Friday, October 19, 2018

Book Review: City of Bones by Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch #8)

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters
Cons: Plot gets too sidetracked
The Bottom Line:
Buried skeleton
Missing the usual sparks
Not Bosch at his best

Can Bosch Solve a Cold Case?

I took a break from my normal audio book authors this summer, partially to branch out a little, and partially because I was waiting for City of Bones to become available at my local library.  Fortunately, it came in while I still had some driving to do even if the long driving I’d done early in the summer was over, so I was able to get the book listened to.

LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch isn’t inclined to take the call seriously.  A citizen has called in saying his dog has uncovered a human bone.  Bosch has dealt with these calls before, and they always turn out to be an animal bone.  The difference this time is the citizen is a retired doctor, and he is correct.

It isn’t long before Harry and his partner, Jerry Edger, are working on a cold case.  The skeleton was that of a pre-teen boy who had experienced abuse all his life before he died roughly 20 years ago.  Can they find out who he was?  Will they be able to find a killer to bring to justice?

I was excited to see Bosch tackle a cold case, figuring that there would be some twists and turns to keep us engaged.  Sadly, I felt this book got sidetracked by the sub-plots Bosch encountered along the way, and some of the complications he did encountered along the way related to the case were predictable for fans of the series.  Now, don’t get me wrong, the mystery is still good.  Even an average book by Michael Connelly still has a good mystery.  But it’s not nearly as strong a mystery as he usually delivers.

The one thing the sub-plots do is allow Bosch to shine.  I hadn’t realized quite how much development we were getting for him until the end of the book.  Suddenly, much of what had happened in the book makes sense.  And now I’m anxious to find out what happens next to Bosch.  If only I didn’t have a stand-alone to listen to first.

Like Bosch, the rest of the cast gets their chance to grow.  I felt like Jerry had some strong moments here, something I haven’t always thought in the past.  There really wasn’t a bad character in the book.

And the book comes with the usual foul language, sex, and violence I’d expect in a Michael Connelly book.  This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone reading the series at this point.

The audio version I listened to was narrated by Peter J. Fernandez, who did a fantastic job.  The more audio books I listen to, the more I realize just how much talent and work goes into it.

Fans of the series who have missed City of Bones will need to pick it up to learn just what happens to Bosch here.  However, if you are new to Michael Connelly’s excellent books, start somewhere else since this isn’t one of his better books.

You'll definitely want to read the rest of the Harry Bosch novels.

This book is part of this week's Friday's Forgotten Books.

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