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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DON'T OVERLOOK THIS CONNELLY OFFERING
The Overlook is classic Michael Connelly. Featuring Detective Harry Bosch, late of the LAPD's Homicide Special Squad, and his new partner Ignacio (Call me Iggy) Ferras it offers a mystery that contains all the excellent police procedural murder investigation elements that bears Connelly's signature coupled with an in depth look at the nasty little war that goes on...
Published on March 28, 2008 by Red Rock Bookworm

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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Harry Interlude
This felt like exactly what it was: An expanded serial. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it just felt like it should be the first part of a larger set of stories regarding Bosch. Actually by the time I had finished the book, which takes place over twelve hours, I felt more like I was reading an episode of the television show '24' complete with the terrorist...
Published on August 15, 2007 by Brett Benner


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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DON'T OVERLOOK THIS CONNELLY OFFERING, March 28, 2008
This review is from: The Overlook (Harry Bosch) (Mass Market Paperback)
The Overlook is classic Michael Connelly. Featuring Detective Harry Bosch, late of the LAPD's Homicide Special Squad, and his new partner Ignacio (Call me Iggy) Ferras it offers a mystery that contains all the excellent police procedural murder investigation elements that bears Connelly's signature coupled with an in depth look at the nasty little war that goes on between local and Federal government agencies when they are involved in the same case.

It seems that the murder victim in this case is tied to the disappearance of radioactive material suitable for making a dirty bomb, so of course the FBI and Department of Homeland Security come into the picture and proceed to play a nasty little game of hide and seek with a couple of witnesses thereby reeking havoc on Harry's investigation and thwarting him at every turn.

Harry, of course, is not to be deterred in this cat and mouse game and author Connelly succeeds in providing his readers with yet another story that is intricately plotted, filled with clever clues and misdirection and offers a read that is satisfying down to the very last page. 3 1/2 stars for this one
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Harry Interlude, August 15, 2007
By 
Brett Benner (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This felt like exactly what it was: An expanded serial. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it just felt like it should be the first part of a larger set of stories regarding Bosch. Actually by the time I had finished the book, which takes place over twelve hours, I felt more like I was reading an episode of the television show '24' complete with the terrorist angle to seal the deal. For Bosch fans this is fine to pass a couple of hours until the next big case comes along, but like having a sundae and only getting a scoop of ice cream, it left me wanting more. On a side note, and one that's completely fun, Harry leaves his phone number for another character in the book,and you can actually call it and hear his message machine.
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59 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take a Deep Breath and Dive In, May 22, 2007
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This book is satisfying on every level and deeply so; besides that, I haven't had as fun a read in a very long time. It is an outstanding work by an author who makes good prose and the creation of better characters seem effortless. In essence, a guy gets shot and Detective Bosch goes after the murderer--he goes after nothing else. Set aside about three hours and take the phone off the hook. And please, don't ruin the book for anyone else by giving away the ending.

Readers of Mr. Connelly are familiar with Connelly's protagonist Harry Bosch to a degree that by now we know the good detective, we know what he is about, we know what drives him and we have learned to trust his instincts. Indeed, Detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch is among the most well-developed characters in literature of any genre. His creator has placed Bosch into so many different situations that I was curious as to whether he could continue to keep the character compelling--he can and does. Convincingly so.

The Overlook is driven by plot; it takes place inside a day. Detective Bosch is now at the height of his powers and is no longer given to doubts--he is about the truth, he knows how important it is and what is best about Connelly's writing, the truth is not ambiguous but absolute. It is illuminating to witness Bosch as a mentor with a new partner, a young and gifted detective who has yet to appreciate the clarity of Bosch's vision. In fact, I suspect that new readers will identify quite well with some of Detective Ferras' concerns. But the true depth of this work is in its portrayal of the fact that Bosch's grasp of essential truths is so strong that he cannot be intimidated or distracted by even the most serious of potential threats and consequences. Bosch acts instinctively and as shown in The Overlook, Bosch is at his best when he trusts himself.

