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A "hot" Harry Bosch thriller!

  • Aug 7, 2010
Having begun life as a 16 part serial for the New York Times, "The Overlook" has a dramatically different flavour than the preceding 12 novels in the continuing, exciting Harry Bosch canon with which Connelly has thrilled his legion of fans. Less grim and foreboding, less atmospheric, less prone to the philosophical meandering that we've come to expect from the angst-ridden backcountry of Bosch's psyche, "The Overlook" is much more of a plot driven novel - a shorter, snappier, purely action oriented police procedural but no less successful and enjoyable for the differences!

Dr Stanley Kent, a medical bio-physicist who had access to radioactive materials used in the treatment of cancers at hospitals throughout LA, has been found murdered - executed, in fact, with two bullets in the back of the head - on a Mulholland Drive overlook. Bosch, assigned to the murder with his new partner, Iggy Ferras, immediately begins to bump heads with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, called in on the case as a result of the potential terrorist involvement with the assassination. The case is mere minutes old and Kent's body has barely begun to cool when Bosch discovers that the crime also involves the theft of a case of potentially deadly radioactive Cesium-137. That the FBI agent assigned to the case is Rachel Walling, Bosch's love interest who we met in Connelly's last novel "Echo Park" complicates matters immensely but certainly doesn't prevent the inevitable inter-organizational war over case jurisdiction.

Bosch, true to the mantra "Everybody counts or nobody counts" which we first heard in "The Last Coyote", focuses on people and is intent on finding Kent's murderers. The FBI, not too surprisingly, treats the murder as incidental and is intent on treating the theft of the Cesium as a threat to national security.

There is no doubt in my mind ... Connelly is brilliant! Even with a purely plot-oriented novel, he has made sure that Bosch loses none of the flavour or depth of character so carefully built up in twelve previous novels. His interaction with Walling is both hot and heated (if you understand the subtle distinction). The jurisdictional squabbling and in-fighting has a definite tinge of realism and, frankly, it is difficult as a reader to sit in judgment in this particular case and take sides. Bosch and Walling, the FBI and the LAPD were all right and wrong at various moments in the novel!

And what can one say about the ending? There is no way that any reader is going to see this fancy twist coming! If you're a Bosch fan, you're gonna love this one! If you haven't read any of Bosch's previous novels, don't start here ... go back and read four or five of the earlier novels (try to pick them up in chronological order - start with "The Black Echo") so you can get that underlying feel for the character first. Then come back and enjoy this one with the rest of us.

Highly recommended!

Paul Weiss

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August 07, 2010
Outstanding review with great reading recommendations!
August 08, 2010
Thanks to both Jenny and Linda for the kind words.
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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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Starred Review.Reviewers were somewhat abrupt about perennial bestseller Connelly's 13th Harry Bosch novel: a quick read, almost half the length of Connelly's previous novels, said one; a tasty hors d'oeuvre quipped another. How smart and fortunate for listeners that Hachette Audio has turned to veteran Connelly reader Len Cariou for some added weight. Cariou catches all the strength and sadness behind Bosch's minimal dialogue and is also perfect as Harry's LAPD colleagues, female and male. He is especially good at bringing to frightening life the real villains: the federal investigators, headed by a former Bosch lover, FBI agent Rachel Walling. The Feds are trying to take over the case of a body found on an overlook near Mulholland Drive—a doctor who turns out to have had access to radioactive materials stored at hospitals throughout L.A. All praise to Hachette for getting Cariou to help us through it. The production boasts original music by Frank Morgan.
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ISBN-10: 1600240003
ISBN-13: 978-1600240003
Author: Michael Connelly
Genre: Books on CD, Mystery & Thrillers
Publisher: Hachette Audio
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