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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Opens Fast, Reads Fast, But It's a Little Tired
Widely, deservedly popular author Michael Connelly (The Poet; Blood Work];[[ASIN:1409116832 Echo Park) has given us more than a dozen Los Angeles-set police procedurals starring Hieronymous (Harry) Bosch, Los Angeles detective named after a well-known 16th century Dutch painter of horror scenes. The author has penned quite a few best-selling standalones, too. He wrote...
Published on 3 Jun 2010 by Stephanie De Pue

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A small piece of Bosch magic
There's less of this book than there ought to be, and it's by far the shortest of the excellent Bosch novels. But actually, there's just enough plot to fill it and to give us the charateristic Bosch investigative brilliance.

But if Bosch really existed, if he had a full filing cabinet full of cases that could be written up to entertain the public, you wouldn't...
Published on 15 July 2007 by Ray Blake


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A small piece of Bosch magic, 15 July 2007
By 
Ray Blake (Hemel Hempstead, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Overlook (Hardcover)
There's less of this book than there ought to be, and it's by far the shortest of the excellent Bosch novels. But actually, there's just enough plot to fill it and to give us the charateristic Bosch investigative brilliance.

But if Bosch really existed, if he had a full filing cabinet full of cases that could be written up to entertain the public, you wouldn't have chosen this one.
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What a let down, 16 Jun 2007
This review is from: The Overlook (Hardcover)
Michael Connelly is one of the few authors that I automatically buy in hardcover whenever a new book is first released. Whether I do so again is now debatable. As a story "the Overlook" is O.K. Not great, but acceptable. The real problem is that it isn't a proper novel: at 260 pages of fairly large font text its a pumped up short story, that while highly topical (it refers to the poisoning by Polonium of Alexander Litvenenko in London last year) just doesn't have enough substance to satisfy. It was first published in serial form in the New York times and doesn't it just show! Even the style of writing seems somewhat simpler than normal and Bosch is possibly getting old because "the overlook" could be refering to the clues he missed rather than the crime scene. Lines like "Bosch couldn't possibly understand why the FBI would take cigarrette ash as evidence" just defy belief.

I'll stop now before I do a real hatchet job on this book, but hopefully Connelly will read this and take note: next time you have a good idea for a short story copy Ian Rankin and release a collection of short stories. Don't dissapoint your fans with semi-novels like this.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars There are many better Connolly novels than this cash-in, 14 Nov 2007
By 
Andy Edwards "staxasoul" (Essex UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Overlook (Paperback)
Michael, what have you done. OK, the deal to write a serial for a newspaper sounded good, but when you agreed to work it up into a book, it all went wrong, and you have alienated many Bosch addicts, like myself.

This book recycles too many aspects of previous books, and there is a procession of the characters from Harry's past, all intended to add some of legitimacy to this cynical cash-in. Add the fact that it will take you no time to read and I defy anyone, other than new readers, to find anything to recommend in this.

If you are considering buying this and you have yet to experience a Connolly book, can I recommend "The Lincoln Lawyer", "Echo Park" or "The Poet" as far superior to this - or better still start at the beginning of the Harry Bosch series with "The Black Echo", and work from there.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Opens Fast, Reads Fast, But It's a Little Tired, 3 Jun 2010
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Overlook (Paperback)
Widely, deservedly popular author Michael Connelly (The Poet; Blood Work];[[ASIN:1409116832 Echo Park) has given us more than a dozen Los Angeles-set police procedurals starring Hieronymous (Harry) Bosch, Los Angeles detective named after a well-known 16th century Dutch painter of horror scenes. The author has penned quite a few best-selling standalones, too. He wrote "The Overlook" to be serialized in The Sunday New York Times: we have it now between book covers.

"Overlook" brings us Bosch on a new assignment, Homicide Special, with a new, Hispanic partner Ignacio Ferras. The cop's called out on a new case, his first in this assignment. A body has been found on the overlook near Mulholland Drive. The victim, Dr. Stanley Kent, appears to have been dispatched execution style, with two bullet holes in the back of his head. Kent is swiftly discovered to have access to dangerous radioactive substances from most Los Angeles County hospitals. This brings in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who tromp all over Bosch's case: the FBI comes bringing Agent Rachel Walling, Bosch's former lover, whom we've met earlier in the series; she recently reappeared (as many of Connelly's characters do) in his last Bosch, "Echo Park." The writer gives his detective a meet with LA's current Police Commissioner William Bratton, formerly successful in New York and Boston; he handles it in quite an interesting way.

