on 1 August 2002
The Black Ice has been the fifth book of M.Connelly that I have read. So far, it is his best! The story is gripping, exciting, elaborate, suspensful, and absolutely well thought out.
The tensness is increasing permanently till the end with a finish that is quite surprising. In particular, I liked the way Connelly describes the character of Harry Bosch. You really 'learn' something about him and get some insights into his complex and 'different' personality.
If you like crime novels/police stories than this is for you! Although Connelly's way of writing is different from J.Ellroy or R.Chandler, his novels are absolutely comparable.
My recommendation is, buy the book 'The Harry Bosch Mysteries' where you've got the first three H.Bosch novels in a chronological order (The Black Echo, The Black Ice, The Concrete Blonde). Although it is not essential it is better to start at the beginning due to the fact that some 'small stories' are much easier to understand.
I will continue to read the other books of M.Connelly because he is a great author in a time where you find loads of rubbish in the book shelves. Furthermore, if you are sick of reading the usual 'whodunnit' stuff and prefer stories with twists and tenseness, than BUY IT AND YOU WON'T REGRET IT!!!
This is Michael Connelly's second book and - like his first - features Harry Bosch as its central character. Little has changed for Bosch in the eighteen months since the events of "The Black Echo". He's still a jazz-loving loner who's happy to bend the rules, while his taste for coffee, beer and cigarettes remains undiminished.
As the book begins, it's Christmas Day and our hero is at home, alone and on call. Monitoring police / fire / ambulance radio messages on his scanner, he picks up a message regarding an apparent homicide within Hollywood boundaries that is being dealt with directly by RHD. Despite the fact that it's Christmas, Bosch isn't too happy that he wasn't notified first - as he should've been, according to protocol. Arriving uninvited at the scene of the crime, he tries to edge his way into things. At first glance, it's an apparent suicide involving Cal Moore, another cop working out of the Hollywood Division's narcotics unit. Although they worked in the same department, Bosch didn't know Moore that well. They'd only spoken properly once, about a stalled case Bosch was working : the murder of a drugs runner called Jimmy Kapps. Bosch was hoping Moore could give him a few leads - about the drug he was smuggling in from Hawaii, called Ice, and possible rival gangs who may have been responsible for his death. Bosch was aware, however, he'd had a few problems - including a possible showdown with IAD. Bosch's only involvement in the case, however, is informing Moore's widow.
The following day, Bosch's boss - Harvey '98' Pounds - tells him to stop working the Kapps case and to keep away the Moore case. One of Bosch's fellow homicide detectives, Lou Porter, has decided to retire on stress related grounds - though it has been commonly known for some time that Porter had a drinking problem. Pounds has assigned Porter's cases to Bosch in the hope that Bosch will be able to clear at least one of them by New Year's Eve. Things soon become complicated though - Bosch's investigations constantly bring Cal Moore back into the equation. Of Porter's cases, he settles on the murder of an unidentified Mexican, whose corpse has been found dumped beside the kitchen door of a diner. Although it was Porter's case, Cal Moore had found the corpse. Not long afterwards, Bosch is contacted by Moore's former colleagues - Moore had left a file for Bosch's attention, with some information regarding the Kapps case. The information throws up some interesting coincidences - and Bosch doesn't believe in coincidences. Now believing that Moore case isn't a straightforward suicide, he believes that the cases are so tightly connected that in solving one he'll solve them all.
Like Connolly's first book, I found this a very enjoyable story. Although this is the second book to feature Harry Bosch, it's not entirely necessary to have read the books in order. There's nothing in it that'll have any major impact on this story - but I would recommend reading "The Black Echo" first. It will clarify a couple of minor points and cover some parts of Harry's background.
Cal Moore is a Narcotics officer looking at a recent drug killing. However he himself turns into a victim as he is found in a motel room in what looks like a suicide. Rumours start circulating about how Moore had crossed over to the criminal side by selling the latest drug of choice Black Ice.
Harry Bosch doesn't understand it. It may look like a suicide but his instincts are telling him otherwise. His superiors tell him in no uncertain terms to stay away from the case but Harry soon starts his own investigation and is determined to find out the truth. The truth can only be found by Harry visiting Mexico but with it comes the danger of corruption and his own life being on the line.
I decided a while ago that I wanted to tackle the Harry Bosch series of books by Michael Connelly in order. I read his first novel a long time ago but it had been so long that I figured I should just start again at book 2 and try to read one every few weeks. Michael Connelly is a very successful author like many other crime greats such as Peter James, James Patterson and Lee Child but his writing style is not necessarily the same. Yes there are parallels in the majority of the crime genre books but that is to be expected. The one thing that is instantly noticeable for me is his attention to detail. This may not be favourable for some people but for me it makes a refreshing change. The other advantage to the detail is the advantage of getting to know why characters make the decision they do, especially when you know that this is an ongoing series.
The main character is Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch who is an ex-Vietnam soldier who is now on the force. Harry is a great character who is your typical cop who is strong willed and does things his way. People may complain about stereotypical `cop characters' but lets be fair, who wants to read about a cop who wants to play by the rules? Nothing would ever happen if that were the case.