Justice is served in a Connelly novel. Justice in general and justice to the reader who shelled out twenty bucks for a chance to journey with Detective Bosch. This was my favorite Bosch yet.

Highest Recommendation
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading, but not one of Connelly's best, August 3, 2007
By 
Bill Garrison (Oklahoma City, OK USA) - See all my reviews
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THE OVERLOOK is the latest Harry Bosch novel released by Michael Connelly. This book, previously released in serial form, is about half as long as a regular Bosch novel. I'm a fan of Connelly and I've only read 5 or 6 of his books but have to admit I'm disappointed in this book. First, considering it's length, you are getting half the novel you usually get from Connelly. Knowing that, the content of the novel has to be judged even more critically, ie. quality, not quantity. In the Bosch books I've read, they've always been short on twists and turns. They've been more like straight forward procedurals that slowly grow on you as the novel moves on. In The Overlook, the novel doesn't have a chance to build up steam, it has to capture you right away. And I don't beleive it does.

Harry is awake, at home around midnight, when he recieves a call. He's a homicide detective now and there's been a murder. Harry calls his new partner Iggy to meet him there. Stanley Kent was murdered at the Overlook, a scenic spot in Hollywood that looks out over the city. Rachel Walling, an FBI agent that Bosch has a history with, also shows up at the scene. The FBI is also highly interested in Stanley Kent. Kent worked in the medical profession with cesium, a highly radioactive material used to treat cancer. Because of the cesium, the FBI believes there may be a possible terrorist angle to the case. Bosch goes to the Kent house and finds his wife, Alicia, naked and hog-tied in the bed.

We learn all that in the opening, and the middle part of the book is what disappointed me. First, since this book is so short, there isn't much room for plot twists and turns. In this book there isn't any. Connelly details the investigation in extreme detail, and unfortunately, none of the details are very interesting. Second, Connelly establishes that the primary conflict in the novel will be jurisdiction. Harry wants the case since it is a homicide. The FBI is more concerned about the national security angle. The novel follows Bosch going back and forth with Walling, backstabbing, playing politics, all in the name of jurisdiction. I'm sure law enforcement agencies have jurisdiction problems all the time, but as a plot device in a novel, it gets old. And it especially doesn't work as the central conflict that drives the novel.

Now, the novel has strong points as well. I've found many Connelly novels to focus on what seems to be boring details, only to have the details come back to matter later. That is true in THE OVERLOOK as well. Every seemingly tedious observaiton Bosch makes in the beginning plays a part in how the case is solved. Bosch fans will enjoy this novel, as I did, because of its brevity and because Bosch is his usual self. I didn't much care for Connelly's commentary on the motives of the FBI in the case, but that really doesn't play a part in the quality of the book. I recommend this to all Bosch fans, but I certainly wouldn't pay full price for a book this short.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harry Bosch Suffered for Your Sins, January 1, 2008
This review is from: The Overlook (Harry Bosch) (Mass Market Paperback)
I'm amazed and puzzled by the number of critical and tepid reviews this latest Harry Bosch novel has received here. Perhaps it isn't as good as the previous books in the series, but since I didn't know we were expected to keep score, I enjoyed it when I read it as it was serialized in the New Yawk Time Magazine and again when it appeared as a novelette. I suspect that the nay-sayers were merely not in the proper mood, because none of their critiques are very cogent.

Certainly there are many faults and weaknesses that one could cite in Michael Connelly's writing. He is occasionally prone to lapse into purple prose - "A Darkness More Than Night"? [i]Woah! Duuude! You talkin' dark, huh?[/i] And the first sentence of this novel is the modern equivalent of "'Twas a dark and stormy night!"

Furthermore, that whole maniac-serial-killer-plot vogue really peaked in the '80s, when every movie and every paperback was about a serial killer - as well as Serial Killer toothpaste and Serial Killer breakfast cereal. (It was a killer cereal!) So much so, that it must've seemed to those living in the civilized nations that every city in the USA had at least ten head of serial killers running around loose wreaking mayhem on Americans, and they were glad to be living in the relative safety of Bosnia. By the time Michael Connelly began writing about his serial killers, the whole device had become shopworn and hackneyed.

