The Overlook by Michael Connelly

Reviewed by L.D.Y.

Mass market, 277 pages, 2008

Rating: 8/10

Reason for Reading: New book in the Harry Bosch series! New book in the Harry Bosch series!

Synopsis: It’s the middle of the night when LAPD detective Harry Bosch receives a call about a murder – a doctor with access to radioactive substances was found shot in the back of the head. The entire city may be in trouble if Bosch can’t find out who killed him – all while dodging the FBI, who have their own agenda…

Why you should read this book: Action-packed as always, Connelly cleverly holds your hand to lead you down one path while you’re on the lookout for another. Connelly usually does a fairly straight-up plot line about individual killers so the possibility of biological warfare erupting from the original crime is a tantalizing twist to his regular readers. I think this is the first book I’ve read in the Bosch series that didn’t quite merit a 9 or 10/10 rating but that certainly doesn’t mean you should sit back and relax – you should get comfortable, though, because you won’t get up until the last page.

Why you should avoid this book: This book was originally published in serial form in The New York Times Sunday Magazine, and while it was cleaned up, got a new chapter added on to the end – well, it doesn’t have quite the same flow Connelly usually has in his Bosch series. It’s a little stilted in order to explain things to new readers, and the stops for explanations don’t fit Bosch’s mow-’em-down personality. Definitely read this if you’re already hooked on the series, but don’t start with it for your first Connelly – it doesn’t do him justice.

Opening paragraph:

The call came at midnight. Harry Bosch was awake and sitting in the living room in the dark. He liked to think he was doing this because it allowed him to hear the saxophone better. By masking one of the senses he accentuated another.

Fabulous quotes:

They entered the master and Bosch once more flicked up a wall switch. They found Mrs. Kent.
She was on the bed naked, gagged and hog-tied with her hands behind her back. Her eyes were closed. Walling rushed to the bed to see if she was alive while Bosch moved though the bedroom to clear the bathroom and a walk-in closet. There was no one.

He held his hands open and as wide as the cuffs allowed in a pleading gesture. But Bosch wasn’t buying it. The kid was too young to be a liar capable of convincing Bosch. He decided to go right at him.
‘Let me tell you something, Jesse. My partner is good and he’s going places in the department. No doubt about that. But right now he’s a baby. He’s been a detective about as long as you’ve been growing that peach fuzz on your chin. Me, I’ve been around and that means I’ve been around a lot of liars. Sometimes I think all I know are liars. And, Jesse, I can tell. You’re lying to me and nobody lies to me.’

Also recommended: Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith; The Book of Fate by Brad Meltzer; Forty Words for Sorrow by Giles Blunt.

Also by this author: The Brass Verdict; Echo Park; The Lincoln Lawyer; The Closers; The Narrows; Lost Light; Chasing the Dime; City of Bones; A Darkness More Than Night; Void Moon; Angels Flight; Blood Work; Trunk Music; The Poet; The Last Coyote; The Concrete Blonde; The Black Ice; Crime Beat; The Black Echo.

Author’s website:

Fun tidbit: Connelly liked making The Overlook into a book from the serialized form because he got to go back and change or add things, certainly a rare experience once something has already been published.

Would I read more by this author? Let me think…Yes!

&#169 Lisa Yanaky 2003-2008

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