The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

The Black Echo (Harry Bosch, #1)The Black Echo by Michael Connelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I should have started the series with this book. I love all the ones I’ve read, but this provides a lot of background I didn’t know before. This is the first I knew Harry was “wiry.” I always thought he was a big, tough guy. Tough, yes, but not big. Harry is a homicide detective with LAPD assigned to Hollywood, which is supposedly a bad division, but he thrives there. He has a checkered past – an orphan after his prostitute mother died, some ugly times as a tunnel rat in Vietnam, and a record of insubordination and rule-bending with the department. He’s the ultimate iconoclast always in your face. I wouldn’t like him if I were to meet him in real life. He smokes in non-smoking areas, for one thing. But he’s the kind of cop we all secretly hope is out there “protecting and serving.”

Here he is being hounded by Internal Affairs for reasons we don’t know at first but generally can be summed up as not being a team player. A young man with a history as an addict turns up dead in a drainage pipe. Everyone wants to dismiss it as an OD, but Harry recognizes him as a fellow tunnel rat from Nam and won’t let it go that easily. Soon he finds out that the death is a homicide and somehow ties into an FBI investigation of a bank burglary. He begins working with FBI agent Eleanor Wish and a romance of sorts takes root, although to be clear, Bosch is anything but romantic. Even that relationship is dark and troubled. Harry is a cop’s cop, one who metes out justice, incorruptible while breaking rules at the same time.

What I like best about the Bosch series is the accuracy and detail of how a cop investigates, how a detective thinks, all the little things he notices or knows to avoid. Connelly either has very good police sources or an uncanny imagination bordering on clairvoyance.

Hill is the perfect reader. I always try to get the audiobook form if I can for the Bosch series because he reads them all, or at least all of those I’ve listened to. Amazon video has also made an excellent series called Bosch based on another one of the books in the series.

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