Harry Bosch is, of course, Michael Connelly's most popular character, but in retrospect, the entire series is just [b]Michael Connelly writing the same novel over and over again![/b] They're all basically the same book because
1.) Harry Bosch has always just returned to duty after having been (wounded/suspended/prematurely retired/ held in abeyance while Michael Connelly's agents negotiated the movie rights).
2.) Before he can get rolling on the case, however, he is always confronted by his nemesis, (Captain/Deputy Chief/ former Chief) Irving Irving, who menaces Bosch with the threat, "You are going down this time, Detective! We are the Higher-Ups, and we, the evil Higher-Ups, are intent only on making things impossible for detectives!" The concept of the dastardly and meddlesome superiors in the chain of command - as well as the maverick cop - has likewise been done to death and became threadbare with the Dirty Harry movies.
3.) Unlike your grandmother, Bosch is still too stupid to use a simple search engine.
4.) In each novel, Bosch unexpectedly meets his old flame, beautiful (former/active) FBI agent (Eleanor Wish/Rachel Walling), and they promptly end up in (her/his) bed. Alas, the romance never works out, and by the end of the novel they once again go their separate ways, leaving Bosch, the loner, alone again, naturally. (Sigh!)
5.) Confounded in his efforts to apprehend the suspect, Bosch consults a psychic profiler, who - as with real-life profilers - spouts so much psycho-babble and dime-store analysis (that the female was stabbed 143 times with genital mutilation is cited as evidence of "hostility toward women" - diagnosis: it's because the killer couldn't get a date to the prom), but this episode seldom offers any service in finding the real killer.
6.) On page (323 to 405) of each novel, the case takes an unexpected (90'/180') turn when it is revealed that the (pervert/slime-ball) Bosch has been chasing is in fact NOT the killer. Instead, it's always an inside job, and the culprit turns out to be a character who has been appearing on the periphery of the story all along. It always turns out that the (reporter/wife/dirty cop/dirty FBI agent) done it!
7.) The threat from the sinister Higher-Ups is realized, and Bosch is taken off the case. Disobedient as always, Bosch puts his career in jeopardy and strikes out on his own, and in doing so gets even (Edgar's/Rider's) disapproval.
8.) In his perilous chase after the (reporter/wife/dirty cop/dirty FBI agent) murderer, Bosch must crawl through a tunnel or hole (something Freudian going on there) while the insider-villain is shooting at him, and this brings back traumatic memories of his similar experience while serving in Vietnam.
9.) Bosch wins the gun battle, but now there's one more unexpected twist to be revealed - another peripheral character, the (reporter/wife/dirty cop/dirty FBI agent) is in on it too, and Bosch has to take (him/her) down as well, although this is done without gunplay.
10.) All the Higher-Ups are ungrateful that Bosch has stopped the serial killer, and they yet wish to persecute him, but by some lucky detail, he is allowed to keep his job.

I suppose others could add to this list of similarities in all the novels, but follow that recipe, and you could write your own Harry Bosch thriller! It'd help, though, if you had the marvelous talent of Michael Connelly. None of the above should be taken as a dismissal or disparagement of these books, because not only have I read this novel/novella twice, I have reread every one of Michael Connelly's novels (the record being four times for "Angels Flight") - always at one sitting, not because the books are "impossible to put down," but why would anyone want to put one down? What writer offers more reading pleasure than Michael Connelly? Perhaps finer novels have been written, but there is no other writer who has shown such consistent merit. More than anyone else, he's the Great American Novelist.

Ignore the clichés and formula! Michael Connelly has a superb ear for dialogue - equal to that of Elmore Leonard. Whatever their creative plots, other writers (e.g., Patricia Cornwell) produce stilted dialogue that you could never imagine having been spoken. There are also clever turns such as in this novel where Harry Bosch says, "That's exactly what I wanted to hear." (The set-up having been placed two pages earlier.)

