Award-winning former crime reporter Connelly (The Black Echo; City of Bones) hits all the right notes with this latest in his Edgar-winning mystery series featuring sax-playing L.A. detective Harry Bosch. Even though this marks the ninth outing for Harry, the principled, incorruptible investigator shows little sign of slowing in his unrelenting pursuit of justice for all. Disillusioned by his constant battle with police hypocrisy and bureaucracy, Harry quits the department after 28 years on the job. Like so many ex-cops before him, he finds retirement boring: "I was staying up late, staring at the walls and drinking too much red wine." He decides to take advantage of his newly minted private-eye license and get back to work. The case he chooses—one that he had been briefly involved in four years before—is the puzzling unsolved murder of 24-year-old Angella Benton. Angella's death is linked to the theft of $2 million from a film company foolishly employing real cash as a prop on an action-movie set. Harry patiently follows the bloody trail from Angella's violated body through the Hollywood heist to the disappearance of an FBI computer expert and the shooting of two LAPD cops. His investigation eventually leads him to the elite terrorist hunters of the new Department of Homeland Security. Few will follow every twist and turn of the labyrinthine plot, but no matter. The fun comes in watching Harry slowly and brilliantly separate the seemingly impossibly knotted strands and then knit them back into whole cloth. This exciting procedural is as good as any in the series, and Connelly's concluding coda has a kicker about Harry's private life that will draw gasps of astonishment from longtime readers. (One-day laydown Apr. 1)
Forecast:All the usual marketing and promotion jams have been kicked out on this one—television, radio and print advertising; transit ads; multicity author tour; postcards; etc.—which should push it to the top of the lists. Special bonus: fans at Connelly's readings will receive a compilation CD featuring Bosch's favorite jazz tunes.
Release date: 04/01/2003