Most of this was just posted to Goodreads, but I’ve added a few additional thoughts while I wait for the dog to come back inside.
Many people when they age take up hobbies.
It would appear that Michael Connelly has taken up the hobby of Harry Bosch Book By Numbers writing. Because it’s all here, in on handy volume
1. Gritty LA Death
2. Gruff Harry pursues the Case Nobody Believes In.
3. “You are a Crime Tourist” view of the exotic world of law enforcement. Learn about on site prison interrogations, handy cop slang like “put a bow on it” and new tech like raising serial numbers off firearms.
4. Mention of Harry’s great house in the Canyon.
5. Jazz 101
6. LA Restaurant name-dropping
7. Harry’s Rocky Relations With Women
8. Cameos from leads in other Connelly series.
9. Title of a recommended book, album or film slid in for handy cross-promotion.
10. Out-of-the-way LA Hangouts mentioned.
11. Harry butting heads with an outsider partner. Now that blacks (Jerry Edgar) women (Kizmin Ryder) and homosexuals (Kizmin Ryder) are more accepted and common, Asian-American David Chu is the latest flavour of Exotic Cop.
12. Harry Vs. The Man.
13. Twist ending with a character from earlier suddenly becoming VERY relevant.
I’ve read every Harry Bosch title except 9 Dragons and The Drop, so I know how they work. And I obviously enjoy them enough to keep buying them. But this time more than any other it just feels…like a shadow of a good Harry Bosch read. Everything is there but it’s all flat, colourless, perfunctory, void. Connelly is pushing Harry through the motions.
I could especially do without the Harry Vs. The Man element. It’s never been my favourite aspect of the Bosch books, even though I understand why fatherless Harry constantly conflicts with authority figures. In every other respect we’ve seen Harry quasi-mature over the years. I’d really like to see him stop having run-ins with various police bosses, especially since it now seems like a laughable clone of the serious ones he had in the earliest books of his storied (heh) career. Certain of the aspects I don’t mind as much. Reading about the food is always interesting and I’ve been turned on to a lot of great writers and musicians thanks to the cross-promo in Connelly’s works. Nevertheless I’d love to see Harry Bosch work some new ground. He’s a fantastic character who is in real danger of becoming a caricature.
Thanks to Lee Child allowing Hollywood to cast everyone’s favourite Scientology Gnome in the role of 6’5″ burly Jack Reacher I’m now starting to indulge in an activity I’d previously loathed. I’m starting to cast the characters in books I love if only so that Hollywood will stop putting Michael Gambon and Tom Cruise in things that ruin them for me. So as I cast Harry Bosch I send a silent thank you to a FB commenter whom I do not know but whose recommendation of Kim Coates for the role of Harry Bosch is…genius.