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City of Bones

by Michael Connelly

Book list "Child cases haunted you. They hollowed you out and scarred you. There was no bulletproof vest thick enough to stop you from being pierced." LAPD detective Harry Bosch gets pierced in the worst way this time. After a doctor out walking his dog in Laurel Canyon finds a human bone, forensic anthropologists unearth the rest of the skeleton and piece together part of the story: a 12-year-old boy was murdered around 1980 after being viciously abused for most of his brief life. Bosch picks up the trail, identifying the boy but encountering both investigatory and bureaucratic roadblocks as he attempts to close in on a suspect. Meanwhile, Bosch strikes up a romance with a rookie cop--against department regulations--and quickly finds himself in the midst of a personal and professional crisis. It doesn't help that, as he learns more about the dead boy, he keeps hearing echoes from his own troubled past. After spinning his wheels just a bit in his last two novels, Connelly regains his stride here. Like Ian Rankin's John Rebus, Bosch never stops feeling the bruises he has acquired through multiple encounters with evil. His view of the world darkens with each case, and he feels more and more powerless: "True evil could never be taken out of the world. At best he was wading into the dark waters of the abyss with two leaking buckets in his hands." Harry wanders deeper into that abyss this time than ever before, and it drives him to a shocking decision that will leave series fans reeling. Hard-boiled cop fiction at its most gripping. --Bill Ott

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Book list In Blood Work (1998), the critically acclaimed Connelly introduced his many readers to former FBI profiler Terry McCaleb, prematurely retired by the need for a heart transplant. In the author's latest work, McCaleb takes a break from tranquil family life on Catalina Island to help an L.A. County detective investigate a horrific murder that looks like it might be the first of a series. McCaleb's study of the murder quickly isolates a prime suspect: LAPD Detective Harry Bosch, Connelly's most memorable character and the star of his best novels, including Trunk Music (1996). Although McCaleb knows and admires Bosch, he believes too much cruelty, depravity, and violence may have pushed Bosch over the edge. Connelly's appearance here elevates what might otherwise have been a major disappointment. The plot seems more than a little contrived, and Connelly seems to labor to reuse characters and events from earlier novels. Similar contrivances marred 1999's Angels Flight, but even at less than his best, a new Connelly is pretty much a must-buy for public libraries. --Thomas Gaughan

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Book list "Child cases haunted you. They hollowed you out and scarred you. There was no bulletproof vest thick enough to stop you from being pierced." LAPD detective Harry Bosch gets pierced in the worst way this time. After a doctor out walking his dog in Laurel Canyon finds a human bone, forensic anthropologists unearth the rest of the skeleton and piece together part of the story: a 12-year-old boy was murdered around 1980 after being viciously abused for most of his brief life. Bosch picks up the trail, identifying the boy but encountering both investigatory and bureaucratic roadblocks as he attempts to close in on a suspect. Meanwhile, Bosch strikes up a romance with a rookie cop--against department regulations--and quickly finds himself in the midst of a personal and professional crisis. It doesn't help that, as he learns more about the dead boy, he keeps hearing echoes from his own troubled past. After spinning his wheels just a bit in his last two novels, Connelly regains his stride here. Like Ian Rankin's John Rebus, Bosch never stops feeling the bruises he has acquired through multiple encounters with evil. His view of the world darkens with each case, and he feels more and more powerless: "True evil could never be taken out of the world. At best he was wading into the dark waters of the abyss with two leaking buckets in his hands." Harry wanders deeper into that abyss this time than ever before, and it drives him to a shocking decision that will leave series fans reeling. Hard-boiled cop fiction at its most gripping. --Bill Ott

