Edgar Award-winning author Michael Connelly (Concrete Blonde, Void Moon, The Poet) takes a departure from his usual police procedural formula and delivers a techno-thriller involving escorts (okay, prostitutes) in Chasing The Dime. Due to Connelly’s incredible writing skills, Chasing The Dime isn’t a total bust, but it is about a nickel short of the dime he is chasing.
The story opens with Henry Pierce, a high-tech entrepreneur on the verge of tremendous business success (we’re talking multi-millions, here), having a falling-out with his wife and finding himself on his own. He has a new phone number, and his period lamenting her loss is over quickly when he is inundated with phone calls for a woman named Lily.
This is probably where the plausibility of Henry’s actions loses most people. Instead of just getting a new number and forgetting the whole thing, Henry becomes immensely intrigued with this Lily woman’s identity. Though there is backstory given on Henry’s motivation, the intense and immediate interest by Henry rings a little false. Turns out Lily is a prostitute whose picture and phone number – which happens to be Henry’s new number -- is listed on a website (cute piece of marketing that the URL is real, so check it out) called www.la-darlings.com.
It is at this point that Henry becomes a mini-detective and starts doing his own search into Lily Quinlan, a complete and total stranger. The quest to find her leads to dead ends for Henry. But all the while he does stupid things like going to various crime scenes and touching things, guaranteeing that his fingerprints will be left behind and making any cop worth his salt think that Henry is the prime suspect.
This does not help build much credibility for the protagonist, but Connelly’s tremendous ability to tell a story saves it. There is a nice little twist at the end, which makes it just an okay book - not terrible, not great - but like Void Moon and The Poet, this is not up to par with his very excellent Harry Bosch series. The audio production is slick, and Alfred Molina’s reading is professional, to say the least. With so many amazing novels in Michael Connelly’s career, longtime fans might be a little disappointed with this one. New fans of Michael Connelly should absolutely not judge him solely on this effort. They should start with the first Bosch book, The Black Echo, and pick up the rest of the series along the way. All the Bosch books are great reading. This, however, is a minor hiccup in an otherwise stellar career.