The Black Ice (Michael Connelly)

I wrote a review of the first book in the Harry Bosch series on the 24th, six days ago, and finished the second book last night.  Not bad.  Stephen King wrote in On Writing (which I am re-reading) that he read seventy or eighty books a year, which comes to finishing a book every 4-5 days.  So I’m running a little behind his prodigious pace (and that book was written years ago; there’s no telling how many books he reads a year now), but it’s far better than I was doing a year ago.

Well, none of that bears much relation to the purpose of this post, which is to review the second book in the Harry Bosch series, The Black Ice.  I may consider at some point doing a double column of pros and cons (assuming I keep up with the reviews), but for now I will stick with a brief summary and analysis while avoiding spoilers as much as possible.

The story begins with a cop suicide in a motel room that appears at first glance to be cut-and-dry.  This is familiar territory for Bosch, who insists on following the clues even when others have already told him what conclusions to make.  One murder leads to others, and soon Bosch is investigating a series of leads that may or may not be related, all the while alienating his department and putting his own life in danger.

This plot seemed a bit more elaborate than that of the first book.  It was another well-crafted mystery, though I found this one slightly more difficult to follow at parts, especially when it came to differentiating some of the peripheral characters.

While the plot was intriguing and provided plenty of clues to keep me curious, the real pull of the story is Bosch himself.  (This is true of the first book as well.)  Connelly makes Bosch a living and breathing character, from his dry humor to his identification with the lonely coyote.  He is hard-nosed and cynical, conscientious and snarky, a hero with plenty of flaws to make him human.

So in summary, it was a solid sequel to The Black Echo.  Am I going to keep reading the series?  I’ll probably skip over to some standalones for a change, but I wouldn’t mind revisiting this series further down the road.  If you are interested in detective procedurals (particularly gritty ones), you should try the first book.  And if you liked the first book, I see no reason why you won’t like the second.

Want a fuller description of the story?  Hop on over to Amazon’s product page and read the description.  I’d provide a link, but they’d have to pay me.

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