The book opens fast, like a hot-wired car, and is 0-60 in no time. It's also rather short, at 225 pages, really only novella length; don't know how any fan of his could resist finishing it at a sitting. Connelly's descriptive writing on LA, as ever, is better than any travelogue, though he did seem to be devoting rather more time than usual to traffic reports and the state of the roads. His writing, however, is as sharp as ever. Of Bosch's new partner Ferras, Connelly says, "Like many detectives he preferred to use his own laptop because the computers provided by the department were old and slow and most of them carried more viruses than a Hollywood Boulevard hooker." Or, in a discussion of Bosch's Vietnam War experience, the author says, "That was the day when he /Bosch/ knew that men of rank often fought battles with enemies that were inside." Speaking of the Vietnam War, this brings me to a problem: we've been told, since the first Bosch, that he fought in Vietnam. Anybody who fought there must now be at least 60; and that's consistent with the age Bosch has always been given. But here, he's suddenly given an age of 53, near his author's. It can't be.

Be that as it may, Bosch does manage to solve his case here, by his usual tight focus on the victim of the crime, and the facts of the case; and his refusal to be distracted by the FBI's "greater considerations." The plot itself, however, is neither as fresh, nor as resonant, as those in some of his earlier works. Guess it's to be expected at this point.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Expanded Serial That Clearly Telegraphs Its End, 16 Jan 2008
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Overlook (Paperback)
Unless you are devoted to reading every word that Michael Connelly ever wrote, you can skip this book.

The story that The Overlook is based on was serialized in the New York Times. If you have read that serialization, I doubt if you will feel rewarded by reading this padded out version.

Harry Bosch is in a new unit and has a new partner. But catching a murder in a rich neighborhood in the middle of the night soon attracts the attention of the FBI and more alphabet agencies than you know the names of. Why are they interested? It seems like some terrorists could be about to make a nuclear bomb. Harry soon is spending more time fighting off the Feds than he is on investigating. As a result, he's soon missing obvious clues by not having checked out what's going on thoroughly enough.

The whole set-up is dropped on you in the first few pages as a serial will do to get you hooked into wanting to continue. Missing radioactive materials will grip anyone in New York. You may not find the threat to be so chilling if you live outside the Big Apple and the paranoia that grips the government in Washington.

The plot seems to develop much too fast throughout. I like authors to tease me along until much later in the book than The Outlook does.

I was also disappointed that the plot clearly points to what the ultimate conclusion is. Those clues when buried in a serial don't stick out so much because you forget them by the next day. Sit down and read them at one time (as I did on a plane flight), and they point irresistibly away from what the main investigation is presuming. As a result, the book's ending was totally predictable.

I found another problem with the book. The guilty parties make a ridiculously stupid mistake in how they handle the radioactive material. These aren't hop heads. Without that mistake, the mystery wouldn't have been resolved in the way it was. It looks like Michael Connelly took an illegal short-cut here that damaged his story. Too bad. Without that short-cut and the too-obvious clues, this plot had potential.

Speed kills (even for writers).
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear..., 18 July 2007
By 
G. Moss "drgarymoss" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Overlook (Hardcover)
Oh dear, seems like a cheap attempt at a Robert Crais "novel". Not very good. Superficial, one-act pulp. Reads more like a screenplay than a novel. We can await the mediocre film with dread. The worst Bosch book - by a mile - yet.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Like a sloppy episode of 24 hours, 9 July 2007
This review is from: The Overlook (Hardcover)
I am a great Bosch fan, this book does not work, it was it seems a serial in sixteen episodes for a magazine, and I heard Connelly interviewed on radio and he seemed to have lots of problems with the format.

My advice, read Echo Park which is well up to standard and forget the Overlook unless you have an afternoon to spare.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Connolly's finest hour, 15 Jan 2008
By 
Andy Edwards "staxasoul" (Essex UK) - See all my reviews
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Michael, what have you done. OK, the deal to write a serial for a newspaper sounded good, but when you agreed to work it up into a book, it all went wrong, and you have alienated many Bosch addicts, like myself.

This book recycles too many aspects of previous books, and there is a procession of the characters from Harry's past, all intended to add some of legitimacy to this cynical cash-in. Add the fact that it will take you no time to read and I defy anyone, other than new readers, to find anything to recommend in this.

If you are considering buying this and you have yet to experience a Connolly book, can I recommend "The Lincoln Lawyer", "Echo Park" or "The Poet" as far superior to this - or better still start at the beginning of the Harry Bosch series with "The Black Echo", and work from there.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible, 1 Oct 2007
By 
This review is from: The Overlook (Hardcover)
Even though many of the other reviews reflect my own thoughts I feel so disappointed in this book I wanted to add my own review.
As other reviewers have noted the plot and the chracters (especially 'Harry') are one dimensional and I too thought this book had actually been written by someone else. I agree though that this book looks like it has been written to fulfill a contractual obligation but it may well have done terminal damage to Harry and Michael's careers.
I hope that the author sees this feedback and responds by never doing this again!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Taut, fast-paced thriller, 2 Sep 2007
By 
J. H. Bretts "jerard1" - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Overlook (Hardcover)
This is shorter than the other Harry Bosch books, taking us along with Harry over the frenetic twelve hours it takes to solve a brutal murder. I wouldn't begin with this one if you have not read any Connelly before - but if you have you will probably enjoy it.
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