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review 2020-08-01 23:24
"The Call of the Dark..."
A Darkness More Than Night (Harry Bosch, #7) - Michael Connelly

Terry McCaleb has a new life on Catalina Island, with a house on the hill and his boat in the marina. New heart, new wife, new baby. Life is good. Yet, when an old colleague (Jaye Winston) comes calling for his skill as a former FBI profiler, McCaleb is immediately smitten by the lure of his past life and a return to the darkness.
The murder under investigation is particularly violent and gruesome. The victim, Edward Gunn, had been implicated in a murder six years earlier, but was never charged by the LAPD and the case was reluctantly dropped. The lead investigator had been Harry Bosch.

 

Immediately the story conjures up the potential clash of two titans of the justice system chronicled by Connelly and the author skilfully sets the scene for his most tenacious predators …”The cool air of the shark grey dawn…”.

 

In the courthouse, McCaleb also bumps into journalist Jack McEvoy in a passing nod to another of the author’s stable of well-known characters, but as the big beasts circle each other, it’s clear that’s where the action will be. Bosch makes no bones about his assessment of Gunn as a scumbag and retains a sense of being deprived of the opportunity to sweat the guy (due to Bosch shoving the intervening Lieutenant through his office window and getting himself suspended). But, for fans of the Bosch series, this interlinking of books and characters is fascinating and offers real depth to a pool of work that continues to deepen, though the respective novels can also stand alone. I am continuing to wade through them in published order and in this seventh novel featuring Bosch, the perspective of former agent McCaleb enables the author to really plumb the shadowy world that the two men choose to infiltrate. Still, when McCaleb identifies a tentative connection, or coincidence, potentially linking Bosch to Gunn’s murder, the two men would appear to be on a collision course. Moreover, the implied threat to Bosch’s integrity and reputation risks undermining his current murder prosecution.

 

The main tenet of the book is pondered by McCaleb. “You don’t go into the darkness without the darkness going into you.” and this is surely the point for the reader. McCaleb and Bosch are both hardened lawmen, perhaps even desensitised by their lengthy exposure to evil, but their mutual hankering for an almost gladiatorial lifestyle should be as much a cause for concern as a relief. Society perhaps needs such ‘soldiers’, but must also continue to demand that ‘ends’ are indeed through justifiable ‘means’.

 

Michael Connelly is a master of intrigue and this book is certainly thrilling, as it casts a light on two compelling characters that choose to work in the shadows.Another excellent example of why the author is among the best in his chosen genre.

 

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review 2020-07-28 19:28
Fair Warning
Fair Warning - Michael Connelly

This took me almost an hour to be able to post something. I just want to scream. Trying to add tags and all of that took me a really long time too. 

 

Interesting third book looking at the character of Jack McEvoy. Or as I started to call him, his own worst enemy. I honestly dithered about 3 or 4 stars, but ultimately gave it 4 stars because I thought this one had a lot of interesting sub-plots that I was glad to see Connelly tackle (privacy and DNA). But I was tempted to give it 3 stars because Jack is beyond annoying at this point with his constant need to be a jerk and awful to Rachel. Also it's kind of annoying that Jack will get some success and then we find him 10 years later down in his fortunes (again) due to mess he did (again). Also if you are a serial killer one wonders why anyone even goes near McEvoy.

 

"Fair Warning" finds Jack McEvoy 10 years later after the events in the second book. Readers know that he and Rachel Walling had plans to open their own agency after she finishes up with the FBI. Rachel was in a Harry Bosch book, a few years back, and I can't remember what book it was. She mentions at the time that she was with Jack though as an aside to Harry. So between that Bosch book and now, Jack and Rachel are once again done. We don't get the details, initially, but just go with your gut that Jack messed things up. When you read what happens you are going to go yep he messed things up. Shocker.

 

Jack is now working at a site called "Fair Warning" that deals with consumer warnings. It doesn't sound too exciting and you wonder if Jack misses the big stories that he used to chase down. When Jack is interviewed by the police due to his connection to a murder victim though, he starts to investigate the dead woman and finds a surprising connection between her getting her DNA tested to then being murdered. When Jack starts to identify more victims, he is put on the radar of three men. Jack also reaches out to his former lover, Rachel Walling in order to put together a profile of the killer. Connelly moves the story back and forth between Jack, two men, and the murderer.

 

Honestly Jack kind of sucks. I think that Rachel and other characters really drove this story for me. He stays selfish and doesn't trust anyone and constantly bleats about his story, his scoop, and wanting to ride along with the FBI or police. We do get into the rights of the media in this one which I do think is important now more than ever, but Jack once again kind of sucks so you want him to just be quiet after a while. He also messes so many things up that you are kind of exhausted by him.

 

The murder mystery and how it ties into DNA and privacy though I thought was cleverly done. I have to say that I have never done one of those DNA tests things and have zero plans to do so. There's way too many caveats and I am always surprised that the same people who want to yell about their freedom don't care they are giving up a lot of information to a random DNA site.

 

The ending leaves you with more questions than answers though. We have Jack moving into a new direction which honestly makes sense for him and for a lot of journalists these days. However, he still wants something more. With the ending I think we end up seeing a fourth book in this series.

 

The whole Fair Warning publication is apparently real so if readers for a need, they can click on it and see some stories.

