The Black Box

Michael Connelly. Little, Brown, $27.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-316-06943-4
Bestseller Connelly’s excellent 18th Harry Bosch novel (after 2011’s The Drop) opens in 1992, a few days after the acquittal of the cops who beat up Rodney King incited an eruption of violence in Los Angeles (“Flames from a thousand fires reflected like the devil dancing in the dark sky”). In a South-Central alley, Bosch and his partner, Jerry Edgar, briefly examine the body of a Danish photojournalist, Anneke Jespersen, who’s been shot dead. There’s not enough time or police will power to enable Bosch to pursue the case—though he does retrieve a single spent 9mm brass shell casing. Twenty years later, while working cold cases in the LAPD’s Open-Unsolved Unit, Bosch gets a second chance to answer for Jespersen. Contemporary forensic technology connects the shell casing to a gun and to the first Iraq war. The tenacious detective finds himself caught in a maelstrom of departmental politics and personal danger as he searches for the “black box” of the title (“a piece of evidence, a person, a positioning of fact that brought a certain understanding and helped explain what happened and why”). Connelly draws on all his resources—his thorough knowledge of police work, his ability to fashion a complex tapestry of plot, and his ever deepening characterization of Bosch—to craft a mystery thriller sure to enthrall fans and newcomers alike. Agent: Philip Spitzer, Philip G. Spitzer Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/17/2012
Release date: 11/26/2012
Genre: Fiction
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