Michael Connelly – The Black Echo


“Michael Connelly is the master of the universe in which he lives, and that is the sphere of crime thrillers.” –Huffington Post

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.

Author: Michael Connelly
Narrator: Dick Hill
Duration: 13 hours 17 minutes
Released: 19 Oct 2009
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Language: English

User Review:

harpist towering

Police brutality and fears of terrorism — this 1989 books feels a lot more current than it should, except for the music mentioned all being on cassette and the “terrorists” being white (Northern Irish and anti-Thatcher anarchists).

A Goodreads reviewer says that the early books in the DCI Banks series are more like Agatha Christie mysteries (except, Id say, more character driven than Christie’s) and only later do they become thriller plots. I concur. I’ve read one later “thriller” and I like these early ones just as much. Robinson really captures people and the physical and cultural places they live in, and I love that music is such an integral part to Banks’ police work — he intentionally uses his own personal car rather than checking out a department vehicle so he can listen to his tunes. And when his music actually helps him connect with a witness who otherwise would not have spoken to him, he feels vindicated — which feels like the author responding to critics who may have disparaged his musical asides.

Anyway, a cop is stabbed to death during an anti-nuke protest and suspicion quickly falls on the local hippies. Here’s an except that will give you a feel for whether this book is for you:

“Banks drove through Keighley and Haworth into open country, with Haworth Moor on his right and Oxenhope Moor on his left. Even in the bright sun of that springlike day, the landscape looked sinister and brooding. Banks found something magical about the area, with its legends of witches, mad Methodist preachers, and the tales the Bronte sisters had spun.

“Banks slipped a cassette in the stereo and Robert Johnson sang “Hellhound on My Trail.” West Yorkshire was a long way from the Mississippi delta, but the dark, jagged edges of Johnsons guitar seemed to limn the landscape, and his haunted doom-laden lyrics captured its mood.”

Bechdel test: Pass

Grade: B+