- Series: Harry Bosch (Book 18)
- Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (October 15, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446556726
- ISBN-13: 978-0446556729
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3,199 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Black Box (Harry Bosch) Mass Market Paperback – October 15, 2013
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*Starred Review* At his core, Harry Bosch is a cop with a mission—to tip the scales of justice toward the side of murder victims and their survivors. The scales can never be righted, of course, even by solving the cases Bosch is assigned in the Open Unsolved Unit of the LAPD. That is especially true in the 20-year-old murder of Danish journalist Anneke Jesperson, who was killed during the L.A. riots of 1992. What was Jesperson, a white woman, doing in South Central L.A. in the aftermath of the riots? As usual, Bosch faces not only the seeming impossibility of reconstructing a crime that has been cold for two decades but also the roadblocks imposed by the bureaucrats at the top of the LAPD. But Bosch has never met a roadblock he wasn’t compelled to either barge through or cannily avoid. Harry is such a compelling character largely due to his fundamentally antiestablishment personality, which leads to chaos as often as to triumph, but also because his unswerving work ethic reflects not simply duty but also respect for the task before him. Harry does it right, even—or especially—when his bosses want something else entirely. That’s the case this time—How would it look if a white cop made headlines by solving the riot-related murder of a white woman? Better to let it slide. In real life, we all let things slide, but in life according to Bosch, nothing slides. We like Harry, as we like many other fictional crime solvers, because he never stops, but we love him because he has the scars to prove that never sliding is no easy thing. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Connelly’s twenty-fifth book appears in his twentieth year of publishing, an anniversary that his publisher has been celebrating throughout 2012 with various “Year of Connelly” promotions, all leading up to the publication of The Black Box. --Bill Ott --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
PRAISE FOR THE DROP:
"Connelly inherits the mantle of Raymond Chandler.... Their books share a kind of ambitious artistry that strains to reach beyond genre fiction."―Chuck Leddy, Boston Globe
"Connelly is superb at building suspense."―Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal
"Bosch is one of the best detectives in crime fiction, and Connelly continues to amaze with his latest effort."―Jeff Ayers, Associated Press
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Top Customer Reviews
Bosch and Edgar roll up to an alley near Crenshaw Boulevard, where a thirty-two year old Danish photojournalist had been shot in the head at close range. The deceased is Anneke Jespersen, whom Edgar nicknames "Snow White." Bosch finds a 9mm shell casing at the scene but little else, and for twenty years, Jespersen's murder remains unsolved. In 2012, Harry takes another look, knowing that finding Jespersen's killer after so much time has elapsed is, at best, a long shot.
"The Black Box" is vintage Connelly, and Bosch is as stubborn and relentless as ever. He ignores his superiors when they try to derail him and pursues every lead, no matter how small, with a laser-like focus. Harry visits San Quentin to interview a gangbanger; traces an intriguing phone call that was placed ten years after Anneke's death; and asks for help from anyone who may be able to shed light on his case. With a bit of luck and solid detective work, he manages to narrow down his list of suspects to a few individuals who may have been responsible for a vicious crime and cover-up. Although he is a cop first and foremost, Harry is also a devoted dad (his sixteen-year-old daughter, Maddie, is precocious and a chip off the old block), and he continues his warm but unresolved relationship with Hannah Stone.
The plot is involving and, for the most part, realistic. Connelly's dialogue and prose are, as always, forceful, brisk, and fast-paced. Bosch works tirelessly to move his investigation forward, but when he hits a dead end, he never considers quitting in frustration. He merely looks at things from a fresh angle and relies on his famous gut instinct to steer him in the right direction. Although his job is exasperating, tedious, and frequently nerve-wracking, when Harry nails a villain, he is elated. At an age when most of his peers have "pulled the pin" and retired to a life of ease, Harry refuses to part ways with the LAPD; he has signed a contract under the Deferred Retirement Option Plan. Bosch is still driven to fix what is broken in a criminal justice system that is too often criminally unjust.
In the last book, after a short retirement Harry Bosch returned to the LAPD with a 5 year contract under the Deferred Retirement Option Plan - "The DROP". He now works with the Open Unsolved Unit chasing up cold cases. In 1999, at the height of the LA Riots, Bosch briefly gets involved with the discovery of the gunshot death of a pretty female free-lance Danish press photographer who was apparently killed as part of the riot. This case had always troubled Bosch and he gladly accepts the challenge although after all that time the trail has gone cold.
Bosch is an impatient detective - to him momentum is everything. Once he is on the trail he is a bloodhound who never lets up until he finds a break. He calls this "The Black Box" because, similar to air crash investigation a single verified clue may open up the whole case. After diligent and clever police work Bosch finds his Black Box and discovers a web of intrigue and violence going back to the first Gulf War.
Working the case in his normal independent manner is not helped by his a strained relationship with and lack of respect for the competence of his superiors at LAPD, especially his current Lieutenant (O'Toole - nickname "O'Fool"). "You are the worst kind of police officer, Bosch. You are arrogant, a bully, and you think the laws and regulations don't apply to you." O'Toole refers Bosch to Internal Affairs on what seems to be a petty matter, but it is important because it affects the way Bosch can run the investigation and if the complaint is upheld he could easily lose his job because he is on a DROP contract.
Connelly keeps up the pressure and spins an exciting tale of skilled police investigation by a dedicated, independent but somewhat personally flawed Harry Bosch. I recommend this book as a great read for lovers of police procedurals and a good Christmas present for those who still read print books.
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