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A Darkness More Than Night

A book by Michael Connelly

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Harry Bosch, as a man, grows ever darker and deeper!

  • Jan 19, 2010
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When the LAPD run into a brick wall solving a bizarre murder, sheriff's detective, Jay Winston, asks her friend Terry McCaleb, a retired FBI agent recently recovered from a heart transplant, to help them out by polishing up his psychological profiling skills and putting them back to work on their stalled case. Edward Gunn, a small-time LA hood involved with the murder of a prostitute was himself found tied, gagged and strangled. McCaleb is convinced that the key to finding Gunn's murderer rests with two bizarre clues - the statue of an owl found in the room with Gunn and the inscription on the tape binding his mouth, "Cave Cave Dus Videt" or "Beware, Beware, God Sees" translated from a version of Latin spoken around the time of the Renaissance.

McCaleb started his search for details on Gunn's murder with an interview of detective Harry Bosch. Bosch, who had been assigned the case of the prostitute's murder and was certain that Gunn had been the killer, was apparently one of the last people to see Gunn alive. But Bosch can only find time to give McCaleb the most cursory of interviews. His time and his mind are fully occupied as the star witness in the very high profile prosecution of David Storey. Storey, a fabulously wealthy Hollywood producer, is on trial for the sex slaying of a young actress. He's alleged to have strangled her during a bout of rough sex and then staged the scene to make her death look like a case of accidental auto-erotic asphyxia.

It's that bizarre owl that's the centerpiece of McCaleb's investigative efforts. Author Connelly leads McCaleb (and this fascinated reader) on a magnificent journey through "A Garden of Earthly Delights", as it were - a fabulously informative sidebar on the paintings of sixteenth century Dutch Renaissance painter, Hieronymus Bosch. It isn't long before McCaleb and Winston have Harry Bosch in their sights as their sole suspect in Gunn's murder. They've got it figured as Bosch meting out frontier justice because he couldn't corral Gunn within the framework of the legitimate legal system.

"A Darkness More Than Night" is unquestionably the darkest and most complex story yet in the ever growing Harry Bosch canon. Connelly skillfully weaves the story of Gunn's murder into the tale of David Storey's trial for murder and brings both stories to a superb conclusion. But for all the complexity and brilliance of the plot that Connelly has devised, it is really the growing, ever deepening and ever darkening character of Harry Bosch that takes centre stage in this particular play. From his earliest appearance in "The Black Echo" as a shell-shocked Vietnam War tunnel rat returning to an ungrateful country to his suspension for pushing his supervisor through the glass window of his office, Connelly continues to make Bosch an ever-deepening mystery. Maverick, loner, cowboy, sinner, saint, psycho ... all of the above? How are we to know?

A superb addition to the Harry Bosch series. Highly recommended.

Paul Weiss

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More A Darkness More Than Night reviews
Quick Tip by . June 20, 2010
Harry Bosch & Terry McCaleb together in a Michael Connelly thriller. Taut and fast-paced, this is a real page turner. You won't be disappointed!
review by . November 14, 2007
What's interesting about the Bosch novels is that every one has a slightly different twist. The twist in Darkness is the grudging collaboration between two old pros, Bosch and McCaleb. Neither one is a sweetheart - you don't want to cross these guys, and even when they are forced to cooperate, they can't quite become friends. McCaleb strongly suspects that Bosch has slipped over the edge, morphing from avenging detective to vengeful murderer. Bosch is stunned and insulted, and, when he discovers …
review by . May 05, 2003
In the long series involving his signature character Harry Bosch, Mr. Connelly writes of the darkness found in good men everywhere. Police officers who deal with the worst that society has to offer while trying not to lose their own decency. This novel is no exception and another pleasurable read. If this is your first exposure to Mr. Connellys prose, you are in for a real treat. Harry Bosch is a LAPD detective and is currently involved in an O. J. style celebrity court case. An actress is dead, …
review by . January 30, 2001
A bizarre torture killing brings together two series detectives, retired FBI serial-killer profiler Terry McCaleb ("Blood Work") and the brooding LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch.Ritualistic elements in the murder of a sadistic drunk, trussed up so as to slowly strangle himself, prompt LAPD detective Jaye Winston to consult McCaleb, whose heart transplant forced his retirement. McCaleb's immediate and intense focus on the case threatens his tranquil Catalina Island idyll as new father and husband. …
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Paul Weiss ()
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   A modern day dilettante with widely varied eclectic interests. A dabbler in muchbut grandmaster of none - wilderness camping in all four seasons, hiking, canoeing, world travel,philately, … more
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About this book


When a sheriff's detective shows up on former FBI man Terry McCaleb's Catalina Island doorstep and requests his help in analyzing photographs of a crime scene, McCaleb at first demurs. He's newly married (to Graciela, who herself dragged him from retirement into a case inBlood Work), has a new baby daughter, and is finally strong again after a heart transplant. But once a bloodhound, always a bloodhound. One look at the video of Edward Gunn's trussed and strangled body puts McCaleb back on the investigative trail, hooked by two details: the small statue of an owl that watches over the murder scene and the Latin words "Cave Cave Dus Videt," meaning "Beware, beware, God sees," on the tape binding the victim's mouth.

Gunn was a small-time criminal who had been questioned repeatedly by LAPD Detective Harry Bosch in the unsolved murder of a prostitute, most recently on the night he was killed. McCaleb knows the tense, cranky Bosch (Michael Connelly's series star--see The Black Echo, The Black Ice, et al.) and decides to start by talking to him. But Bosch has time only for a brief chat. He's a prosecution witness in the high-profile trial of David Storey, a film director accused of killing a young actress during rough sex. By chance, however, McCaleb discovers an abstruse but concrete link between the scene of Gunn's murder and Harry Bosch's name:

"This last guy's work is supposedly replete with owls all over the ...
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ISBN-10: 0316154075
ISBN-13: 978-0316154079
Author: Michael Connelly
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
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