Review: Black Box by Michael Connelly

The Black Box

For the past couple of months, I’ve been dipping into the back catalog of Detective Harry Bosch as I waited for The Black Box to a)hit shelves and b)come in on reserve at my local library. That could be part of the reason that this one felt a bit more like a greatest hits of Michael Connelly’s Bosch novels.

This time around, Bosch is looking into a murder that took place during the L.A. riots two plus decades ago. At the time, Bosch was called out to the body of a female photojournalist but not given the time to pursue the case to its resolution. Years later, as he works to finish out his career in cold cases, Bosch decides to revisit the case and hopefully find some closure for himself and the victim’s family and friends.

As I said before, this one feels a bit too much like a “greatest hits” for Connelly, mixed a bit with the current trend in Swedish murder mysteries flooding the market. The photojournalist in question is Swedish, thus creating a tie to that country and it turns out there was more to her vacation to America and being in the riot-zone than originally meets the eye. There’s also a lot of conflict between Bosch and his boss as the story goes along, as Harry, as usual, follows his instincts and is proven correct despite outside pressure and authority figures up the chain of command who doubt him.

The Black Box wasn’t a terrible book. In fact, it was quite good and kept the pages turning–as most Connelly novels do. But it feels like a Bosch novel written more on cruise control than really one that could or should push the character and series in new and interesting directions as several of the previous entries have.

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