The Burning Room

by Michael Connelly

Hardcover, 2014

Call number





Little, Brown and Company (2014), Edition: First Edition, 400 pages


In the LAPD's Open-Unsolved Unit, not many murder victims die almost a decade after the crime. So when a man succumbs to complications from being shot by a stray bullet nine years earlier, Bosch catches a case in which the body is still fresh, but all other evidence is virtually nonexistent.

User reviews

LibraryThing member edwardsgt
Superb Bosch story. Harry is back in Open and Unsolved with a new rookie female partner and given a 20 year old murder case to solve as the victim has only just died from their wounds. Harry is a bit uncertain about his new partner, especially when he finds out she is pursuing a 20 year old
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personal hobby case in her own time. As always authentic LA / California locations, strong well-drawn characters and clever plotting elevate this story above the ordinary. The plot involves politics, corruption, anti-hispanic discrimination cleverly woven together. Highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member susandennis
Harry Harry Harry, you are like my favorite slippers. You make my life better and never disappoint. This time Harry has a new partner - a kid of the female variety. They are working a really old, cold case that the kid was actually a part of when she was really a kid, in day care.

As usual the plot
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and the writing is very satisfying. I hope that Connelly can put off Harry's real retirement forever.
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LibraryThing member gmmartz
I suppose this is what we have to look forward to from Michael Connelly in this stage of his career: a decent story, padded by a 2nd plot whose only connection with the first is the contrived pairing of the lead detective with a rookie who happened to be at the scene of the 2nd cold case, boring
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prose, wooden dialogue, and a total squandering of the huge equity built up for the Bosch character by refusing to mine any of it throughout the novel.

The dialogue in particular bothers me. It really has the feel of a 'first pass' that was never cleaned up, with the author plugging in what he intends to say but never editing it later to make it sound realistic. The rest of the writing isn't much better. I think Mr. Connelly, who used to be one of my favorite writers in this genre, has reached the point where he's calling his work 'good to go' much too early, when several more passes of editing would do it a world of good.

As I mentioned above, the 2 plots represent fairly solid 'cold case' stories that could have stood independently if a writer who wanted to do the work was at the helm. Unfortunately, they were thrown together and, although they were both solved satisfactorily, more detail in both would have been better. Most of the procedural work seemed solid and Bosch's instincts were sharp, but in at least one situation I can think of a very unlikely discovery of evidence was a shortcut that might have been better handled more realistically.

It's sad to see "Harry" Bosch, one of the giant characters of police procedural fiction, riding off into the sunset in such a sad way. Contrast it with how John Sandford is handling the aging Lucas Davenport in his 'Prey' series and you'll see the difference between an author who has planned out and cares about the character's transition and one who seems to be just going through the motions.

This isn't a bad book, but if you want to read some really good Connelly you should try his early Bosch novels.
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LibraryThing member everfresh1
Harry Bosch novels have evolved and if you are fine with that transformation, if you are fine with the transition from edge-of-the-seat dark page turner to more subdued everyday police work with not much suspense then you will like this latest installment. I do miss dark suspense of earlier novels.
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It also seems recently author always (from the top of my head) have two independent lines of investigation. It could be fine sometimes but if this is something that is always present it would point that author just straggles to find a plot that will be enough for the whole book.
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LibraryThing member Kathy89
I do love Harry Bosch! Harry has a new partner he's mentoring, a young Hispanic woman -- Lucky Lucy - newly promoted to detective. She's interested in solving a case that she was involved in as a 4 year old in preschool that was arson. As they work to solve the case of a man who just died from a
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gunshot wound received 10 years previously, it happens that it overlaps Lucia's past.