Harry is quite a loner but he knows what's what and he smells trouble with a capital T when he sees Cal Moore dead in a motel room. The story itself did take a bit of time to gain pace but when I was about halfway through all the threads in the story seemed to come together and I was glad of all the detail.
Michael Connelly excels at describing the scenery and places that Harry visits and I could picture the dusky Mexican city that he ended up in. The great thing about this book was that although it may not have been as fast paced as some others I have read recently there was a great story behind it. The characters were well written and he added in a fantastic twist at the end which I admit I didn't see coming.
I regularly check out review stats on various websites and can see that Michael Connelly's earlier Harry Bosch books were not as popular. All I can say is that if that is the case I can't wait to carry on with the series.
The body of a colleague is found in an apparent suicide case - the book wouldn't take long to read if that was all there was to it, so obviously all is not as it might first appear.
This is the second in the Harry Bosch series (the first being a good place to get acquainted - The Black Echo). It's got quite a pace to it, even though it feels quite cerebral; the eye is definitely on the detail here - we follow Harry as he goes through all the stages of the case (a lesser writer would be incapable of making the inevitable post-mortem scenes sound original, but one of Connelly's main strangths is his ability to frame a character and build on him or her very quickly and convincingly), all the way through to what would be a fairly large-budget film if it was ever shot.
Another of Connelly's strengths is his depth of knowledge - he spent many years as a court reporter and his experience of the processes of law and detection are evident in every page. The pleasure is partly in watching the story unfold; this tale is far less predictable than the first one, though.
The tale is narrated in the third person, which gives the author more room to describe Bosch's thoughts and to provide a good overview, but this does mean that he loses the immediacy of the first person narrative (a form that Dennis Lehane does masterfully) - the book has many pages, and is a veritable feast for a reader who will occasionally need patience, and always concentration - clues are everywhere.
I confess to being an ardent Connelly fan because pretty much everything I have read of his so far has hit all the right buttons, not least because of his outstanding portrayal of Hollywood homicide detective Harry Bosch. The Black Ice is Connelly's second novel, published way back in 1993, but it's just as good to read today as it must have been back then. It's a tale of police corruption and the manufacture and transportation of what was then a new Class A drug today known as Crystal Meth (crystal methamphetamine); as a marketing ploy food colouring was added during the crystallization process, turning the methamphetamine black; "black ice" is supposedly more potent.
Bosch has this uncanny ability to sense when a fatal crime is not as it seems to everyone else (including his immediate superiors). In this case, a narcotics police officer is found shot dead in a motel room and everyone except Bosch classifies it as suicide. He refuses to stay away from the investigation, and when one of his colleagues is found dead minutes after Bosch had been seen in public to have assaulted him, the hunt is on because Bosch is suddenly a prime suspect. Fortunately the heat he finds himself in isn't that generated by the Hollywood media but from the weather in Baja California, across the border in Mexico. He's sure that the kingpin behind the murders and the drug-running is right here in the two towns that straddle the two nation divide, Calexico and Mexicali. And when Bosch eventually finds out the truth, well, I for one was left utterly stunned when I realised the deception that the author had successfully carried off for just about the entire length of the novel. I like being tricked in this way and I have to admit I hadn't seen it coming, so the conclusion lifted my estimation of all that had gone before and made for very satisfying reading. So just in case you haven't read any of Connelly's books before, why not start here, or with its predecessor The Black Echo. It's likely you'll want to read more, and the great news is that there are thirteen Harry Bosch tales and half-a-dozen others that are equally as good - if you like contemporary crime fiction with a taste of classic Chandler then you're in for a treat.
on 21 April 2015
I would recommend skipping this book as it is weakly written. As it was his second book I am certain he has improved his craft as I also just read The Burning Room and The Black Echo and these are much better written and really recommended. There is a point late in this story where our hero happens to find himself in the one particular part of a 6,000 acre farm facing the prize bull which he has to deal with before going after the baddy. The story had been getting weaker and more far fetched and at this point I stopped reading for the enjoyment and just finished the book quickly I was wondering whether anything interesting happened. It didn't get any less far fetched and I was glad to get it finished. So I would skip this one book and enjoy one of his other really good books. In my opinion he is an excellent author and this one is a blip.
on 12 May 2000
Michael Connelly is developing Harry Bosch into a truly great character. He left enough of his past out of the first book to be able to still surprise us in this.
This was a gripping read which kept twisting with each new chapter to become one I didn't want to put down. Most rival authors spend too much time on the main content of their books to think of a realistic and effective ending. Mr Connelly manages the former without sacrificing the latter.
In fact, he manages to keep the tension all the way through and still find space for some more surprises. His books are getting better and better and you always seem to feel involved with the plotlines. An excellent read
I really had intended to get back to the Harry Bosch books before now. But I slipped a different book into the Michael Connelly slot in my audio book rotation a few months back, so I’m just now getting to The Black Ice, the second book starring this popular detective. While I still think I prefer Mickey Haller better, I did enjoy this book.
