Michael Connelly’s (Void Moon, The Narrows, The Closers) haunted and gritty character Detective Hieronymous "Harry" Bosch is just as hard-nosed in his eighth series entry as he was in its first book, The Black Echo. In City Of Bones, Connelly deftly crafts a tale filed with mystery, suspense, and enough dead ends to keep listeners guessing and mystery aficionados on their toes. The story opens with Bosch being sent out to Laurel Canyon, where a retired doctor’s dog is carrying in its mouth the upper arm bone of a young boy. When Bosch gets to the spot, they find a shallow grave and the rest of the remains. A forensic anthropologist determines that the victim aged as if he were ten years old, but through years of severe and prolonged physical abuse the boy might be twelve or thirteen.
At first a neighbor is suspected – a logical choice, since the man was convicted of molesting a young boy thirty years prior. Bosch works that pedophile neighbor angle hard, but soon this suspect is ruled out. Then, through diligent work, they find the identity of the boy, and the case takes off on a rollercoaster ride of suspects, suspicions, and hunches. Connelly’s magical storytelling ability really engages your mind with just the right balance of dialogue and description. The level of tension throughout really keeps City Of Bones humming along at a good pace. It never does get bogged down for any length of time.
The audio performance by Len Cariou is top-notch. His voice really matches what you would imagine Harry Bosch to sound like. The use of a musical score, not only as the opening and ending cue to each CD, is down wonderfully, like a movie score; when an action scene comes up, the music is appropriate. During dramatic moments, the music is sullen and brooding, perfect for a gritty police procedural with a hard-nosed character such as Bosch. Overall, City Of Bones is an excellent audiobook and a great entry into the Harry Bosch series.