And in Harry Bosch, Michael Connelly has sculpted the perfect American hero - the one man who fights for everyman, who fights for the forgotten man. Need I tell you that the whodunit facet of these books is of no significance? What's important here is the existential dilemma - one man versus an unjust and uncaring universe. What paladin can rescue us from the evil and woe of our poor circumstances? It is certainly not our masters and chiefs who have for centuries kept the spoils for themselves and worsened our helpless situation, and nowhere is this more evident than in the epitome of the pits, Los Angeles - where millions of primates are confined to struggle in a battle royale. We're all looking for someone to set things right - this idealist who can get things done, no matter what his risk.

Americans (who get less vacation time than anyone) all hate their bosses. They hate the culture of conformity and hierarchy they have built but are powerless or too timid to rebel against. Therefore, they must resist vicariously through Harry Bosch, who can withstand the pressure and who has the courage to defy the bosses. He's a liberal and a libertarian, a rogue and a knight. Harry Bosch is not America's Sherlock Holmes, he's America's saint, America's redeemer - born not of virgin, but of whore. (Michael Connelly has divulged that the character is an amalgam of three separate, but equal, detectives he has known.) Internal affairs has crucified Harry Bosch over and over, but he always rises up from the dead to resume the battle against the forces of darkness.

(Sorry for the exaggerated rave, but I just finished reading "Echo Park" for the third time, and I'm frenetic with enthusiasm.)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Who will be running the show?", June 9, 2007
Michael Connelly's "The Overlook" brings back veteran homicide detective and confirmed cynic, Harry Bosch, who is now working out of Homicide Special. Harry's supervisor calls him at midnight and instructs him to drive out to the overlook above the Mulholland Dam in Los Angeles. There lies the body of forty-two year old Dr. Stanley Kent, a medical physicist who handles nuclear material used in the treatment of cancer.

Before long, the feds are in the picture, trying to take over. Among them is Harry's former lover, Special Agent Rachel Walling, of a shadowy FBI unit known as Tactical Intelligence. The federal authorities believe that the killers may be terrorists who stole cesium pellets that had been in Kent's possession. This radioactive substance would be deadly if it were placed in an improvised explosive device and detonated in a populated area.

Harry is in an awkward position. Although he was assigned to investigate Kent's homicide, Rachel and her partner are shutting him out. Bosch fears that he may end up a spectator rather than a participant in his case, and he is determined to do whatever it takes to solve the murder his way. Assisting Harry is his new partner, Ignacio Ferras, who is more than twenty years younger and a straight arrow. Ignacio is uneasy with the older man's freewheeling style, his irreverence, and his tendency to ignore orders when it suits him.

"The Overlook" was originally a sixteen-part serial that was published in the New York Times Magazine, and this relatively brief novel has a sketchy quality. Connelly's novels are usually more complex, with multi-layered plots, sharply delineated characters, and even a bit of philosophy thrown in. This is a standard police procedural that feels a bit formulaic, with its done-to-death themes of warring law enforcement agencies, bureaucratic ineptitude, and a possible terrorism angle.

However, Michael Connelly still scores with "The Overlook" because Harry Bosch is so intelligent and relentless in his pursuit of the truth. The veteran detective uses his superb powers of observation, his knowledge of human nature, and his decades of experience to see connections that everyone else has missed. Harry manages to turn the entire investigation on its ear, and once again he redeems himself just when it appears that he has burned all his bridges behind him. Harry is a keeper, one of the good guys, a pessimist who feels the pull of the darkness but, as he tells himself, "the important thing is to fight it." As long as Harry is out there doing what he does best, his fans will be following along with him.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Harry Bosch Returns - Another Page Turner, July 18, 2007
By 
John R. Linnell (New Gloucester, ME United States) - See all my reviews
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Stanley Kent is a medical physicist. A dead one. Two bullets in the back of the head, execution style on the overlook above Mulholland dam in LA. Harry Bosch is assigned the case. While at the crime scene he is joined by an old friend, FBI Special Agent Rachael Walling who also has an interest in Mr. Kent.

