85 of 92 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Debut for a Great Character,
This review is from: The Black Echo (Paperback)
Michael Connelly's first novel introduces us LAPD Detective Hieronymous "Harry" Bosch. Bosch had formerly been a member of the LAPD's elite RHD (Robbery Homicide Division), but roughly a year before this book begins he killed a suspect in the Dollmaker Case. As a result, Bosch was investigated by IAD (the Internal Affairs Department) and was suspended for a month and demoted to robbery-homicide team of the Hollywood Division. As it happens, IAD weren't entirely happy with this outcome, and are waiting for their chance to get Bosch out of the police force altogether. Malicious ? They make the 'real' villains look good.
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. Harry's intention was to request a sharing of information but he doesn't exactly get what he wants out of the meeting - and things haven't finished going downhill for him.
Connolly's style of writing is excellent - a former Police Reporter with the LA Times, I would assume there is a great deal of accuracy in his portrayal of a homicide investigation. He has created a very likeable character in Harry Bosch, while his descriptions of the city have left me feeling like I know LA. Definitely worth reading !