It’s a Mystery: The Concrete Blonde, by Michael Connelly

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best

The third in the Harry Bosch series is one of the best of the entire thirteen currently available (yes, I’ve read them all). This entry has everything. Hard boiled Harry is the defendant in a civil trial, the plaintiff the widow of a suspected serial killer, “The Dollmaker”, whom Harry shot to death four years ago. The plaintiff’s attorney is a star, Honey “Money” Chandler, whose trial record is legendary and who is characterizing Harry as a coldblooded rogue cop. Harry is stuck with the unimaginative LA hack provided by the city. Just as the trial begins, a note appears in the police station taunting him with the claim that The Dollmaker is alive and well, and to prove it, provides directions to the grave of one of his victims.

The harrowing trial itself, along with Harry’s attempts to discover the truth – did he shoot the wrong man? – form the plot of this novel, which is tautly organized and full of mis-steps and surprises. Harry’s colleagues come under suspicion, and it’s likely that someone within the department is acting as a snitch. One of the most suspenseful sequences in the book is the account of an illegal search that he conducts in a suspect’s home. Another is the lengthy passage when he fears that his lady friend, whom he is coming to love, has been targeted by the psycho. The outcomes of both trial and investigation are truly unforeseen.

Michael Connelly is a master of the genre, and The Concrete Blonde shows what he can do. Highly recommended.

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