Friday, August 16, 2013

The Black Box by Michael Connelly

 The Black Box in the title refers to an item that, like the black box in an airplane, has the right information for a detective to understand exactly why or how a murder happened. In Harry Bosch's current case, retrieving the black box has taken more than twenty years. He's investigating a cold case that began during the L.A. Riots, when there were far too many bodies turning up to give each of them a proper investigation.

A Danish reporter was murdered in an alley, execution style, her body left slumped near a chain link fence. Everyone has always assumed that it was one of the local gangs who killed her, and Harry starts down that road to begin with. The trail does lead, somewhat circuitously, to an item very similar to a black box - a black pistol. Tracing the provenance of the pistol gets a little twisty (though Connelly always finds a way for Harry to get what he needs more quickly than the normal bureaucratic grist must grind, so the story doesn't drag out for months), but eventually it leads Harry to ask the right questions.

It's almost a required plot element for Harry Bosch books that he have some sort of conflict with his boss, and even get dragged in front of Internal Affairs at some point, and the book also delivers on that score. Not a bad installment in the series, but it really brings nothing new and exciting to the table.

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