Customer Review

21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a novel that will be discussed for quite a while, April 5, 2003
This review is from: Lost Light (Hardcover)
An immutable admonition of life is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Accordingly, it takes major confidence to take a tried and true (not to mention popular) literary character and change things around. This is exactly what Michael Connelly does with --- and to --- Harry Bosch in LOST LIGHT. That he does it so well is an indication not only of the depth of Connelly's talent but also of the thought that went into doing what has been done here. This is a novel that will be discussed for a while.
The largest change, at least initially, in Bosch's life was telegraphed at the conclusion of CHASING THE DIME, when Bosch walked out of L.A. police headquarters with a boxful of files concerning unsolved cases. At the beginning of LOST LIGHT, we learn that one of those cases concerned the murder of a young woman that was apparently tied to the robbery of two million dollars from a movie set and that had remained unsolved for four years. The murder of the woman has haunted Bosch and, retired from the force and independently wealthy, he is free to devote his time to investigate it.
Another major change that Connelly makes in LOST LIGHT is relating the story from the first person viewpoint, thus putting the readers inside of Bosch's often enigmatic head. The shift in viewpoint --- and in occupation --- has the effect of reminding the reader of Raymond Chandler and thus Philip Marlowe.
Indeed, Connelly seems to pay tribute to Chandler's opening lines of THE BIG SLEEP with the initial chapter of LOST LIGHT, when Bosch appears, freshly shaven and in his best suit, at the front door of a movie mogul. However, Bosch, unlike Marlowe, is seeking information and not employment. As Bosch follows the money trail, he finds that the heist has somehow become improbably intertwined with issues involving national security. He is warned to step down, as his investigation is apparently jeopardizing national interests more important than the death of one woman several years before. Bosch, however, is compelled to keep digging against the odds in order to bring justice and closure to the woman's apparently senseless death. And, while his lack of a badge and the authority that goes with it renders many doors closed to him, it also provides him with a freedom he has not enjoyed previously as he slowly, painstakingly, finds the unexpected answers that will put his life in jeopardy and result in surprising revelations.
LOST LIGHT contains two surprise endings, one of which resolves the mystery therein and the other of which dramatically affects Bosch. If Connelly sees fit to write another Bosch book, it seems as if it will be as dramatically different as LOST LIGHT is from its predecessors. Regardless of what he chooses to do, Connelly will no doubt continue to challenge his characters, his readers and himself.
--- Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
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