Friday, September 14, 2012

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly - Review

The Black Echo (Harry Bosch), by Michael Connelly 
A Turgid Read
(Kindle (3-in-1)Kindle, my review on Amazon)
3 stars
A fast-paced climax notwithstanding, this is a slow and turgid read. A lot of back-and-forth and dialog, that I am not sure adds to the pace of the novel slows the narrative.

This is the author's first published novel. And also the first featuring the character of Harry Bosch, a loner detective with the Los Angeles Police Department, and also a Vietnam War vet. Harry is called out to the scene of a murder, of what looks like a homeless junkie. It turns out that the deceased was a tunnel rat with Harry Bosch during the Vietnam war. As Harry investigates, we learn, slowly, after going through page after page of prose that moves slowly, very slowly, that deceased may have been a murder victim, a possible accessory to a crime, and may have been killed to prevent the details of a second crime being planned from being leaked.

As with Michael Crichton's early novels, or was it his first novel, "A Case of Need", the pace if turgid, and there is too much detail, and too much detail that seems forced. I still found myself turning the pages, but that was more because I had read his later works, like "A Lincoln Lawyer", "A Reversal", and others, so I knew that Connelly is a fine writer, with a fine sense of pacing - just not very evident in this first book. The Black Echo is more like an unpolished work. You may be better off reading some of his later books.

The Harry Bosch Novels: The Black Echo, The Black Ice, The Concrete Blonde

Kindle Excerpt:

© 2012, Abhinav Agarwal. All rights reserved.