Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong story and characters
Cons: Pacing at times a little slow
The Bottom Line:
In gripping novel to make
Fans read into night
Connelly’s First Great Team Up
Fans of Michael Connelly’s books have learned to expect characters from any book he’s written to suddenly pop up in any other novel. While there had been references to his characters in other books, the first time he really brought back characters in a major way was in A Darkness More Than Night. While it is a good book all on its own, those extra moments make it even better.
Former FBI Agent Terry McCaleb is enjoying his new life on Catalina running a charter fishing company. He’s a family man now, but when he is asked to profile a crime scene in hopes of stopping a potential serial killer, he can’t resist dipping his toe back into his old life. The scene is especially nasty, but one thing sticks out to Terry – a plastic owl at the scene. What does it mean?
Meanwhile, LA detective Harry Bosch is in court. A high-profile defendant, director David Story, is on trial for killing a young woman, and Bosch was the lead investigator on the case. He is confident they have the right man, but can they prove it to a jury?
While this is listed as a Bosch novel, in many ways I feel this is more about Terry McCaleb. He is the one driving most of the investigation while Bosch is tied up in court. Since I loved his character in Blood Work, I was thrilled to see him again and find out what is going on in his life. Not that we don’t get some updates on Bosch and the rest of the regulars in his life, but they aren’t to the same level.
In many ways, this is a super collaboration, with multiple characters showing up. We also see Jack McEvoy from The Poet and get a very brief glimpse of a character from Void Moon. If you haven’t read those books, you aren’t missing out on anything here, but if you have been reading the books in order, this is an added bonus.
And if you just pick up this book, you are in for a great ride, but that’s really no surprise. There is a major plot point that is obvious early on, so we spent some time waiting for the characters to catch up. I felt the scenes with Bosch in court dragged a bit as well. But those are minor issues overall. There are plenty of good complications before we get to the climax. And that climax had me smiling.
It’s also no surprise, I’m sure, to learn that the characters are wonderful. I already touched briefly on the series regulars, but the characters introduced for this book are just as fascinating. Michael Connelly is a master at creating great characters.
I mentioned earlier that the crime scene that Terry is called in to help with is gruesome. I really do mean that. This isn’t one of my normal cozies, and you need to remember that when you sit down to read the book. There is a point to it, so it isn’t gratuitous.
Once again, I listened to this book on audio. Richard M. Davidson was the narrator this time around. He did a good job, although I found his take on Bosch to be a bit annoying. He gave him a gravely voice that I didn’t care for. Just a personal preference issue, and a minor one at that overall.
A Darkness More Than Night is another fantastic book from Michael Connelly. I’m so glad I’ve finally made the time to listen to these books and am already looking forward to his next one.
Here are the rest of the Harry Bosch novels in order.
This review is part of this week's Friday's Forgotten Books.