Hollywood Detective Harry Bosch is living in his condemned house, damaged in an earthquake, and he’s been suspended for assaulting his commanding officer. On top of that he’s required to meet with a therapist once a week to talk about his anger issues and stress.
I have to admit my prejudices coming into this novel. I have not had a great deal of luck reading popular mystery writers (I’ve only read a few), Dan Brown is atrocious to the point of comedy and David Baldacci is boring to the point of comatose. Lets not even bring up James Patterson. I expected this book to be more of the same and I planned on hating it, and I did, until I didn’t.
Harry Bosch is a normal kind of detective, he’s good at his job, but he has anger issues. He holds people to a high standard of behavior and is almost always disappointed in the way they react to him. He’s also a little paranoid. When people try to help him he is immediately suspicious that they are trying to either get something out of the deal or setting him up for failure.
Sometimes it’s justified. Sometimes it isn’t.
Harry Bosch doesn’t punch his way through dozens of giant toughs to expose corruption like Jack Reacher does, he doesn’t deduce people’s behavior by looking at obscure clues the way Hercule Poirot, Sherlock Holmes, and Fox Mulder (and nearly every other detective) do. He looks at real evidence, talks to people and pieces together what is going on.
Most importantly, though, he has a life, outside of his job – which is even more essential for a book where he no longer has his job.
I enjoyed this book significantly more than I expected to. The writing is solid and story and characters are real. The mystery also has some nice twists to it that make it an actual mystery – something that most ‘mystery’ books do not have.