It's interesting to see Harry juggle parenthood with his work but as a Bosch fan I'm a little concerned about the ending of the book. What's next for Harry?.
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LibraryThing member SigmundFraud
I seldom read detective fiction but of the little I have read, Michael Connelly is the best. His newest Harry Bosch story is The Burning Room. Like all his novels it is well written and a page turner but I was unhappy at the end. I won't share the end with you because I don't want to spoil the
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story for you, but I was angry at the finish. It is distressing to see how politics mingles and interferes with the police force which must be true in most, if not all, big cities. Do read it.
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LibraryThing member librarian1204
#19 in the Harry Bosch series. Not the best of the series but good enough to stay with book and to anticipate reading #20. Bosch is nearing the end of his time in DROP and has a new young partner to train. Unsolved cases do get concluded. Looking forward to the Bosch TV series on Amazon.
LibraryThing member chasidar
Convoluted and hard to follow
LibraryThing member MarlaAMadison
Harry Bosch gets involved in a case reopened when a victim of a shooting dies of blood poisoning caused by a bullet lodged in his spine for many years. Now it has become a murder case and Harry and his new partner pursue the case that ends up having ties to people politically high-placed. At the
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same time his partner wants him to help her solve another old case, one she was personally involved in as a child. Connelly weaves the two cases together masterfully as Harry and Lucia fight to make sense of them. Great suspense read.
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LibraryThing member Suzannie1
loved it fantastic as usual
LibraryThing member mikedraper
LAPD Detective Harry Bosch returns from retirement to work in the LAPD Open-Unsolved Unit.

He's teamed with and eager rookie, detective Lucia Soto, who has just been honored for her quick thinking in a shooting incident.

They view the autopsy of a mariachi musician, Orlando Merced, who was shot with
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a stray bullet ten years ago. He was paralyzed from the wound and finally died of complications. This raised the case to a murder investigation.

The detectives travel to Mariachi Plaza, the scene of the shooting and speak to other mariachi musicians to get a start of the investigation. Then they interview the other members of the group. Gradually, they work their way up fitting little pieces of the puzzle into place. The direction of the investigation changes and politics comes into being.

During this time, Det. Soto is also investigating an apartment fire that proved to be arson resulting in murder. The Bonnie Brae apartment fire which killed nine victims. She has a personal interest in this case because she was in the building and some of her friends were killed.

As politics enters the case, other impediments add to the complications but Harry's experience and Lucia's energy and determination build the two cases intelligently and suspensefully.

Harry Bosch is one of the best detectives in mystery literature and he shows his knowledge and mentoring ability with Lucia.

Los Angeles is well described with the various restaurants, roadways and historical references. At one confrontation they are in the Los Angeles hotel where Whitney Houston died.

The ending is a slam dunk and leaves the reader gasping for more.
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LibraryThing member EdGoldberg
Some things age to perfection. Would that it was Michael Connelly’sBurningRoom Harry Bosch series. The quality of the stories in this series range from great to not so great, with The Burning Room logging in somewhere around average. (This might be a good time to point out, though, that I’ve
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panned several mysteries recently that other journals have mysteriously (pun intended) lauded. So, you might take my opinion with a grain of salt.)

Bosch, a year and a half away from forced retirement, is working cold cases. He’s paired with relative newby, Lucia Soto, a heroine cop for being involved in a deadly shootout with armed robbers. A mariachi musician, Orlando Merced, who 10 years earlier was shot and paralyzed, has recently died and the cause was an infection directly caused by the bullet which was never removed, thus making it a homicide. An Hispanic mayoral candidate at the time,Armando Zeyas, used Merced in his campaign to illustrate the lack of police presence in the Latino neighborhoods and has now renewed the reward offer he made 10 years prior. There is little evidence to work with.

Soto has her own reasons for choosing Cold Cases. In 1989, as a young girl, she survived a fire in the derelict building that housed the illegal day care center she attended. Nine people, mostly children, died in the fire. The fire, originally deemed accidental, was ultimately determined to have been arson. No one was ever charged with the crime. She convinces Bosch to review the case, off the record, since their assigned case is getting a lot of internal and media attention.

There’s not a lot of action in The Burning Room, but that’s not necessarily a detriment since it’s a police procedural…more plodding than action oriented. However, in my opinion there are way too many wide leaps, stretches to get from the initial murder investigation to the final outcome. The story line is OK, not overly compelling but not bad.

