The murder of John Li, a South L.A. liquour store owner, hits LAPD Detective Harry Bosch hard, and he promises Li's family that he'll find the killer. As he uncovers a link to a Hong Kong triad--a lethal and far-reaching crime ring that follows many immigrants to their new lives in the U.S.--his world instantly explodes and the person he holds most dear is taken from him.
That said, the story was an enjoyable one. I was a little disappointed at the rushed ending. I felt as though I was being tossed a ball of noodles in an effort to close things off. He could have taken a little more time to wrap things up.
This is the first Michael Connelly book that I have read and it is a good escapist thriller. As for Harry Bosch, well, he is not the brightest light. One reviewer noted that the bull in the china shop is back and there were other comments to the same effect. Harry lets testosterone be his guide. Give him a situation and he rushes in. So when his 13 year old daughter is kidnapped in Hong Kong, Harry springs into action but with no real plan. The narrative is exciting and frequently humerous, though perhaps given the bodies strewn in Harry's wake, amusement is less than sensitive. The descriptions of Hong Kong are well researched and entertaining and the action never stops. Harry is not a clever detective but sometimes he looks back and sees that he really messed things up.
"There were things that didn't make sense to him without having all the information, but there was still a chronology and a chain of events that he could put together. And as he did so , he knew that everything led back to his own actions."
But Harry never thinks too deeply about anything and he moves on quickly to his next brilliant move.
I spoke to a friend who has read many of the Harry Bosch novels who said that he did not finish a couple of books because he was so frustrated with Harry's stupidity and it spoiled the plot.
Connelly's Harry Bosch series reminds me a little of the very successful Bob Skinner mysteries by Quintine Jardin. Like Harry, Bob is not the brightest light but he is very entertaining and quite possibly realistic. So you have to embrace that concept to enjoy these books.
Harry is a cop. A Chinese shopkeeper has been murdered. Was it a member of the Tong or someone else? How is this going to involved his daughter and her mother in China? Is there a leak in the cop house? Who can Harry trust? The answers will come as Harry 'globe trots'! The action and pace are fast and furious! 'Just the kind of book I like!
O, this is another of Hachette Audio books.. I like what they do!
Unfortunately, the premise of a LA cop flitting off to Hong Kong to tackle the Triads (about which he knows very little)in a weekend and be back to LA in time for work on Monday morning beggars belief, especially given the number of bodies he leaves behind. I thought bringing in the Lincoln Lawyer to help keep Harry out of trouble with the HK constabulary was a nice touch, although slighy unreal in the manner they were dealt with.
Methinks Mr Connelly didn't put in as much effort into this book as he could have. Overall, only a fair read for the Harry Bosch fan, but shoot-em-up thriller readers who aren't as much concerned with plot and character development will probably enjoy it. In any case, after so many good reads, we have to expect an occasional bomb, so we shouldn't be too harsh.
First, Harry is embroiled in a complex plot involving Chinese Triads, with events ranging from LA all the way to Hong Kong – and it’s his own daughter who becomes a pawn in their game. Second, since I’ve lived in Hong Kong for over two decades, it was fun to see one of my favorite fictional characters pay a visit.
But this is not one of Connelly’s better efforts. The police procedural phase of the story is over and done with so quickly you realize it comprises just an introduction to the real meat here, which is a suspense/chase sequence set in Hong Kong. To be kind, Bosch is Bosch throughout – impulsive, bull-headed, cranky and tough – and this leads to a series of misunderstandings and missed opportunities that give the story more heft and interest than the standard suspense/thriller.
But many turns in the plot burst right through the bonds of plausibility, especially when the story moves to Hong Kong. And although Connelly manages to get some details about HK right, he whiffs completely – or simply misrepresents – many more. Unlike the vicious, chaotic urban nightmare Connelly presents, Hong Kong is crowded but orderly, and it’s incredibly safe. Also, Connelly distorts HK’s geography in odd and unnecessary ways; there seemed little reason to do so in order to fit the plot, so I was left wondering if he spent any more time here researching than Harry did tracking down his daughter.
