the book has one it is that the final confrontation has one ‘get-out-of-jail’ card that stretches the suspension of disbelief. However, it’s a very minor flaw, as the overall impression is of a great story, well told, delivering high quality entertainment.

Score: 8/10