I’m a big fan of the Harry Bosch series, so I decided to go back and read some of the early ones I had missed. This is number four. I really liked this one, but I don’t recommend it for others who are not already familiar with the character. There are two reasons for that. First, it starts off pretty slow, with Harry undergoing psychological counseling and evaluation while on suspension from the LAPD due an incident where he put his Lieutenant’s head through the glass of his office. The first murder case isn’t really introduced until some way in. Second, Harry is on his worst behavior, and generally is the least likeable he has been in any of the Bosch novels I’ve read so far. All his smoking in non-smoking areas would be enough to turn me against him if I wasn’t already a fan and suffice it to say he does a lot worse than that.
I do recommend it for those who already like Harry and the series. The best thing about them, for me at least, is the detailed descriptions of the procedures and quirks of the LAPD and its officers. You really feel like you’re right there, like you’re an insider. The author’s research is always impeccable. This particular book is important because it provides a lot of detail about Harry’s past and explains why he is how he is. The murders turn out to be mysterious enough to keep me guessing, too, so it is decent just as a mystery novel. The killings are all resolved at the end, although I thought the ending was just a bit too convenient. I listened to this one on audiobook format and the actor was excellent, as usual.