So recommended, but with reservations. There are many, many better choices in the Harry Bosch series.
I am a big fan of detective novels, and I love a good series -- you get a chance to get to know the characters, to see them succeed (or fail) and to see what happens in their lives. Harry Bosch is a great example. We've seen him through various ups and downs during his time with the LAPD (IAD investigations, transfers from Robbery Homicide to the cold case squad and back again) and turmoil in his personal life, including having his home destroyed in an earthquake. We saw him briefly married to Eleanor Wish, a former FBI agent who is now a professional poker player in Hong Kong; their daughter -- a daughter Harry never knew he had -- lives with her mother overseas.
The story starts with a shooting in a liquor store; not an uncommon occurrence in LA. The victim is an elderly Chinese man, someone Bosch met many years ago, and he feels a strong connection to the case. He's a little out of his element -- he doesn't speak the language or understand the family's customs. Consulting with the Asian Gang Unit leads to suspicions that a Triad may be involved -- the victim appears to be paying off a customer with a suspicious tattoo on a surveillance tape.
Because Chu is unable to get a quick translation of the Chinese tattoos on the victim (which makes Bosch suspiscious), Bosch sends pictures of them to his daughter in Hong Kong. Maddie is able to make the translation and although Bosch cautions her to keep quiet about it, well, she's a teenaged girl with pictures of a real-life murder victim on her cell phone! She is bound to tell somebody. A few hours later, Bosch has a video message showing his daughter, tied to a chair, the victim of a kidnapping.
Hong Kong is a very different world from Los Angeles, but Bosch is determined to protect his daughter. His ex-wife, Eleanor, and her colleague, Sun Yee, are able to provide some help, but Harry is running on instinct. He needs to find his little girl before she disappears into an Asian underworld of triads and human traffickers.
The story moves at a whirlwind pace and sweeps you right along with it. The characters are real and honest -- there are no saints in this story and they will get a chance to try and atone for their sins. There are mistakes and mis-steps along with flashes of brilliant investigating. It's a terrific addition to a terrific series.
The world Bosch steps into next is unknown territory. He brings in a detective from the Asian Gang Unit for help with translation--not just of languages but also of the cultural norms and expectations that guided Li's life. He uncovers a link to a Hong Kong triad, a lethal and far-reaching crime ring that follows many immigrants to their new lives in the U.S.
And instantly his world explodes. The one good thing in Bosch's life, the person he holds most dear, is taken from him and Bosch travels to Hong Kong in an all-or-nothing bid to regain what he's lost. In a place known as Nine Dragons, as the city's Hungry Ghosts festival burns around him, Bosch puts aside everything he knows and risks everything he has in a desperate bid to outmatch the triad's ferocity.
Fourteenth in the series. As always, Harry is resourceful, personable, and continues to grow as a character. Highly recommend the series.
There is a few things that make Harry wonder about it. But Harry is a man of action not thought. He likes to keep things moving. Those that sit and ponder, are wimps. Plus it looks like the Triad is making things personal. Very personal. You don't mess around with Harry. You especially don't make it personal. So Harry has to make a whirlwind trip to Hong Kong to straighten out his personal affairs. Those Chinese guys find out that they made a big mistake with Harry.
He comes back and resumes his murder investigation. Oops, uh, Harry made some mistakes. Maybe he should have done a little more thinking.
Doesn't matter, Harry straightens everything out but his life is changed. He has to take care of his teenage daughter now. Oops, can't just chase after bad guys any more. You gotta make sure that somebody is picking up the kid. What's he going to do. We'll see with next book.
This is a great action detective novel. I give it 2.5 stars out of 4. Good, but not great.
Fast-paced and cleverly plotted. Contains significant police procedure detail - an odd combination of new and relatively old (cell phone) technology. The audio narration by Len Cariou is too labored for the pace of the book but does reflect Harry's old-school style. The book's appeal lies in the intricate story and Harry's new role as the father of a teenage daughter.