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The Black Ice (Harry Bosch) Mass Market Paperback – December 2, 2003

858 customer reviews
Book 2 of 18 in the A Harry Bosch Novel Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

LAPD detective Hieronymous "Harry" Bosch, protagonist of the highly praised mystery The Black Echo , returns in a procedural thriller set in and around the drug-trafficking underworlds of inner-city Los Angeles and the wastelands of Mexico. When Bosch arrives at a sleazy hotel room where a fellow officer has committed suicide, he senses that something is awry. Noncommittal superior officers, a diffident widow and tales linking the dead man to a newly created street drug called "black ice" (heroin, crack and PCP rolled into one) send Bosch down a winding trail of forensic impossibilities, brutally violent drug traffickers and an ultimately shocking case of mistaken identity. Award-winning Connelly's second fictional effort is strong and sure. His pacing could be better--too often he conveys the same information twice--but his plot and characters more than make up for a slow start. This novel establishes him as a writer with a superior talent for storytelling.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

Second tense, tightly wound tangle of a case for Hieronymous Bosch (The Black Echo, 1991). This time out, the LAPD homicide cop, who's been exiled to Hollywood Division for his bumptious behavior, sniffs out the bloody trail of the designer drug ``black ice.'' Connelly (who covers crime for the Los Angeles Times) again flexes his knowledge of cop ways--and of cop-novel clich‚s. Cast from the hoary mold of the maverick cop, Bosch pushes his way onto the story's core case--the apparent suicide of a narc--despite warnings by top brass to lay off. Meanwhile, Bosch's boss, a prototypical pencil-pushing bureaucrat hoping to close out a majority of Hollywood's murder cases by New Year's Day, a week hence, assigns the detective a pile of open cases belonging to a useless drunk, Lou Porter. One of the cases, the slaying of an unidentified Hispanic, seems to tie in to the death of the narc, which Bosch begins to read as murder stemming from the narc's dirty involvement in black ice. When Porter is murdered shortly after Bosch speaks to him, and then the detective's love affair with an ambitious pathologist crashes, Bosch decides to head for Mexico, where clues to all three murders point. There, the well-oiled, ten- gear narrative really picks up speed as Bosch duels with corrupt cops; attends the bullfights; breaks into a fly-breeding lab that's the distribution center for Mexico's black-ice kingpin; and takes part in a raid on the kingpin's ranch that concludes with Bosch waving his jacket like a matador's cape at a killer bull on the rampage. But the kingpin escapes, leading to a not wholly unexpected twist--and to a touching assignation with the dead narc's widow. Expertly told, and involving enough--but lacking the sheer artistry and heart-clutching thrills of, say, David Lindsay's comparable Stuart Haydon series (Body of Evidence, etc.). -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 439 pages
  • Publisher: Vision (December 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446613444
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446613446
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (858 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Connelly was born in Philadelphia, PA on July 21, 1956. He moved to Florida with his family when he was 12 years old. Michael decided to become a writer after discovering the books of Raymond Chandler while attending the University of Florida. Once he decided on this direction he chose a major in journalism and a minor in creative writing -- a curriculum in which one of his teachers was novelist Harry Crews.

After graduating in 1980, Connelly worked at newspapers in Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, primarily specializing in the crime beat. In Fort Lauderdale he wrote about police and crime during the height of the murder and violence wave that rolled over South Florida during the so-called cocaine wars. In 1986, he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of a major airline crash. They wrote a magazine story on the crash and the survivors which was later short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. The magazine story also moved Connelly into the upper levels of journalism, landing him a job as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, one of the largest papers in the country, and bringing him to the city of which his literary hero, Chandler, had written.

After three years on the crime beat in L.A., Connelly began writing his first novel to feature LAPD Detective Hieronymus Bosch. The novel, The Black Echo, based in part on a true crime that had occurred in Los Angeles, was published in 1992 and won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by the Mystery Writers of America. Connelly followed up with three more Bosch books, The Black Ice, The Concrete Blonde, and The Last Coyote, before publishing The Poet in 1996--a thriller with a newspaper reporter as a protagonist. In 1997, he went back to Bosch with Trunk Music, and in 1998 another non-series thriller, Blood Work, was published. It was inspired in part by a friend's receiving a heart transplant and the attendant "survivor's guilt" the friend experienced, knowing that someone died in order that he have the chance to live. Connelly had been interested and fascinated by those same feelings as expressed by the survivors of the plane crash he wrote about years before. The movie adaptation of Blood Work was released in 2002, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood.

