Reviews for The Black Box
by Michael Connelly
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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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In Connelly's 19th Harry Bosch crime novel (after The Drop), the approaching 20th anniversary of the 1992 L.A. riots finds Harry assigned to a task force taking a fresh look at unsolved cases from that time. Harry was at the scene of the murder of a female photojournalist from Denmark back then and has carried the guilt over that investigation being buried in the chaos of the uprising. Now he has a second chance to make things right. Harry's brilliance for intuitive thinking and doggedness for pursuing his hunch lead him to follow the clue of a single bullet found at the murder scene. What looks like a back-alley killing has a much deeper story that sends Bosch following a cover-up involving the U.S. Navy. Balancing his personal life, dodging an antagonistic lieutenant, and pursuing the case challenge Harry and engage the reader. Verdict Recommended for readers who enjoy consistently strong character development and police procedurals with tough, ethical detectives fighting crime. Ridley Pearson's novels offer a similar experience. [See Prepub Alert, 5/12/12.]-Susan Carr, Edwardsville P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* At his core, Harry Bosch is a cop with a mission to tip the scales of justice toward the side of murder victims and their survivors. The scales can never be righted, of course, even by solving the cases Bosch is assigned in the Open Unsolved Unit of the LAPD. That is especially true in the 20-year-old murder of Danish journalist Anneke Jesperson, who was killed during the L.A. riots of 1992. What was Jesperson, a white woman, doing in South Central L.A. in the aftermath of the riots? As usual, Bosch faces not only the seeming impossibility of reconstructing a crime that has been cold for two decades but also the roadblocks imposed by the bureaucrats at the top of the LAPD. But Bosch has never met a roadblock he wasn't compelled to either barge through or cannily avoid. Harry is such a compelling character largely due to his fundamentally antiestablishment personality, which leads to chaos as often as to triumph, but also because his unswerving work ethic reflects not simply duty but also respect for the task before him. Harry does it right, even or especially when his bosses want something else entirely. That's the case this time How would it look if a white cop made headlines by solving the riot-related murder of a white woman? Better to let it slide. In real life, we all let things slide, but in life according to Bosch, nothing slides. We like Harry, as we like many other fictional crime solvers, because he never stops, but we love him because he has the scars to prove that never sliding is no easy thing. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Connelly's twenty-fifth book appears in his twentieth year of publishing, an anniversary that his publisher has been celebrating throughout 2012 with various Year of Connelly promotions, all leading up to the publication of The Black Box.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2010 Booklist