The Black Echo (Harry Bosch Series) Paperback – 19 Jul 2012
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One of those books you read with your knuckles - just hanging on until it's over...good and thrilling (NEW YORK TIMES)
THE BLACK ECHO is one of the most authentic pieces of crime writing I've ever read. It is an extraordinary story, one that engages the reader on the first page and never lets go (James Lee Burke)
The Bosch series has made Connelly one of the genre's most consistently enjoyable writers (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Special anniversary edition of the first ever Harry Bosch novel.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The plot elements have been used before, but they're given a fresh twist here. Harry in this book as in the later ones has three distinct challenges: The case itself, and this is one in which he's coincidentally deeply involved; the continual conflict with the political agendas of superiors which threatens his ability to properly investigate the case; and the dealing with his own deep feelings and realizations, including his awareness that his decisions affect lives of those not directly involved.
While some may find the beginning slow, I find Connelly highly skilled in bringing out important technical aspects of the investigation while interspersing scenes that involve more action.
If you haven't yet read Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch stories, this is the one to start with. And if you have, be sure not to miss this one.
Bosch proves to be an interesting character. With a reputation as being something of a loner, he's a jazz fan with a taste for coffee, beer and cigarettes. He then served in Vietnam as a Tunnel Rat, before returning home and joining the Police Force.
It's Harry's time as a Tunnel Rat that comes back to haunt him in The Black Echo. The book begins with Harry being called out to Mulholland Dam, where a body's been found in drainage pipe. Dismissed by other officers at the scene as simply another drug user who'd accidentally overdosed - and therefore, not needing any further investigation - Bosch isn't quite so and decides to run with it. Things take a more personal twist when he recognises the corpse as a fellow Tunnel Rat, Billy Meadows. Things start looking more and more like Meadows was murdered - an autopsy seems to indicate he'd been tortured before he died, while a pawn ticket found in Meadows' apartment links him to a major bank heist carried out the previous year. This bank job is officially being investigated by the FBI and, as Bosch believes the men behind the bank job are also behind Meadows' death, he arranges a meeting with Special Agent Eleanor Wish.Read more ›
On the one hand it definitely captures the feel of classic hardboiled writers like Chandler, Hammett, et al. The main character, Heironymus 'Harry' Bosch, is strongly reminiscent of his forebears from those other writers' works, and the structure and language of the novel wouldn't be entirely out of place in a 30's or 40's pulp novel. In this respect the book works well, and made it a fun read.
And then there's the not-so-good. There are a few places within the novel where Connelly repeats himself unnecessarily, re-telling us details about Bosch's background that have already been provided earlier in the story, or providing yet another description of Bosch's house on the hill with it's wonderful view. This, along with some aspects of the pace of the novel, mark the book clearly as a first novel, though perhaps this is something that should have been addressed up by the publisher's editors.
All things considered, the negatives I've mentioned aren't bad enough as to make this an unreadable book, and on balance I'd still recommend it to other fans of the hardboiled genre. All in all, a fairly good start to a series.
Set in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles, I found myself inexorably drawn to a local map for reference, as Bosch drives us around the city outskirts from Wilshire to Mulholland Drive and over to Sepulveda, I'm learning my way around quite well. Harry Bosch Tours where are you?
The story is tight. A murder that leads Bosch to an unsolved bank robbery and connections with his past as a Vietnam veteran, all whilst Bosch is himself under the scrutiny of an LAPD internal affairs investigation that seeks to bounce him out of the force. Bosch, once the rising star has fallen far and, whilst he has found a new level, there are those that want him out.
Connelly goes for long-ish chapters that closely track the investigation but with frequent sub-chapter pauses. He doesn't have Bosch as narrator so we can skip to other characters and episodes without Bosch in them, but Bosch is never out of the picture for long. Sex and violence are included, but Connelly doesn't dwell on either, he is more likely to spend time on the intricacies and psychology of a suspect's interrogation.
It is a great debut novel and it doesn't matter if it's your first or latest Harry Bosch. Enjoy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am reading and re-reading all of the Harry Bosch series, now on Kindle. The stories are complex and the characters well defined as are the locations in and around Los Angeles. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Mr. J. R. Burdge
Made me want to read more. I am now a Harry Bosch fan. Can't wait to start the next book.Published 27 days ago by Michael F
I have read most Connelly books and he remains a favourite author. This, as his first published novel, is not up with his best, however. Read morePublished 29 days ago by johnverp
Very thrilling once you get into it. Story linked well. I don't often read books like this but will do so from now on.Published 1 month ago by DoctorNat
😀 first of many great stories (I hope) looking forward to reading the next one. The black ice here I comePublished 1 month ago by Gillian Stewart