Connelly's next book, Angels Flight, was released in 1999 and was another entry in the Harry Bosch series. The non-series novel Void Moon was released in 2000 and introduced a new character, Cassie Black, a high-stakes Las Vegas thief. His 2001 release, A Darkness More Than Night, united Harry Bosch with Terry McCaleb from Blood Work, and was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Los Angeles Times.

In 2002, Connelly released two novels. The first, the Harry Bosch book City Of Bones, was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times. The second release was a stand-alone thriller, Chasing The Dime, which was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Los Angeles Times.

Lost Light was published in 2003 and named one of the Best Books of 2003 by the Los Angeles Times. It is another in the Harry Bosch series but the first written in first person.
Connelly's 2004 novel, The Narrows, is the sequel to The Poet. It was named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Los Angeles Times. His 11th Harry Bosch novel, The Closers, was published in 2005, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. The Lincoln Lawyer, Connelly's first-ever legal thriller and his 16th novel, was published in 2005 and also debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. This book introduced Mickey Haller, a Los Angeles defense attorney who works out of the back seat of his Lincoln Town Car. The movie adaptation, starring Matthew McConaughey as Haller, was released in 2011. This is the second film adapted from a Connelly novel.

Crime Beat, a non-fiction collection of crime stories from Michael's days as a journalist, was released in 2006, as was the Harry Bosch novel, Echo Park. The Overlook, Michael's 18th novel, was originally serialized in the New York Times Magazine. This Harry Bosch story was published as a book with additional material in 2007.

Michael's 19th novel, The Brass Verdict, was released in 2008, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It introduces Lincoln lawyer Mickey Haller to LAPD Detective Harry Bosch in a fast-paced legal thriller. Michael's 20th novel, The Scarecrow, was released in 2009, and reunites reporter Jack McEvoy and FBI Agent Rachel Walling for the first time since The Poet. It too debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Michael released a second book in 2009, the 15th Harry Bosch novel, Nine Dragons. In this story, Bosch goes to Hong Kong to find his missing daughter.

In 2010, The Reversal was released and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. This book has Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch working together on the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. The Fifth Witness, a Mickey Haller novel, was released in 2011 and also debuted at #1. Michael's 2011 novel, The Drop, a Harry Bosch novel, debuted at #1. Another #1 ranked book, The Black Box, focuses on Harry Bosch once again and is Michael's 25th novel. Its release came in Michael's 20th year in publishing, 2012. The Gods of Guilt , a Mickey Haller novel, was released in 2013, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. The Burning Room, a Harry Bosch novel, was released in 2014 and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Fifty-eight million copies of Connelly's books have sold worldwide and he has been translated into thirty-nine foreign languages. He has won the Edgar Award, Anthony Award, Macavity Award, Los Angeles Times Best Mystery/Thriller Award, Shamus Award, Dilys Award, Nero Award, Barry Award, Audie Award, Ridley Award, Maltese Falcon Award (Japan), .38 Caliber Award (France), Grand Prix Award (France), Premio Bancarella Award (Italy), and the Pepe Carvalho award (Spain) .

In addition to his literary work, Michael is one of the producers and writers of the TV show, "Bosch," which is streaming on Amazon Prime Instant Video now. All 10 episodes can be watched here:

Michael lives with his family in Florida.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

