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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 16 June 2007
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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VINE VOICEon 14 November 2007
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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VINE VOICEon 15 July 2007
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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VINE VOICEon 15 January 2008
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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on 18 July 2007
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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One of the FBI agents in this book spends a lot of his time maintaining 'investigative velocity', and at times this book reads like that was the raison d'etre of the author's, too; this book is all about pace. It's interesting to note that this was written as a serialisation for a newspaper - it feels very much that it is written to draw the reader in very quickly. The book version has been expanded somewhat, apparently.

The only problem is that the plot twists and turns are for the main part too predictable - there's very little other alternatives with the racing speed weight that the cast list keeps itself to, so the pleasure is not so much in trying to work out who did what, but in watching Bosch track the perpetrator down.

Nevertheless, a satisfying - if somewhat undeveloped - read. Steven King used to put manuscripts of books that hadn't quite worked out right into a trunk, where they would be unearthed and worked on at a later date, or if a contract needed fulfilling quickly, and this feels a bit like one of those 'Bachman' books. I enjoyed this - it's far superior to most crime fiction out there - but Connelly has set himself a high bar to jump over; he is judged by his own high standards.

Don't expect to work too hard reading this book - enjoy it for what it is - a quick checking-in on Bosch as he encounters a relatively simple (but stressful) case. Quick and light. And enjoyable!
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on 9 July 2007
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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on 5 August 2007
I too love Harry Bosch, but this has the feeling of being knocked up by Connelly in an afternoon to pay his electricity bill. Don't buy it, it only encourages authors to be lazy and take advantage of their regular readers. I feel completely had.
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on 1 October 2007
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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on 27 June 2007
I'm sorry, Mr. Connelly, because I've been a fan of yours for all the Harry Bosch novels, but this one fails. It is a rehash of previous characters, villains (another FBI agent...surprise, surprise), and Bosch's problems. What it lacks most of all is much of a plot; what there is would barely make a two-hour TV cop show. Mr. Connelly must have been under a lot of pressure by his publisher to produce another Bosch novel but lacked the drive and originality to come up with much. Too bad.
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