The Overlook
Michael Connelly
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The Overlook
Michael Connelly
Warner Vision
304 pages
January 2008
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Click here to read reviewer Bobby Blades' take on The Overlook.

Returning in a new novel, post-9/11 and with a new partner, Connellyís Harry Bosch (Echo Park) is now part of the Homicide Special Squad. Ignacio Farras, decades younger than Bosch, is fresh and eager, constantly urging Harry to call him Iggy. Bosch cannot bring himself to agree, considering their position in the department and the nature of their work much too serious to favor diminutives.

A theme that runs throughout, Boschís unwillingness to agree with Ignacio on this seemingly insignificant point underlines the older manís distance from his yet untested partner and the degree of adjustment Harry is facing in this new assignment. Given enough hard work and experience, Bosch imagines Farras will learn the time-honored techniques of good detective work, Ignacio still wet behind the years at this stage of their relationship.

A late-night call alerts Harry to an execution-style murder on the scenic Mulholland overlook, the vast city sparkling below the human carnage that decorates the site. Murder is nothing new in Los Angeles, but the terrain has changed since the terrorist attacks in New York, Homeland Security the top dog in the alphabet soup of the federal government. Given the nature of the killing and a number of ID tags that connect the victim to nuclear medicine in local hospitals, the call goes out and Harryís crime scene is complicated by competing agendas.

Bosch is handling this case as a homicide, but some obvious clues lead the feds in a different direction, especially after they discover the victimís wife tied and gagged, a ransom note sent to her dead husbandís cell phone. Fighting over territory is nothing new to Harry Bosch; he is adept at juggling information, proceeding with his case as intended, but it doesnít get any easier when the feds get sidetracked, more concerned with the potential damage to the citizens of L.A. rather than a simple homicide.

Although confronted by the uncomfortable presence of his former lover, FBI agent Rachel Walling, Bosch manages to keep his own counsel, holding back a key piece of evidence. Thus begins a cat-and-mouse game between Bosch and the FBI, at odds about the context of the murders and the size of the threat involved.

Refusing to fall prey to the current spate of terrorism-themed mysteries, Connelly takes an unexpected tack, crafting a taut thriller that does more that scare and intimidate, Harry confident in his role as detective. This is a thinking manís tale, Harry Bosch triumphant in his diligence and common sense approach to crime-solving, attuned to the obvious so easily overlooked for the dramatic moment.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Luan Gaines, 2007

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