With that baggage aside, the author cranks out the mystery in 200 fewer pages than he ever has before. This newfound simplicity requires he speed up the pace, which is also good, and add not only more suspense but emotional scenes that while rarer, are more intense, and so add to the story instead of seeming like sidelines to distract.
In this sense, Connelly's newest fits the format of one of the most successful mystery fiction creations every, televison's "Law and Order." The mystery begins; characters are presented; detectives work through leads; they find out it was deception all along, and turn their focus on the real killer at the last minute. As a format, it succeeds by keeping us entertained or terrified in alternating scenes.
This writer is at the top of his game, and has mastered his new format, but he has not yet figured a way to gain more depth than the average "Law and Order" episode, and this is the slight failing of this novel. Although it is expertly written, its mystery is not expertly designed, and so seems insubstantial. In some ways, I miss his earlier, meatier, plot-heavy creations.
However, on the whole, I prefer this format and the attitude it brings to his writing. Connelly seems to fight himself less, and because his characters aren't always gesticulating their emotions, they are more realistic and more understandable. The faster pace makes the mystery more suspenseful and on the whole, fun.
While I've been a devout Connelly reader for years, my interest is renewed by this serial version of his fiction. It takes away the formality of novels, and lets him spin his characters out through episodes which slowly build them, instead of trying to make each book a grand statement of their creation and destruction. As a result, I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants a gripping page-turner of a mystery.