Walling is a member of the FBI Tactical Intelligence Unit. She quickly educates Harry to the fact that what appears to be a murder may be a part of a terroisim plot. Kent, in his line of work has access to radioactive materials. The kind that can be used to build a dirty bomb.

A visit to Kent's home finds his wife naked, gagged and hog tied. She relates a story of two masked men breaking into the home, sending Kent an E-mail containing a picture of his wife and instructions to obtain as much cesium as is available to him and to bring it to the Mulholland overlook or else his wife will be killed.

Kent's activities are traced and it is clear that he has done as requested. The Feds are now looking for terroists who may be intent on buillding and setting off a dirty bomb. Bosch is still looking for the murderer, figuring that if you find one, you find both.

Tensions develop between the FBI unit and Bosch's investigation. Serious ones.

To tell you more about how this all plays out would be to spoil a very good story. My only complaint about the book is that it is a bit short, having been originally written in serial form for the NYT Sunday Magazine and rewritten and expanded into this book.

Michael Connelly remains an author worth reading and the novels invoving Harry Bosh remain his most entertaining.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book, July 4, 2007
By 
D. Smolarek (Chicago, IL USA) - See all my reviews
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This shortened novel is the completed serialization Connelly did for the NY Times. It is a short but entertaining look at Harry Bosch after Echo Park. New situation, new partner. And it does not fail his readers. Harry's character still acts with his own sense of honor and duty. Never taking his eyes off of the goal - first and foremost a murder - a scientist who was coerced to steal radioactive substances to save his wife's life, is murdered after he comes through with his part of the deal. With a quantity of radioactive materials not accounted for, the FBI and National Security are called in. Piecing together the actions and the facts are what Harry does best, and he doesn't fail us.
From start to end, the book covers about 12 hours real time - and that was fascinating to see Harry in action under time constraints.
While this book may not have had the time for the usual complexities, Overlook comes through for us - until we get the next full length adventure.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best yet from a continuing best yet writer, July 3, 2007
Michael Connelly is simply the best in a field with very few hacks these days.I write in this genre, too, but I do not compare. In addition, I have been a federal agent, a criminal investigator, as well as a public defender investigator. This is a preface to remark on how accurate Connelly is (rarely so in fiction), and how close to the actual "feeling" of the real thing he comes with his characters. I know he was a crime reporter, but this guy knows people in the life who trust him, and who inform him from the most ragged center of those in the business. And last, this guy can write. It may be a genre, but this is also mainstream American Novel writing.

Philip Shelton
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Minor Effort from Connelly, August 2, 2007
By 
Thriller Lover (Las Vegas, Nevada) - See all my reviews
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I'm a big fan of Michael Connelly, who is probably the best crime writer working today. THE OVERLOOK, though, is a pretty forgettable effort.

THE OVERLOOK is Connelly's effort to do a novel like the 24 TV show. The book takes place over a twelve hour period, and Bosch is working with the FBI to foil what looks like a terrorist plot. As usual, Bosch makes a lot of enemies during his investigation, due to his irascible manner.

This is a relatively short book, with more of a focus on pacing than character development. I enjoyed it for what it was, but I prefer the longer Connelly books where he spent more time on characterization and creating a sense of place. There are certain characters in THE OVERLOOK, for example, who are pretty much portrayed as two-dimensional buffoons, which no nuance whatsoever. I'm not a big fan of this type of cartoonish characterization, and I think Connelly can do much better than this.

There is also a twist at the end of this book that Connelly has used before in previous novels. In fact, a lot of the scenes in this book struck me as kind of recycled from Connelly's earlier work. Other than Bosch's relationship with his new partner, there is very little in this novel that struck me as original.

This book is fun, but I must admit I expected a little more from it. Worth reading, but not one of Connelly's best.
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The Overlook (Harry Bosch)
The Overlook (Harry Bosch) by Michael Connelly (Mass Market Paperback - January 1, 2008)
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