272 of 281 people found the following review helpful By Douglas A. Greenberg VINE VOICE on December 11, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Michael Connelly's books are definitively within the "hard-boiled urban detective" genre that historically has been highlighted by the work of Raymond Chandler and other great mystery writers. *The Black Ice* is the second in a series of novels with LAPD detective Hieronymous Bosch as the protagonist (the first was *The Black Echo*), and it's definitely a winner. There's murder, intrigue, twists and turns in the plot, and plenty of action, as well.
One thing that Connelly does particularly well is to include geographical/place descriptions in his work. When one reads his descriptions of life in Los Angeles or travels to a bordertown like Mexicali, these places really do seem real and are accurately depicted.
The book is not perfect; as in so many police mysteries, sometimes the clues come just a bit too neatly packaged, and at times this doesn't seem realistic. But then, real police work is probably pretty dull 90% of the time (false leads, endless drudgery, etc.), so streamlining the process for the sake of fast-moving fiction is certainly forgiveable. The other thing that had me rolling my eyes a bit is the obligatory "romantic angle" that seems always to be a subplot in these books. Again, it's kind of a sacred part of the genre, but wouldn't it be interesting if for once Bosch noted the "gorgeous but sad woman" and then went about his business without becoming involved with her?
All in all, this is a terrific book and an absorbing, "can't put it down" read. One last thing: I would recommend that people who wish to read the Bosch novels start with the first (*The Black Echo*) and read them in chronological order, as Connelly is very careful in his novels about maintaining accurate references to what has happened to his protagonist previously.
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76 of 81 people found the following review helpful By ausc on August 26, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Let me preface this review by saying that I'm a big Connelly fan. I've read virtually all of his books but never got around to reading his sophomore effort "The Black Ice" until now. And I have to say that I was a bit disappointed.

In his Edgar Award winning first novel, "The Black Echo", Connelly delved deep into the demons of main character Harry Bosch's past and relates it to the case before him. In "The Black Ice", Connelly focuses less on the development and insight into Bosch's character and more on Bosch's hard-nosed determination to find the link between two cases, one involving the murder of a "Juan" Doe and the other involving the apparent suicide of a cop in the narcotics unit.

First the positives: There are flashes of vintage Connelly in this book, such as attention to detail when involving the reader in the different locales Bosch visits in pursuit of his investigation. And without revealing too much, the investigation takes us to both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and Bosch's struggle to keep the case moving forward while still trying to maintain the appearance of compliance with Mexican law enforcement officials is particularly interesting.

Now the reason for 3 stars: To be honest, it's a bit slow. Connelly focuses too many pages of the book on the investigation of the narcotics cop's suicide, then once the results of that is revealed, the book then goes into a whirlwind of activity that makes the story seem disjointed, as if one author wrote the first half and another author wrote the second half.

You also sympathize less with Bosch's character in this book. Again, without revealing too much, Bosch "intimate" encounters in this book make you almost hate him.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By booknblueslady on December 19, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Michael Connelly consistently delivers exciting hard-boiled police procedurals with Harry Bosch in control. In Black Ice Bosch is cut out of an investigation of an apparent suicide of narcotics officer Calexico Moore by the bigwigs of the department. They want to do what is pc and Bosch is definitely not that. At the same time Bosch's supervisor Pound feels compelled to increase the percentages of his homicides solved so Bosch is elected to solve some cases of an out on stress leave detective, Porter. Harry realizes that Porter's case, his own and Moore's "suicide" are all tied together. As usual Bosch cuts corners and goes out on his own to make the pieces fit.
An excellent read for any fan of mystery and suspense. Connelly is always exciting and hard to put down. I am ready for a new one. For anyone unfamiliar with Connelly and Harry Bosch, read them in order and not spread out over years as I have done.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Manuel Gwiazda on December 20, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading the black echo, I found the black ice a more consistent story, far more interesting and credible. This time Harry is driven down to the US- Mexican border in his quest to solve a drug related crime of an anti-narcotics unit cop who apparently crossed to the bad side of the line. Harry, stubborn, bright and cunning makes his own decisions, shows a little quota of contempt and rebels himself against his bosses making him an example of self determination and a character of his own.
In my opinion, this work would have been a little bit better if in some chapters action were slowed down in exchange for more suspense, adding bogus elements, scary episodes and false clues to confuse and frighten the reader moving him down to the edge of his chair, Nevertheless, the book is compelling, original, very graphic, entertaining and though keeping on a main line of investigation all the way along, ends with a master twist (the best) that almost knocked me off my own chair showing the top quality of Mr. Connelly as a crime writer
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