Friday, September 1, 2017

Book Review: 'The Black Box' by Michael Connelly

"They even sacrificed their sons
And their daughters to demons," -- Psalm 106:37 (NKJV)

To me one of the rewards of the last few books in this series is Michael Connelly's taking on the challenge of making Harry Bosch a single parent with a demanding job. While Connelly makes the plot a little easier on Harry than real life would be, we learn a lot more about our Harry as we see how he attempts to do justice on a cold case while being a caring dad.

The early part of this story's investigation is brilliantly put together. It's classic Bosch and Connelly. I felt, however, that in connecting that superb plotting and writing to the actual motives and criminals the story took too many easy ways out. I expected something more imaginative and credible for these parts of the story. As a result, I was a little disappointed. It's not a reason to avoid the book, but it's rather more of a let down after having been carried along at a high level.

The conflict between Harry and the latest pencil pusher running the Open-Unsolved Unit was well done and entertaining.

The book's climax was very well plotted and imaginatively written. I found that it took away some of the sting of not having the murder motive and plot development be more credible.

Close to a vintage Bosch, but no cigar. But it's well worth your time.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Donald Mitchell. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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