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Nine Dragons Paperback – 2009
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LAPD Detective Harry Bosch is off the chain in the fastest, fiercest, and highest-stakes case of his life. Fortune Liquors is a small shop in a tough South L.A. neighborhood, a store Bosch has known for years. The murder of John Li, the store's owner, hits Bosch hard, and he promises Li's family that he'll find the killer. The world Bosch steps into next is unknown territory. He brings in a detective from the Asian Gang Unit for help with translation--not just of languages but also of the cultural norms and expectations that guided Li's life. He uncovers a link to a Hong Kong triad, a lethal and far-reaching crime ring that follows many immigrants to their new lives in the U.S. And instantly his world explodes. The one good thing in Bosch's life, the person he holds most dear, is taken from him and Bosch travels to Hong Kong in an all-or-nothing bid to regain what he's lost. In a place known as Nine Dragons, as the city's Hungry Ghosts festival burns around him, Bosch puts aside everything he knows and risks everything he has in a desperate bid to outmatch the triad's ferocity.
Top customer reviews
Harry is told in no uncertain terms that he should back off or he’ll face some serious personal consequences. Harry, of course, is not one to trifle with. But when his daughter Maddie is abducted he must put her safety as the top item on his list of priorities. Since Maddie has been living in Hong Kong with her mother, who is also Harry’s ex-wife Eleanor Wish, an immediate trip is necessary.
About one third of the book is devoted to Harry’s time in Hong Kong while working with Eleanor and her personal security guard, a fellow named Sun Yee. I found this part uneven because Harry is battling with two competing instincts: his fear for Maddie’s safety and his professional instincts to solve the original crime. The conflict is understandable but reading about it is often difficult.
The best part of the book is the final 1/3 when Harry returns to Los Angeles to wrap up the murder investigation and get his life back in order. In spite of all the turmoil, it looks like his future will be a happy one.
The two things that make Harry vulnerable and can distract his from his "mission", namely his ex-wife Eleanor ("there is no end of things in the heart") and his daughter Madeline, are in this story. I think the author wanted to deal with them before moving on in the series. Maddie makes a rather startling revelation near the end of the book that isn't really dealt with. Could it be the set-up for a new leading character and future novels? Bosch isn't getting any younger.
It's worth the read for Bosch fans.