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Tuesday, March 10, 2015


4 stars out of 5

I really do try to keep track of all the books I want to read, but sometimes one slips through the cracks. Such is the case with this, the 19th in author Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series. Released in early November of last year, it got lost in my shuffle and I didn't discover it until I saw a reference to it online in connection with the TV series produced by Amazon Studios, wondered how I'd missed it and then discovered, to my delight, that I had it after all.

It's a don't-miss series, IMHO, and this latest installment certainly didn't change my mind. Here, Harry (real first name: Hieronymus) has returned to the Open-Unsolved Unit of the LAPD after a year's absence to recuperate from a serious injury incurred in the line of duty.  He's been partnered with youngish newbie Lucia Soto, expected to show her the ropes before he cashes in and officially retires in a year or so.

Early on, they're assigned a case from several years ago, when the victim of what appeared at the time to be a random shooting - a member of a Mariachi band - finally dies and the bullet that was lodged in his spine is removed. Soon, the investigation takes on political significance as well as a possible connection to a fire during which several children died - and Bosch's new partner just happens to be the sole survivor. Throw in a robbery that occurred within a couple of blocks of the fire and minutes after it started, and suddenly dots appear that may need to be connected.

Needless to say, the investigation hits dead ends, roadblocks and even threatens to derail the careers of Bosch and his partner. But the train ride is an exciting one, and while I won't say this is the best I've read in the series, it was good enough to keep me reading every chance I got until I reached the end. Without going into detail, I'll also say that while the investigations concluded, Harry's situation left little doubt that there'll be a follow-up (and for sure I'll be watching for it).

The Burning Room by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown and Co.,November 2014); 401 pp.

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