"The Black Box", by Michael Connelly

The Black Box - Michael Connelly

Book 18, in the Harry Bosch series

After 18 novels over a 20 years span one would think Mr. Connelly would ran out of ideas for this series, but it seems this challenge is a no-brainer for a prolific author. “The Black Box” it is both a story of police procedural and one that continues the saga of the protagonist personal life. Harry has aged well through times, now in his 60s he has been working cold cases for years and has become a man sworn to speak for the dead. 

This latest opens with a chilling portrait of the war zone that L.A.’s South Central neighborhood became during the riots in the spring of 1992. When the body of Anneke Jespersen, a Danish journalist, is found in an alley, shot to death, Harry investigates, but amid the turmoil the case is not solved.

Fast-forward to 2012, the 20th anniversary of the riots is coming up and there will be a great media attention to unsolved murders. Marty Maycock, the current chief of police assigns Harry to the daunting challenge of closing the Jespersen case. 

Of course there are few pieces to go by and Harry never failing zeal and his strong sense of guilt for not having solved the case in the first place provides the spark to get him started. He retrieves the archived boxes of Anneke’s belongings and the investigative file. There's not much to go on, but some tantalizing leads develop before the nitwit lieutenant in charge of the cold-case unit tells him to drop it and w ork another case. It doesn't take long before the tenacious detective finds himself caught in a maelstrom of departmental politics and personal danger as he searches for the “black box” (piece of evidence, fact, etc.) But Harry never fails to amaze us and will eventually discover the truth…..

Mr. Connelly excelled as always in building added tension into virtually all of Harry’s decisions. He also pays attention to police procedural details while giving his protagonists lots of leeway. There are moments in the novel when the action goes into high gear and Harry transforms himself into a warrior, even in his 60s he still kick butts…all this for our enjoyment, of course I could not stop turning the pages to see what came next. The dialogue and narration are quite lively and fast moving exactly what we expect from the author. The result is a complex tapestry of plots, deftly crafted suspense and well-rounded characters. 

Even after all this time Mr. Connelly still manages to keep me a loyal fan…