THE CONCRETE BLONDE
by Michael Connelly
Sometimes how one picks a book to read is as interesting as the book itself. Case in point, last weekend found me in
Thus it was that I found myself browsing these “bestseller” titles in hopes of finding one book that would both appeal and ultimately entertain me. There were all the Stephen King, and Dean R.Koontz titles as expected, but amongst those I’d already read the titles that fascinated me and had no desire to peruse the others. Okay, so it was time to inspect writers I’d never tried. Which is how I came to pick up Michael Connelly’s THE CONCRETE BLONDE. I was familiar with Connelly’s name and the glowing reviews his police dramas starring Detective Harry Bosch had accumulated over the years. I had been mildly curious about them. But there were three Connelly titles on those racks. I picked this one because the title was the most dramatic and it hooked me.
Four years ago, Detective Harry Bosch, hunted and caught a serial killer known as the Dollmaker. In the confrontation, Bosch had to shoot the suspect and the case, upon review by the department, was ruled justified and closed. But for the family of the Frank Church, the man identified as the Dollmaker, the evident was not so conclusive and they have filed a wrongful death charge against Bosch in a civil suit. Bosch, as much as he finds the proceedings distasteful, begrudgingly submits to the department’s wishes and accepts a state appointed prosecutor to defend him against a very slick, and savvy female trial lawyer known as Money Chandler.
No sooner has the trial begun then a body is discovered, buried in concrete with the same tell-tale signatures of a Dollmaker victim. When forensics discovers the woman was killed several years after the death of Frank Church, everything about Bosch’s trail suddenly goes topsy-turvy. Once
What begins as a run-of-the-mill trial drama quickly evolves into a fast paced hunt for a sadistic serial killer with inside knowledge about the police’s methods and files. Bosch soon begins to realize his prey may even be a fellow officer. It is a taut, well written thriller that keeps you guessing until the end, with plenty of red-herrings along the way. As is the case in such series, getting to know and like the hero is a major selling point. Why bother coming back for more, if you don’t empathize with the protagonist. I found myself liking Harry Bosch and by the end of this book was very predisposed to picking up more of his books. Maybe the next time I’m stuck in another town.