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23 April 2014

Audiobook Review: The Black Echo by Michael Connolly

Author: Michael Connolly
Publication Date: December 1, 2002
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Adult Mystery/Thriller
Find It: GoodreadsAmazonB&N, Audible
Source: Library

For maverick LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch, the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal...because the murdered man was a fellow Vietnam "tunnel rat" who had fought side by side with him in a hellish underground war. Now Bosch is about to relive the horror of Nam. From a dangerous maze of blind alleys to a daring criminal heist beneath the city, his survival instincts will once again be tested to their limit. Pitted against enemies inside his own department and forced to make the agonizing choice between justice and vengeance, Bosch goes on the hunt for a killer whose true face will shock him.

When a body is found in a drain pipe in the Mulholland Dam, Detective Harry Bosch knows it's more than just the tragic fate of a homeless man. The victim is from someone from Harry's past and the investigation leads him down a dark and winding road that will test him in more ways than one.

I don't usually read a series out of order but that's what happened and I read Nine Dragons, book 15 in the series a couple of years ago. It had good points but I didn't love it and put off reading more in the series until now. The first book in Michael Connolly's popular Harry Bosch series is gritty, twisted and full of surprises. I listened to this audiobook in one week while commuting and it was great at helping pass the time while stuck in traffic. Bosch is a throwback to the grizzled noir detectives of the past. He's smart and unrelenting and has a hard time with authority.  He can be gruff at times but it's clear that he cares the victims in his cases. I also enjoyed that the story was set in LA (where I live) and the city was great backdrop for the unfolding mystery.

The story was well paced and full of twists that I did not expect. It was also really interesting to see how Bosch meets Eleanor Wish, a character who comes back later in the series. Dick Hill is the narrator for the audiobook and he has a great voice that embodies Bosch well. There's a grit to it and a sort of wariness in the voice that fits the character well. I wasn't as big of a fan of his female voices - Eleanor comes off as a bit high pitched and breathy - but he is a very good narrator overall.

I am glad that I returned to the beginning of this series. While I don't think I will be rushing out to get the next book but it will be on my list of books to read when I am in the mood for a well written mystery. Recommended for fans of noir and hard-boiled detective stories and mysteries.

Visit the author online at www.michaelconnelly.com/, Facebook and follow him on Twitter @Connellybooks

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