Tuesday, February 23, 2010

'Nine Dragons' Takes Harry Bosch to Hong Kong From Los Angeles & to a Father From a Policeman

I almost hesitate to write this post, because if I do, then it will mean I really don't have anymore Michael Connelly books to read. I've read them all. There will be another book, of course, sometime in 2010. But not yet. It will be called The Reversal, and both Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller will star. I'm getting off topic. Back to the real reason for this post (and for my procrastination in writing it) -- Michael Connelly's latest novel, a Harry Bosch series book called Nine Dragons. Without knowing anything at all about the book, I immediately connected it to Asia. Why? I have no idea. I guess there aren't very many places to which you could connect dragons. Asia seems to me to be one of the only ones. So I connected the novel to Asia in my mind for whatever weird reason. And guess what? I was right.

This may be one of my shortest discussions of a book I loved that I've ever written. The reasoning behind that is simple: I don't want to give anything away. Well, that, and I think you should read it as soon as possible. Nine Dragons is a fantastic addition to the Harry Bosch library. I've heard multiple reviewers label it as the "most personal Harry Bosch novel yet", and I think they are correct in some ways. On the other hand, Connelly hasn't been stingy when it comes to being personal with Harry Bosch. Readers followed Bosch investigate his mother's murder in The Last Coyote and learned about his time in Vietnam as a "tunnel rat" in The Black Echo. Bosch seems gruff, but in fact wears his heart on his sleeve oftentimes.

In Nine Dragons, there are two pivotal events: a murder at a liquor store which Bosch and his partner are sent to investigate, and his daughter's disappearance on the other side of the world. In order to solve the murder and find his daughter, Bosch travels across the ocean to Hong Kong, where his daughter Madeline and ex-wife Eleanor Wish have lived for several years. Bosch acts as the police detective he has been for many years, and struggles throughout the novel to reconcile that person with the father he is now.

Connelly includes lots of action, including one particular scene (which I can't describe without giving away plot points) that I felt fell short. I suppose in real life, shoot-outs and sudden hand-fights come on suddenly. However, in the novel, one of those full-of-excitement scenes seemed to come out of nowhere. Other than my disappointment in that scene, Connelly has concocted an excellent addition to the Harry Bosch novels. Bosch's character shines with a quiet nobility, yet the plot is gritty and realistic.

Connelly reads from a section written just after Bosch has arrived in Hong Kong:

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic review. I read this one last year and really enjoyed it. I think I missed out a bit because I had not read and other of Michael's works that centered around Harry Bosch so I came into this read not knowing who he was.



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