Tuesday, September 25, 2007

City of Bones by Michael Connelly

This is the third book for the Book Awards Challenge and won the Anthony Award. It is basically the story of a detective in the LAPD, Harry Bosch, who is investigating a 20 year old murder case based on the discovery of the bones of a twelve year old boy buried in a hillside. There is a subplot involving a romance with a female rookie cop.

Strengths of City of Bones: I truly enjoyed the mystery element of this book. There were some great plot twists which did keep me guessing throughout the book. Every time I thought I knew who the killer was, there would be something clearing that person and implicating another. I also liked that these clues didn't come out of midair, but they were things that had been mentioned, discussed, or dismissed at an earlier time in the story. I like Bosch's character. Connelly was able to give him some complexity that is not always prevalent in this genre. Many times the detectives are stereotypes, but I didn't feel that way about this one. It was a very nuanced character, involved in a troubling case, who is trying to sort things out along the way. I quite liked the ending. Bosch's decision didn't shock me. I thought it was perfectly in keeping with the character as he was written.

Weakness of City of Bones: I liked the book quite a lot, but I did have some problems with the romantic subplot. SPOILER ALERT: SKIP THIS REST OF THE PARAGRAPH IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW A MAJOR PLOT POINT. I found the shooting death of Julia, the female rookie and Bosch's new girlfriend, to be very contrived. It was not clearly explained in the story, and the reader has to assume that she shot herself. There is an unresolved scene with a Police psychiatrist who questions the death but nothing more happens with it. I felt like this subplot was unresolved, and it distracted me from the main story.

Overall, City of Bones is a fun read. I read it quite quickly and enjoyed it. I'd be curious to hear what anyone else thought. Let me know.


cj said...

I've heard of the Bosch books. I've thought about giving them a look-see. Now, I've added them to my list.


Ms. Jan said...

If you like the Harry Bosch character, go back and start at the beginning and read them all in order. There is a ton of backstory and character development in those early books that I found a bit lacking in the author's later books.

I'm a definite fan of author Michael Connelly's.

Literary Feline said...

I have read a couple of the Harry Bosch books (the first two) and one other book by Michael Connelly. I really enjoy Michael Connelly's writing and characters. Not to mention he's a really nice man. I am glad you enjoyed this one! It's one I've yet to read, but I'll get to it one of these days.

BookGal said...

CJ - It's a new character for me too.

Ms. Jan - Thanks for visiting. I didn't know this was a series until recently. I think I will go back and read them all.

Literary - Isn't it nice when someone writes well, but is also nice and approachable.