Friday, January 25, 2019

Book Review: Lost Light by Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch #9)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters; fast paced plot
Cons: None
The Bottom Line:
Bosch on a cold case
Finds plenty of heat and twists
Engrossing again

Bosch Shines Light on a Cold Case

I was anxious to get back to Harry Bosch since the previous book in the series ended with a shift in Harry's life.  I knew the shift was coming eventually, but I was anxious to see how his life would progress from there, so I was happy to sit down with Lost Light.  I was even happier when I discovered just how good this entry in the series is.

It's been eight months since Harry "pulled the pin."  For those of us who are civilians, that just means he retired from his job as a detective with the Los Angeles police department.  In that time, he's tried to relax and adjust to civilian life, but some of his old unsolved cases are still haunting him.

When another former cop calls Harry, he can't help but dig out his files and start looking again at the case of Angella Benton, a case they both worked on.  This young woman was strangled in the entrance to her apartment building.  Just as Bosch was beginning to investigate, the heist of two million dollars from a movie set gave the case a bigger profile, and the robbery homicide division took it over.  Four years later, the murder remains unsolved and the money has not been found.  But Bosch has barely begun poking into it again before he is warned off.  Is someone still interested in this case?  Can Bosch solve it without his badge to open doors for him?

This book does a good job of pulling us in right away, giving us the backstory in an interesting way that keeps us engaged while also giving us the start of Harry's current investigation.  As in all good Michael Connelly novels, this one takes off in some unexpected directions that keep us glued to the page through the twists until we reach the end.

While Bosch may not be a police officer, we do still get cameos by many of the regular characters from the series, something I was thankful for.  It's nice to see them again.  I enjoyed seeing Bosch attempt to work around his status as a retired cop and still get the information he needs to solve the case.  Bosch finds some excuses to head out to Vegas as well, meaning that he encounters his ex-wife again.  I am spoiled for their relationship, but I still find myself pulling for them to work things out as I read these books.  Naturally, the book has some new characters who come to life as the story progresses.

One thing that surprised me was that this book is narrated first person from Harry's point of view.  While this isn't the first time I've run across this is Michael Connelly's books, this was the first time I have run across it in a Harry Bosch novel.  I enjoy first person narration, so I enjoyed that aspect of the book.

Naturally, the book does contain more language and violence than I'm used to in my cozies, but I felt that it was appropriate to the story and never got gratuitous.  On the other hand, some passages are beautifully written, especially passages where Bosch is thinking about life.  As always, they are a true pleasure and help elevate these books.

Once again, I listened to the audio version, this time narrated by Len Cariou.  For the most part, I enjoyed his performance, although there was one character he did that really annoyed me.  I'm sure his performance was accurate, but it still made for uncomfortable listening when that character was in a scene.  Fortunately, he wasn't a major player in the action of the book.

I know that Bosch's employment status changes several more times in the books ahead of me, but it is nice to see the first of these.  Lost Light is just as good as the rest of the series, and I'm already looking forward to reading the next.

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

Here are the rest of the Harry Bosch novels in order.

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