Review: The Black Echo — Michael Connelly

Read: 19
To Go: 81

Book List:
11. Blue Monday — Nicci French
12. Mrs. Kennedy and Me — Clint Hill
13. The Imperfectionists — Tom Rachman
14. The Rage — Gene Kerrigan
15. Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler — Trudi Kanter
16. The Drowning — Camilla Lackberg
17. Le Bal — Irene Nemirovsky
18. Snow In Autumn — Irene Nemirovsky
19. The Black Echo — Michael Connelly

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In late April I was wandering aimlessly through the BMV, looking for a new book to read, when I happened upon The Black Echo by Michael Connelly and nearly jumped for joy. Since I started reading the Harry Bosch series, I’ve found that it’s really easy to come across the newer books, and even the books that are from the middle of the series. But the first four or five books have been near impossible to find, because they’re so old. So finding the first book in the Harry Bosch series was like striking gold.

In The Black Echo, Detective Harry Bosch gets called out to deal with the murder of a heroin junkie, disguised to look like an accidental overdose. When Bosch recognizes the victim as a fellow tunnel rat from Vietnam, he vows to find the man’s murderer. His investigation draws his attention to a bank heist from a month before, currently being investigated by FBI agent Eleanor Wish. Bosch and Wish soon realize that in order to solve both their cases, they’ll have to work together.

Even though I’ve read so many of the Bosch novels and have learned his history through those installations, I have a special fondness for The Black Echo, because it establishes Bosch’s origins, and gives a thorough introduction to one of my favourite Connelly secondary characters, Eleanor Wish. Even though she’s popped up in several of the Bosch books I’ve read, I’ve always felt that Eleanor was sort of a mysterious character, mainly because I hadn’t yet found out why she’d spent time in jail. In The Black Echo her character is really fleshed out and, dare I say it, she steals the show away from Harry Bosch himself. If there was a spin-off series or book about Eleanor Wish, I would read the heck out of it.

As for the murder/bank heist that Bosch and Wish co-investigated, that was a solid mystery. I especially loved how Connelly incorporated Bosch’s history as a “tunnel rat” in Vietnam into the crime and the men who committed it. It made for a particularly harrowing climactic scene. The only thing I was disappointed with was the reveal of the inside man: I could’ve seen it coming from a mile away. But maybe I’m just used to the Connelly twist.

Next book: The Winter Vault — Anne Michaels

– Kelsey

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