It’s Christmas night when the body of narcotics police officer Cal Moore is found in a hotel room. Cal had been missing for several days, and no one was honestly surprised when he turned up dead. It’s an obvious suicide, even detective Harry Bosch thinks so after his brief look at the crime scene before he is ushered out by top brass in the LAPD. The only thing that doesn’t really make sense is the note Cal left behind, “I found out who I was.”
The next day, Bosch gets a new case that makes him question whether Moore really committed suicide or not, however. Then he learns that Moore was secretly working on a case Bosch had asked for his help on involving a designer drug called black ice. Suddenly, Bosch is beginning to wonder if Moore was really murdered. Can he overcome department politics to uncover the truth?
The story started well, and we quickly began to see a wide web that tied multiple things together. How Bosch would prove it all was the real mystery of the book. I must admit I found that part a little long and drawn out at times, and a few of the twists seemed more like clichés, especially the police department politics. Granted, the clichés in the cozies I read don’t bother me. Go figure, right? Still, there were enough twists to hold my interest, and the climax was very satisfying.
I do like Harry Bosch as a character. I wish he weren’t such a loner, but it does mean most of the characters we spend much time with are new to this book. They were all well developed as well, making it easy to care about the outcome of the story.
Since this is a police procedural, the language and description of violence is significantly more I’m used to reading. I knew that going in, so this is worth noting only in passing.
Since I’ve already listened to all the Mickey Haller books, I knew that that character and Harry Bosch were half-brothers. I thought that was something that Michael Connelly had come up with after he’d created the Mickey Haller character, but we actually get a scene in this book where Bosch is remembering meeting his father. Turns out, that this wasn’t something he came up with late in the process but had set up before he wrote the first book with Mickey Haller as the main character.
The Black Ice is a good second novel. It’s certainly made me look forward to moving on with the Harry Bosch series.
on 30 April 2015
The Black Ice is the second Harry Bosch book and in my opinion shows a marked improvement over the first in terms of style and substance. Starting with the apparent suicide of a cop the narrative quickly becomes convoluted and engrossing, eventually leading to a twist that isn't exactly telegraphed but which I have to admit I did see coming quite early.
Whereas The Black Echo gave a sizeable chunk of the narrative over to introducing and establishing the protagonist to the reader (sometimes to it's detriment), this one seems to have less exposition and more action. This keeps the story flowing and made it a much more enjoyable read, and as a result this makes it feel like much more happens in this book. It also helps that three seemingly separate plot lines all converge into a single conclusion, and the reader is fairly dragged along by Harry's investigation as he uncovers more evidence to build his case.
My only real criticism at this point is the apparent development of something of a formula. Okay, this is only the second book I've read in the series, but in both cases the protagonist manages to end up in bed with the supporting female characters. On top of this, we're also given a portrayal of Harry as the only good cop fighting against a fraternity of politically motivated superiors who seem hell bent on holding him back. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing I would hope that this formula doesn't become the norm throughout the rest of the series.
That said, this is still a fun read and one I'd gladly recommend.
on 26 February 2015
The second outing for Heironymus 'Harry' Bosch is as entertaining as the previous volume ('The Black Echo). Harry Bosch is a surprisingly appealing protagonist. As is almost obligatory for fictional police officers, he goes his own way and has frequently been at odds with his senior officers. He is, however, clearly a 'good' cop, empathetic to the victims of the crimes he investigates, and capable of astute judgements and inspired leaps. All of this might make the book sound rather clichéd, but Connelly pulls it off admirably.
This novel opens on Christmas Day in Los Angeles. Harry Bosch is at home but provisionally on call, and as he relaxes listening to traditional jazz, he also has his police scanner on. From this he hears of the discovery of a corpse in a motel room. Realising that the motel is within his precinct's patch he decides to attend the scene, even though he has not been summoned through the formal duty officer channels. Upon arrival he finds a smattering of senior officers, and it gradually becomes evident that the corpse is believed to be that of Cal Moore, an experienced officer in the LAPD Drug Squad.
The last thing that the senior officers want is Bosch taking on the case and stirring up his customary farrago of complications. He is, therefore, dispatched to contact Moore's ex-wife to advise her of the possibility that her husband might have been killed. Bosch goes to break the news to Sylvia Moore, perhaps the hardest job within the police roll of duty, and finds himself drawn to her.
On the following day Bosch is called into his boss's office and asked to take over a few stagnating cases that had been worked by one of his colleagues who has suddenly applied for early retirement on the grounds of ill health. Reluctantly Bosch takes this job on, and starts investigating the death of an unidentified Hispanic man whose body had been found in a Hollywood alleyway. His researches uncover possible connections to local drug dealers, and Harry discovers that the body had been found by Cal Moore himself. Further connections between the two crimes emerge, and Bosch becomes enmeshed in a complex web of undercover operations in both Los Angeles and Mexico.
Connelly manages the plot very capably - there are a number of separate storylines, and he resolves all of them without compromising plausibility or characterisation. All in all, very entertaining and gripping.