Connelly's ability to build his Los Angeles universe, tie his characters' background and stories together and continue to extend their already richly developed personalities is pure magic. In "The Narrows", Harry Bosch, LA homicide detective retired and now erstwhile private investigator, is asked to look into the death of his friend Terry McCaleb. McCaleb's widow is not convinced that his death was as simple as it seems and knows that Terry would have wanted Bosch to tie up any loose ends.
The revelation that "The Narrows" is, in fact, a sequel to his first stand-alone novel, comes early in the novel. Bosch's labyrinthine investigations have put him onto the trail of Robert Backus, the former FBI agent turned rogue serial killer (known as "The Poet") who had been presumed dead at the end of that novel. It's now clear that Backus has re-surfaced and is back on the killing trail with a brutally renewed vigour. In fact, he's got his sights set on anyone that took part in his first takedown and #1 on that hit list is FBI agent, Rachel Walling.
Despite the fact that Connelly's skilled plotting never leaves anything to be desired in the way of thrills and shivers, red herrings, surprises and about-faces, the real beauty to the Harry Bosch novels is the intricate attention to procedural details and a deep, complex, angst-ridden psychological structure for each and every character that is capable of overwhelming any sniffing reader with a real-world aroma. Connelly's characters' perfumes are a rich and heady metaphorical mixture ranging from delicate, beautiful floral notes to overtones of bleak, raw, undiluted sewage.
Harry Bosch fans who have ridden Connelly's success train from that very first novel, "The Black Echo", will smile as the blossom of Bosch's love for his newly discovered daughter continues to open, as he struggles to understand and resolve his frustrating relationship with his ex-wife, Eleanor Wish (now working as a professional gambler in the Las Vegas casino circuit), and as he falls into the complication of a new attraction for FBI agent, Rachel Walling.
Harry Bosch is a classic character in the making who will stand beside the likes of Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot for many, many years to come. Highly recommended.