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review 2020-06-28 19:51
The Scarecrow
The Scarecrow - Michael Connelly

The main reason why I am not giving this five stars is that it's a bit much that Jack keeps facing off against killers. It's okay that he's a reporter and that's it. Also the story gets a little lost at times I thought. It picks up when Jack meets Rachel again, but I wish that Connelly actually spent more time in going into Jack's life up until this book. We just get a really quick series of things dropped on us as readers. Jack is now divorced (to who?) is working for the paper (what happened to his book thing? We get that addressed eventually) what happened to his sister in law? What happened with his parents? There's a lot of things I still don't think got addressed int his one. I am glad I finished though since I plan to read the next book in this series soon.

 

"The Scarecrow" picks up 12 years after the events in the first book in the Jack McEvoy series. Jack is working for the Los Angeles Times and is number 99 on the list of journalists who are getting RIFed (I work for the government, we have a fear of that acronym). Jack is told to train his replacement (which ouch people) and decides on the last two weeks of the job to look into a case where a grandmother says her grandson did not murder a woman and leave her body in a trunk. Jack quickly runs down leads and realizes that it appears a serial killer is on the loose. He calls up ex-lover Rachel Walling who is still with the FBI. Rachel initially dismisses Jack, but soon enough realizes he may be telling the truth. The two of them go head to head with a serial killer who seems to know their every move.

 

So first off, I ended up liking Jack more in this one. The petulance of the character seems to be way down in this installment. He still tries to get indignant about things, but it didn't bug me as much as it did in the first book. We know that Jack has been keeping tabs on Rachel, and Rachel rightfully so has wanted nothing to do with him since the events in the first book. I liked the two of them together in this one and I definitely enjoyed it when Rachel explains about the whole "one bullet" theory. We get more characters in this one, but I have to say that I didn't really have interest in the "Scarecrow." Per usual we get some hints about the serial killer in this one, but nothing is ever definitely found in the end. I think I like Bosch novels more because at least with Harry, he's chasing down leads so you can see the full picture of the bad guy(s) that he is after.

 

The writing was good in this one, it's a bit different since Connelly rails at times about how the world of journalism has changed because of the internet. I wonder how Connelly would change up this book in the year of 2020 with so many newspapers and sites going under?

 

The flow was off a bit, since Connelly switches between Jack's POV and then the "Scarecrow.". Those sections were so short that you won't miss anything by skipping them. They started to read very repetitive after a while.

 

The ending leaves things on a new note with Jack and am interested to see how things work out in book #3. I do have to say that the book kind of loses steam at the last 10 percent. I just think Connelly wanted to throw in a twist without seeing if it worked and then we are left going wait did I miss something? This also I think is a bit shorter than his usual novels. I got to the 87 percent mark on my Kindle and that was it. The book just does sneak peeks and an interview with Connelly.

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review 2020-06-15 17:34
Switchblade (Harry Bosch #16.5)
Switchblade - Michael Connelly

Honestly I feel like I read this story somewhere else before. I just didn't find it that interesting and the story had a ridiculous coincidence in order to make the whole thing work. I always liked the idea that Harry made sure that every murder victim had their day, or tried to give them their day. Everyone counts, or no one counts as this character liked to say. That said, this just felt like a weird segue into the world of Harry Bosch.


"Switchblade" has Harry working cold cases. A young boy was found murdered in LA and it looks like a man that is already in jail for murder may have been the perpetrator. Harry interviews the suspect and does what he can to get the DA to file charges. However, Harry puts a link together and realizes that there is another way to make sure the murdered young man is finally given justice. 

 

I wonder if the story could have worked more if we had Harry bouncing ideas of of someone. Besides the perpetrator, we just have Harry also interacting with one of the women who works in the office and the DA. It just fell a bit flat in the end. 

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review 2020-06-15 17:26
Angle of Investigation (Harry Bosch 14.7)
Angle of Investigation - Michael Connelly

This short story collection was not as satisfying to me as the last one I read. I think that's because the first story dragged, the second one was pretty horrifying and very good and then the last story didn't make a lot of sense to me. The ending didn't work for me either.

 

"Christmas Even" (3.5 stars)-We have Harry investigating a burglary that ended up a homicide. A pawnbroker finds a dead body in his store when he opens it. This leads Harry and his partner, Jerry Edgar trying to figure out what happened. This all takes place the day on Christmas Eve which of course has everyone wanting to smack Harry since they just want to wrap the case up and head home. Throw in some jazz and the story was all over the place I thought. We also get some insight into why Harry likes jazz and look, I can't help it, I don't like jazz music. I have tried. I don't get it and Harry's love of it was always one of the most puzzling things about the character to me. 

 

"Father's Day" (4.5 stars)-A young boy is found dead in his father's overheated car. Harry's partner Ignacio thinks that no matter what the father is liable for the death. However, once Harry starts digging her realizes that something else went on and we get a dark look at parenting in this one. There's a mention of a character from one of Connelly's other series so that was fun to read, but honestly this one wasn't that hard to figure out. 

 

"Angle of Investigation (3.5 stars)-Harry is now working cold cases and goes back to one of his first cases where he finds a woman and her dog murdered in her bathtub. The case leads back a surprising person. I just have to call BS though on the resolution in this one. I really think that the story could have been set up a bit better. I also found myself getting annoyed with Harry in this one. He's paired with Kiz in this one and I find myself not missing this character. 

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