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Hard-boiled LAPD detective Harry Bosch, last seen in A Darkness More Than Light, has been working the beat for more than 25 years (and thrilling readers for more than ten), and he just keeps getting better. When the old bones of an abused, murdered child are uncovered in the hills of Laurel Canyon, Harry and partner Jerry Edgar are assigned the nearly impossible task of identifying the child and solving a murder committed 20 years ago. An orphan himself, Harry considers child abuse cases particularly difficult, but he finds some solace in the arms of Julia Brasher, an attractive recruit whom regulations say he shouldn't be seeing. As the investigation progresses, so does Harry's relationship with Julia until everything goes spectacularly wrong. This riveting thriller finds Harry even more introspective than usual, and while the tight prose of the plot swirls around the mystery of the bones, Harry's turbulent life and career are changed forever in a stunning conclusion. Another thrilling winner for Connelly's many fans; highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/01.] Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, IN Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Could Harry Bosch actually be a serial killer? That's the disturbing question Connelly poses in this hard-edged, smartly executed crime drama, pitting two of his most popular protagonistsDgrim L.A.P.D. detective Hieronymous ("Harry") Bosch (The Black Ice; Angels Flight, etc.) and Terry McCaleb, the crafty former FBI profiler of Blood WorkDagainst each other. At center stage is McCaleb, forced into retirement on Catalina Island following a heart transplant. When approached by an old L.A.P.D. pal, McCaleb jumps at the chance to help on a baffling murder case, the ritualistic details of which suggest a serial killer. It doesn't take McCaleb long to focus in on a prime suspect: Bosch. Not only did Bosch carry a grudge against the dead man, a murderer who narrowly escaped prison six years before, but clues at the death scene implicate the detective. While McCaleb investigates, Bosch is busy with his own case, helping prosecutors convict David Storey, a well-known Hollywood director accused of strangling a starlet. McCaleb eventually begins to wonder if the two cases are connected. Did Bosch cross over to the dark side, or is he being framed? Readers familiar with Bosch's bend-but-don't-break morality won't be stumped for long, but Connelly's 10th novel is otherwise flawless, cleverly conceived, superbly plotted and morally complex. (Jan. 23) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Harry Bosch is at the top of his form which is great news for Connelly fans who might have been wondering how much life the dour, haunted LAPD veteran had left in him. His latest adventure is as dark and angst-ridden as any of Bosch's past outings, but it also crackles with energy especially in the details of police procedure and internal politics that animate virtually every page. What other crime writer could make such dramatic use of the fact that the front door of a house trailer swings out rather than in, creating problems for a two-man team of detectives? Who else would create to such credible narrative effect an egotistic celebrity coroner who jeopardizes an investigation because she lets a TV camera crew from Court TV follow her around, or an overage female rookie cop so in love with danger that she commits an unthinkable act? When the bones of an abused 12-year-old boy who disappeared in 1980 turn up in the woods above Hollywood (near a street named Wonderland, where former governor Jerry Brown used to live), the case stirs up Bosch's memories of his own troubled childhood. Also, as his captain so aptly points out, Harry is the LAPD's prime "shit magnet," an investigator who attracts muck and trouble wherever he goes. So it's no great surprise when the investigation takes a couple of nasty turns, right up through the last chapter. Connelly is such a careful, quiet writer that he can slow down the story to sketch in some relatively minor characters a retired doctor, a couple who lived through their foster children without missing a beat. (One-day laydown Apr. 16) Forecast: Connelly doesn't need much help in hitting the charts, but Little, Brown is going all out anyway, with a massive television, radio and print ad campaign, transit ads in New York and a 10-city author tour. Expect blockbuster sales and blockbuster satisfaction. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Former FBI profiler Terry McCaleb is back in Connelly's latest thriller (following Void Moon). He has retired after his heart transplant and is running a charter fishing service. When he is brought in as a consultant to profile a killer for the LAPD, he finds that all of the clues from the gruesome killing point to a type McCaleb calls "an avenging angel." As he digs deeper, he is shocked to find that the most likely suspect is Connelly's regular hero, Detective Harry Bosch. Bosch himself is lead detective in a case going to trial that involves another grisly killing. Bosch's past relationship with the newest victim and his attitude toward the killing only increase McCaleb's suspicions. The reuniting of Bosch and McCaleb under these strained circumstances leads to a quickly paced and interesting story. As with all the Bosch thrillers, plot twists abound, but in this case the story itself carries the novel, and there is less gory detail to wade through than in previous books. Connelly is always popular, and this is Connelly at his best. Highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/00.]DPatrick J. Wall, University City P.L., MO Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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