Michael Connelly, whose novel The Poet
won the 1997 Anthony Award for Best Mystery, is already recognized as one of the smartest and most vivid scribes of the hard-boiled police procedural. Now, with his much-anticipated sixth Harry Bosch novel, Angels Flight
, Connelly offers one of the finest pieces of mystery writing to appear in 1998. Bosch is awakened in the middle of the night and, out of rotation, he is assigned to the murder investigation of the high-profile African American attorney Howard Elias. When Bosch arrives at the scene, it seems that almost the entire LAPD is present, including the IAD (the Internal Affairs Division). Elias, who made a career out of suing the police, was sadistically gunned down on the Angels Flight tram just as he was beginning a case that would have struck the core of the department; not surprisingly, L.A.'s men and women in blue become the center of the investigation. Haunted by the ghost of the L.A. riots, plagued by incessant media attention, and facing turmoil at home, Bosch suddenly finds himself questioning friends and associates while working side by side with some longtime enemies.
Angels Flight is a detective's nightmare scenario and is disturbingly relevant to the racially tense last decade of the 20th century. Amidst the twists and turns of his complex narrative, Connelly affirms his rightful place among the masters of contemporary mystery fiction. --Patrick O'Kelley
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From Publishers Weekly
Connelly's novel follows series hero Harry Bosch's investigation into the murder of an African-American defense attorney who made a career of courtroom victories at the expense of the Los Angeles Police Department. This installment in the series is especially dark, and narrator Peter Giles's reads in a voice that echoes with the dry croaking of a lifelong smoker—something that establishes a noirlike mood from the get-go. The narrator ably matches Bosch's downbeat mood, shifting from anger at having to deal with racism, not just in his city but within the ranks of the LAPD, to weariness, sadness, and frustration at his inability to stop the disintegration of his marriage. Giles sands some of the roughness from his voice and pitches it slightly higher for the book's female characters, like the detective's soon-to-be-separated wife and his partner, Kiz Rider. But there's still an edge rough enough to remind us we're not listening to an Agatha Christie cozy. A Grand Central paperback. (June)
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