My fourth pick for this series of book-review retrospectives is another January book, The Overlook by Michael Connelly. For the complete review, please see here.
“Michael Connelly has written another work of pared-down genius. The Overlook covers twelve hours in the life of LAPD detective Harry Bosch, from his taking of the case of a man being found dead on the cliffs overlooking Los Angeles, to his solution of the case. The book is simple, with few if any special effects and a simple, direct writing style, but the overall effect is very powerful.
Harry Bosch is 56 years old: he is a Vietnam veteran (a “tunnel rat”) and a long-standing policeman before taking early retirement in a fit of disillusionment with LAPD politics. A few books ago he was persuaded back to serve, working cold cases. The most recent of these, described in Echo Park, ended in a bit of a mess, as a result of which Harry is transferred back into the main business of police work.
Harry stands for the victim. It is impossible to deflect him by political or emotional means, hence he is the eternal outsider, not promoted, and unsuccessful in his relationships outside work because of his moral rigidity. At the start of The Overlook he is sitting at night in his house, waiting for a call, any call. Eventually it comes, leading him to the clifftop scene where a man has been shot in the head, execution style.”