Number four in the Harry Bosch series and I feel that I have read many more than four of the series. Must be the fact that I’ve read all of the Mickey Haller series where Harry (we’re on a first name basis now) plays a role in the books, sometimes bigger than 'walk-ons.’
I simply love Michael Connelly’s skillful writing. He writes with the reader in mind with descriptive, flowing sentences. Great characters described so well that you can vision them in your mind’s eye and scenery that takes you there.
Some professional reviewers have likened Connelly’s writing to noir but I disagree. His writing is in a league of his own and I’ve read enough noir to compare them.
To me, thus far, Harry has been an enigma and not very likable, to me, anyhow. Until now that is with the reading of this book. He’s been brash, arrogant, impetuous, self-absorbing and insensitive. My perception of Harry now, due to this book, has changed dramatically. I’ve seen a person who is indeed, very sensitive underneath and who is actively trying to become a better person. He wants to do the right thing in spite of everything flowing in and out and around him.
The book opens with his world falling to pieces and his denial of it all; his home is due to be demolished because of the earthquake and he continues working on it; he’s on involuntary stress leave from the LAPD because he threw his boss into a plate glass window (his boss lived with minor scratches); his long time (for him) girlfriend left him because she (he says) found out who he is; and lastly, he’s drinking too much. He’s tried to deny all of these events.
Because of the episode between Harry and his boss, he’s placed on involuntary stress leave and ordered to see the LAPD psychologist. At first he’s hesitant to interact with the psychologist who appears to be intuitive and willing to go the distance with him. She has the power to cut his career short or let it continue. She has his life in her hands and Harry’s not happy about that but is acutely aware of it. However, she’s skillful in drawing him out and he learns to respect her. He decides to look in the mirror and see the ‘real Harry.’
“Everybody counts or nobody counts” is his mantra, meaning victims regardless of who they are should receive equal treatment in an investigation of their murder. And number one on his list is his mother who was murdered 30+ years ago with an investigation which was hardly a blip by the department. He wonders why?
This begins Harry’s venture to find out what happened to his mother who was a prostitute when she was murdered. Everybody counts, even his prostitute mother. This quest relates closely to Harry’s introspection and his final revelations about himself.
The ending has numerous surprises which seem to go on and on. The ending brought this book from a solid four to a solid five stars for me, the best Harry Bosch yet.