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City of Bones (Harry Bosch) Mass Market Paperback – February 24, 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 834 customer reviews
Book 8 of 16 in the Mickey Haller Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Since his first appearance in 1992's Edgar-winning The Black Echo, Detective Hieronymous "Harry" Bosch has joined Dennis Lehane's Patrick and Angie, George Pelecanos's Derek Strange, and Greg Rucka's Atticus Kodiak in the pantheon of new-school hard-boiled detectives. Rather than giving Bosch a clever gimmick (like Jeffery Deaver's Lincoln Rhyme, who is a quadriplegic), Michael Connelly embraces the noir archetype: Bosch, an L.A. homicide detective, is a chain-smoking loner who refuses to play by his superiors' rules. Although he has quit smoking, Harry's still the same tightlipped outsider, taking each crime as a personal affront as he tries to cleanse his beloved city of the darkness he sees engulfing it.

In City of Bones, Connelly's eighth Bosch title, Bosch and his well-dressed partner, Jerry Edgar, are working to identify a child's skeleton, buried for 20 years in the forest off Hollywood's Wonderland Drive, and to bring the killer to belated justice. For Bosch this is more than just another homicide, as the mystery child, beaten and abandoned, comes to represent much of what he sees as evil in his city. Add in a tragic love affair with a fellow cop, complications from overzealous media, and the growing feeling that he's fighting a losing battle about which no one cares, and the usually stoic Bosch is pushed to his limits. This isn't the strongest plot Connelly has concocted for Bosch, but it leads to an ending the whole series has been building toward. The conclusion may not shock longtime fans, but it will leave them wondering where the series will go from here. --Benjamin Reese --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Harry Bosch is at the top of his form which is great news for Connelly fans who might have been wondering how much life the dour, haunted LAPD veteran had left in him. His latest adventure is as dark and angst-ridden as any of Bosch's past outings, but it also crackles with energy especially in the details of police procedure and internal politics that animate virtually every page. What other crime writer could make such dramatic use of the fact that the front door of a house trailer swings out rather than in, creating problems for a two-man team of detectives? Who else would create to such credible narrative effect an egotistic celebrity coroner who jeopardizes an investigation because she lets a TV camera crew from Court TV follow her around, or an overage female rookie cop so in love with danger that she commits an unthinkable act? When the bones of an abused 12-year-old boy who disappeared in 1980 turn up in the woods above Hollywood (near a street named Wonderland, where former governor Jerry Brown used to live), the case stirs up Bosch's memories of his own troubled childhood. Also, as his captain so aptly points out, Harry is the LAPD's prime "shit magnet," an investigator who attracts muck and trouble wherever he goes. So it's no great surprise when the investigation takes a couple of nasty turns, right up through the last chapter. Connelly is such a careful, quiet writer that he can slow down the story to sketch in some relatively minor characters a retired doctor, a couple who lived through their foster children without missing a beat. (One-day laydown Apr. 16)Forecast: Connelly doesn't need much help in hitting the charts, but Little, Brown is going all out anyway, with a massive television, radio and print ad campaign, transit ads in New York and a 10-city author tour. Expect blockbuster sales and blockbuster satisfaction.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Harry Bosch (Book 8)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446611611
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446611619
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (834 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #782,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have heard lots of good comments about the Harry Bosch novels and I was not disappointed with this seventh book of the series. Bosch is a hard boiled homocide detective in the Hollywood division of the LAPD who gets a call that a dog has discovered a human bone. The investigation uncovers a 20 year old murder of a 12 year-old boy who was the victim of child abuse. As the case proceeds, Bosch meets and becomes involved with a rookie cop named Julia Brasher, who has an idealistic view of police work.
Some information leaks and false clues initially sidetrack the investigation but slowly the victim is identified and his short and tortured life revealed. Connelly draws his characters with fine strokes and his development of the details of the police procedures which are key to solving cases was really fascinating to me. Understanding the murder book, how warrants were drawn up and served, and details behind the forensic investigation added to my enjoyment of the story.
False directions provide intrigue but I was a little disappointed with the unsatisfying way the murderer was revealed and dealt with.
All in all though, a fast paced (I read it in one 24 hour period), and very enjoyable read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought 'City of Bones' when it first came out, but put off reading it for a bit. The last couple of Connelly's novels about Detective Harry Bosch seemed a bit off pace, so I was waiting for a tolerant moment. Once I started reading I discovered that my premonitions were wrong, and that this was going to be a high water mark in the eight volume series.
Michael Connelly has a trick of creating an introspective mood without actually making his characters become solipsistic, and 'City of Bones' at its deepest level is about Harry Bosch coming to grips with his own beliefs and needs. This subtext threads its way through a case involving the 20-year-old corpse of a young boy found buried in a small plot of woods. Cases this old are rarely soluble, but somehow just enough information keeps coming to the surface to keep Bosch and his partner, Jerry Edgar, working away at the case. Gradually Bosch becomes fixated on the case as its ramifications begin to have echoes in his own life.
One of the key factors in Bosch's character development is a new relationship with rookie police officer Julia Brasher. She is the officer on duty at the murder site, and is drawn into the investigation. This relationship becomes the model for all the other relationships in the book; especially those Bosch has with his partner and his work. In the end it triggers something unexpected in the older detective, and will eventually cause him to make some surprising decisions.
Beyond the character level, the plot is tightly drawn and well paced. Generally, a story that turns on forensic police procedure is interesting rather than exciting, but Connelly has goes to great lengths to prove that this does not have to be the case.
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Format: Hardcover
Lets start off with telling you how much i love Michael Connelly's books, but then this one just left me not satisfied at all.

first off, the book got me really hooked, i really liked it alot!

when a simple walk out with the dog turns up a bone from the woods, and investigation goes out to search for where the bone comes from. very good with some details and such, but then the only negative of this book is that it left too many questions unanswerd. I didn't like it the way it ended, when they find or think this person is the kids killer, then bam...what the?? i really wanted to know what went on! if i give any more information about it, then i would basically be giving away the book.

its a good read, but if your the type that doesn't like to dwell on why this wasn't answered or what happened to cause this killing...then this book isn't for you.
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By sweetmolly on September 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"City of Bones" was a happy reunion for me. I met again the Michael Connelly to whom I was introduced in "Black Echo" and "Concrete Blonde" and "Black Ice" that electrified me with his broody LA, sharp characterizations and twisting suspense. No one in "City of Bones" is 100 percent nice or straight arrow, though all are very recognizable. I had my usual problems with Harry, always wanting to tell him to lighten up a bit. By this time, I should be resigned. Harry Bosch is to gloom like Goldie Hawn is to giggles.
Harry walks into a cold case when a dog digs up an old bone in Laurel Canyon that turns out to be human. Harry's superiors are unenthusiastic because the chances of closing a 20-year old case are slim to none. Harry is grimly determined because when more of skeleton is found, it is ascertained the victim was an abused child. Harry first runs afoul of a former girl friend Medical Examiner (suspiciously close to Cornwell's Kay Scapetta) who has risen so far in the world; she cares more about photo ops than the integrity of the case. Along with hard working cops, there are plethoras of politician/cops who are willing to set up and convict the first likely guy that comes up on the radar. As if Harry doesn't have enough troubles, an ill-fated romance with a police rookie streaks across his horizon. He antagonizes his own partner with his lone wolf tactics, and seemingly neglects an obvious suspect for far too long.
The denouement has twist after twist, surprise after surprise leaving us breathless and far behind Harry all the way. Then Harry gets another idea, leaving us hollering, "wait a minute!" but Harry just keeps walking right off the last page.
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