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on February 20, 2015
A fast paced detective novel stemming from a cold case that occurred during the Los Angeles riots. This is a Harry Botsch detective novel, which are always good, but this one missed the mark a little. The Los Angeles riots were chaotic, and all law enforcement personnel were attempting to quell the mob scene. Harry ended up in an alley checking out a young white woman who had been shot in the head and killed, ostensibly in the rioting. The National Guard unit was there, and they were scattered all over the area. There was something about this death that looked different to Botsch. It looked like a homicide with another motive aside from an unfortunate casualty of rioting. So twenty years later, he picks up the pieces and follows the trail back to the National Guard unit from the San Joaquin Valley. Too many coincidences later, Harry is being investigated, being told to drop the case, and he is in trouble with his weak bellied boss. He charges forth with the investigation and pieces the crime back to the Persian Gulf War where the soldiers encountered a photo journalist who was the one who was murdered in the alley in Los Angeles. The story had many gaps, and many lucky strikes to maintain a taut plot. Nevertheless, the cold case got solved, Harry was absolved, and peace was restored. On to the next Harry Botsch novel. I hope the next one is a little better.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon November 22, 2012
After so many Harry Bosch stories you would think they should start to run out of steam - IMHO this is not so. Michael Connelly is a consummate author who can keep a great character running and evolving and continue to produce a top-class page-turning police procedural.

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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on July 10, 2013
I read all Connelly's books and found myself having a hard time getting into this one. It just wasn't very interesting in terms of plot and pacing. Bosch is a wonderful character but to know that, you would have to rely on previous books you've read that feature him. Sticking with it, mostly out of loyalty to the character, it finally caught me at around the 70% mark. The over long passages lecturing the reader on jazz greats got old fast because the whole novel was slow therefore the jazz interludes slowed it from that pace. The parts involving his daughter as a marksman seemed like the jazz this time - stuck in there without integration and purpose. I would have rated it 2 stars but Connelly gets a star for being Connelly. Sometimes I wonder, with any popular author, if the pressure of the next book due to the publisher interferes with the process at times of doing one's best work. All the normal conceits of a Bosch novel are here. It's just that I didn't care. Bring on the Lincoln Lawyer and see if that works better next time.
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on January 9, 2016
Another Harry Bosch Winner

Fans of Michael Connelly’s fictional detective Harry Bosch know the man is relentless as he doggedly bucks the politicians running LAPD just so he can find justice for long dead victims. In The Black Box, Bosch works the system to sidestep a boss whose primary mission is to close out the many cold cases under his supervision, whether the crimes are solved or not.

But Bosch will have none of this, especially with an old murder that he briefly attended to during the LA riots following the Rodney King police beating acquittals. During the riots, Bosch had no time to process the crime scene or even investigate the murder of a young female Scandinavian freelance photo journalist found dead in an alley, shot in the face. But the case lands on his cold case investigations desk, years later. Fate has given him, and the victim of the crime, a second chance. Bosch has long since learned never to pass up an opportunity like this.

As he finds her old family and work connections in Europe, Bosch puzzles over what story she was covering during the riots, only to discover her agenda was far more personal than the riots. His probe entwines with another investigation – that of a female internal affairs detective looking into a complaint filed against Bosch by his boss who suspect him of misusing his time in another matter. Eventually, the two pool their resources in northern California as Bosch uncovers the real reason the victim was in LA, leading to deadly confrontations with a group of dangerous and experienced National Guard and first Iraqi War veterans.

Like them all, this Bosch case is very satisfying.

--Richard J. Schneider, Author VOTE: A Vic Bengston Investigation (Vic Bengston Investigations Book 2)
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on December 6, 2012
Harry is back and meticulously, piece by piece, he unravels a 20 year old murder. Common sense tells you that this will take time, and it does. The payoff is there and justice is done but only because there is someone who will not give up. In the end, solving the case doesn't change things much. There's little if any "closure". As Jake Gittes would say, "It never goes away". I can't say this is the best Bosch book but it's still quite good.
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on January 25, 2013
Pretty good plot, but Connelly cut a lot of corners in solving the mystery. Instead of Harry Bosch meticulously reviewing the evidence and finding something that everyone else missed, he resorts to kidnapping and torture to get the lead he needs. That isn't Bosch's style! And a couple of plot twists are never reconciled. All in all, it was fun, but I got the impression that Connelly dashed off this novel in a hurry to make some quick bucks.
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on January 16, 2013
I read a Harry Bosch book once and got caught up with him as a character. I have two more Harry Bosch books to read before I can say I have read the entire Bosch series. I have also read a few of Michael Connelly's Lincoln Lawyer books as well, but I prefer the Harry Bosch books. This one was in keeping with all the others he has written. I wonder who will retire first - Harry Bosch of Michael Connelly?
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on April 10, 2013
Yet again another terrific novel by Connelly. Harry the detective, single father, trying to find adequate time for his teenage daughter. Working a 20 year old cold case...struggling with a new dept manager...amazing how Connelly managed to weave the plot so magically to an incredible conclusion. Recommended to any one who like a fast-paced realistic novel.
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on December 20, 2012
Harry Bosch for President! What a great character! And I disagree with Michael Connelly about who best to play Harry in the upcoming sure-to-be-blockbuster movie. I say Dean Norris, from Breaking Bad, would be PERFECT. Anyway, this book – indeed, any of the books about Harry Bosch or Mickey Haller, are outstanding reads. You will NEVER go wrong.
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on December 8, 2012
It is really hard to beat a Michael Connelly novel, especially a Harry Bosch story. I thought the book was great from start to finish and kept me reading late into the night.
If you liked the other Harry Bosch books,then you will really enjoy this one. Connelly
Has a way of really bringing Harry to life with all his quirky ways.
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