Readers of Michael Connelly’s Hieronymus [Harry] Bosch series will be happy that the 12th in the series Echo Park has now been released in soft cover. And I’m happy to report it’s another great read from cover to cover. Great plot, and the tale moves along rather crisply.
I haven’t had the chance to catch up with Harry over these long summer months, but then Harry isn’t that hard to catch these days, having reached his 60s and slowing a bit after coming out of retirement. That’s not to say he’s lost his edge though, just that his edge has softened a little, along with his middle and his eyesight.
Echo Park finds Harry back on the job, this time assigned to cold cases division in LAPD’s Open and Unsolved Cases Unit. He begins digging out old cases he personally had never been able to close. One such case has plagued him for 13 years – the case of a missing young woman, Marie Gesto. Over the years, Harry had occasionally pulled the file on Gesto, fearing it was a murder but never having proof. No evidence and no body to give himself or Maria’s parents closure.
So when Harry learns that a killer, apprehended for several other crimes, has recently confessed to the Marie Gesto murder, he is both stunned and more than a little skeptical.
Harry's brought in to take the man's confession, since he and his former partner Jerry Edgar worked the original case and Harry’s so familiar with the case history.
All appears in order and the man, Raynard Waits, agrees to lead the police team to Gesto's body. But Harry has a bad feeling about this "confession", a feeling that this is all just too tidy. Especially when he learns that the prominent candidate for District Attorney, Rick O'Shea is involved. The name's double entendre shouldn't be lost on anyone.
To make matters worse, it is pointed out by one of the investigators of the reopened case that Harry and his partner had originally dropped the ball and missed a critical clue which allowed the killer to go free and leading Harry to believe he could have cracked the case and prevented the girl’s death back then if he’d done his job right. It would have also meant stopping her killer from taking the nine additional victims that followed her being killed as well.
Harry’s faith in himself is now shaken to the core and he’s determined to make up for that past mistake. What he doesn’t count on is that prominent people associated with the crime are corrupt and he can trust no-one, whether they’re in law enforcement or not.
There is a lot for readers to enjoy about this book, though some new to the Harry Bosch series may feel like they’ve been dropped into the middle of an intimate conversation. But they can still enjoy the story because the conversations and flash-backs make it all clear relatively quick.
What I like about the series, this book not withstanding, is that Connelly tells things so believably. He describes accurately the unglamorous side of the investigation, the dreary paperwork and reading of reports and files. Even with all this, however, it is so well-written that it doesn’t shortchange the reader on anything. There’s lots of drama – heinous acts and a gun fight or two – body pieces in trash bags and underground dens of iniquity… plus close partnerships and returning loves. And more than a few exciting plot twists. What's not to like about this book?Powered by Sidelines