The basics: Harry Bosch is on trial in civil court for the killing of the Dollmaker serial killer four years ago. Meanwhile, it appears the Dollmaker may not be dead. A new note, presumably from the killer, is received, and it points to a new body, one who died after the Dollmaker.
My thoughts: I have an odd fascination for serial killer stories, and Concrete Blonde is a good one. By re-investigating the murders from four years ago, before the Bosch series begins, the reader gets to know more about this case that demoted Bosch from the prestigious Robbery Homicide Division to Hollywood homicide. In many ways, this book felt allows Bosch and his recent past to come full circle. It's simultaneously an intriguing mystery and a suspenseful legal thriller, as every clue to the new body and note have potentially dire implications for Bosch's civil defense case.
I enjoyed each element of this novel, but I most appreciated the depth with which Connelly explores Bosch's backstory in this mystery. I'm frequently annoyed when mystery writers stifle character growth, even when paired with a compelling mystery. Connelly shows no fear, either in his mysteries tinged with law enforcement corruption or with exploring Bosch's demons. Bosch isn't a character I would say I particularly liked, but he is one I increasingly trust and remain fascinated by. I can't wait to see where Connelly takes him nest.
The verdict: Concrete Blonde is another excellent book in a superb series. While I correctly predicted some of its twists and turns, Connelly once again kept me on my toes. The biggest strength of this novel is the combination of beguiling mystery and the continued growth of Bosch as a character.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Length: 392 pages
Publication date: June 1, 1994
Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy Concrete Blonde from an independent bookstore, the Book Depository or Amazon (Kindle edition.)
Want more? Visit Michael Connelly's website, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter.
As an affiliate, I receive a small commission when you make a purchase through any of the above links. Thank you for helping to support my book habits that bring more content to this blog!