I like Lucy Soto as a new character, anxious to please, willing to learn from the master, but no dope either. If Connelly wants to create a new series around a Hispanic protagonist, Soto would be the person character, showing how she comes into her own as a result of working with Bosch.

I just get the feeling Connelly is getting tired of Bosch; getting a little stale. After 17 books, it may be time for something new.
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LibraryThing member infjsarah
There are only a few crime series I follow without reservation and the Bosch books are one. And this is another great installment. Bosch even seems to get a rookie partner he actually likes. Wonder if Connelly is going to take her as the main character in a few books? I'm not sure Bosch is capable
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of retirement - won't he go crazy with boredom?
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LibraryThing member starkravingmad
Entertaining crime novel, but not one of Connelly's better books. Very contrived plot
LibraryThing member kenzen
I wish the Harry Bosch series would never end. It's my favorite crime series and the quality has stayed consistently good for 19 books now.
LibraryThing member JFMC
I listened to this as a Book on CD - I am extremely fond of these since I started commuting to work 5 work years ago. The main character, Harry Bosch is not the typical detective on the L.A. PD force. His relationship with his younger female partner is unique in that there is no sexual tension
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which is good because if there was it would detract from the story. The reader or listener can focus on the case entirely there is no fluff to distract. This is good read for males or no nonsense females! You will like Harry and respect him - how often can you say that about cops?
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LibraryThing member SimonLarsen
Classic Harry Bosch story but very shallow and predictable compared to the previous books in the series.
LibraryThing member jamespurcell
New partner and a cold case becomes a hot one with serious political overtones. On the side, his partner is pursing another old case where numerous small children died in an arson caused fire. Lots of careful police work resolves both cases but Harry may have made an inadvertent but serious move
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toward his retirement.
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LibraryThing member Tatoosh
This is the first book I have read with the Harry Bosch character. The story maintained my interest but the contrived ending with Harry being suspended made me doubt I will want to read another. That is so cliche.
LibraryThing member DBettenson
The Burning Room
By: Michael Connelly
Little, Brown & Co.; 2014

From best selling author Michael Connelly, comes a new detective mystery, "The Burning Room" - you won't be able to put it down!

Soon to retire, Detective Harry Bosch and his new partner, Lucia Soto, work in the Unsolved Crime Unit in Los
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Angeles. Their first case together is a huge one - the recent death of a man named Merced, who died from complications of injuries caused by an unsolved sniper shooting ten years prior. Finally having the bullet that was embedded In Merced's spine, Bosch and Soto soon to begin to uncover new leads and new evidence, steadily expanding their search.

Additionally, when Bosch learns that his new partner, Soto, had survived an unsolved arson as a child in an illegal daycare where many children died, he agrees to help Soto try to solve the case.

"The Burning Room" is a thrill of a read! A must on any summer reading list.

I received this book for free to review. I am a member of NetGalley, Goodreads, LibraryThing and maintain a book blog at
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LibraryThing member Amusedbythis
Another great Harry Bosch book. It was hard to put down.
LibraryThing member lewilliams
Harry Bosch and new partner Lucia Soto are assigned a twenty year old case of a man shot ten years previously. When the victim dies, it becomes a murder investigation. This case crosses paths with an arson that occurred on the same day of the shooting. Bosch must decide if the two cases are relate
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and if so how or is the fire just a coincidence? A fast paced thriller from Michael Connelly. The Harry Bosch novels never disappoint.
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LibraryThing member sgbg
Like listening to Harry Bosch telling a story about himself in third person. Soothing (which might not be what Connelly was aming for, but I like it).
LibraryThing member davevanl
Masterfully written, not from the aspect of high literature, but from the aspect of an attention-keeping story. Connelly melds an aging veteran with a newbie and manages to revolve it around the strengths of both. Well done.
LibraryThing member Pmaurer
Harry Bosch novels always are enjoyable. This one pairs him with a new, young partner, Lucy Soto. Its about a cold case murder in which the victim dies 20 years later, and a fire, in which many children are victims. Well done, but the link between the two cases somewhat hard to establish after so
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