Race is an issue in this great mystery
Read by Dick Hill
Duration: 10 hours, 55 minutes.
Michael Connelly's books are usually deep and gritty and this one is no different. The lead character is Harry Bosch, the leader of a 3 detective team in the LAPD that is assigned an unusually sensitive case. A well-known civil rights attorney that has successfully sued LAPD over and over again for violations of federal civil rights laws has been murdered on the eve of an especially notorious case against the LAPD. Of course, everyone inside LAPD and out believe that a police officer killed him in a fit of revenge and the city is seething.
Set just a few years after the Rodney King riots and the O.J. Simpson murder trial, Los Angeles is racially tense, to say the least. This works well with one of the main themes of the entire series - Harry Bosch's name. Harry's real name is Hieronymus Bosch. If you are not familiar with Hieronymus Bosch let me explain. The real Hieronymus Bosch is a Renaissance painter that painted detailed and fanciful paintings of the torments of hell, including demons, strange creatures and their victims. Connelly often presents Harry Bosch as a man walking among the sites and smells of hell - torture, betrayal, riots and the literal burning of parts of the city in protest are the backdrop of this moody, brooding book.
Connelly deftly handles the tricky topic of racial discrimination and issues of black and white in this book. While the case is being worked race tints every aspect of the case - Black vs. White vs. Blue (LAPD) is a frequent topic that is discussed - not overtly but neatly inserted as conversations that flow quite naturally in the context of the story.
I heard this book as an audiobook and it was truly a joy to hear Dick Hill's narration. He's done several of Connelly's novels and I've never been disappointed with any that he's narrated. He is as good as it gets.
I rate this audiobook 5 stars out of 5.
Reviewed on December 19, 2008.