Friday, May 23, 2014

mini-book reviews: Void Moon, A Darkness More Than Night, and City of Bones

I've been tearing through Michael Connelly's lengthy backlist, and I often find myself with repetitive things to say about them, so I'll mostly be doing mini-reviews of his titles, unless one compels me to write more deeply. Find links to all my Michael Connelly reviews in my Book Review Database.

Void Moon is a stand-alone thriller featuring Cassie Black, a con artist. In that sense, it's quite a departure for Connelly to write from the point-of-view of the criminal. it's also a departure to have a female narrator. Connelly does both well. Cassie shares narration with a private investigator hired to recover what she steals. This approach was mostly successful, but it slowed down the fast-pace of this novel a bit. Overall, Void Moon was a page-turning thriller more than a mystery, and while it lacked the jaw-dropping twists I've come to expect from Connelly, it did keep me on my toes until the last page.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: library

A Darkness More Than Night is the seventh Harry Bosch mystery, and it also features Terry McCaleb and Jack McEvoy, whom we met in Blood Work and The Poet respectively. I was excited to see these characters come together in a single novel, and while the mystery at its core was a gripping and fascinating one, parts of it felt somewhat forced. At issue is a killer who heavily uses Hieronymous Bosch (the artist) symbols, in an attempt to frame Harry Bosch (the detective.) What fell somewhat flat for me here was believing Harry was actually a suspect. While I could see how the evidence pointed that way, as a reader, I never believed it, and that false tension rang somewhat hollow. Connelly pulls it all together at the end quite nicely, and I left satisfied.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Source: library

City of Bones is the eighth Harry Bosch mystery. I (finally!) started reading Michael Connelly's books after watching the television pilot on Amazon, and when I started City of Bones, the action was quite familiar. Indeed, this novel is one of three on which the first season will be based. The first few chapters were quite familiar, and it was fascinating to see how faithful the pilot stayed to the book. It was also wonderful to get some answers, even if the television show departs from the events of the book, I'm hooked. At issue in this novel is a very cold case, which makes the investigation more challenging. The mystery itself is riveting, and the themes hit very close to home for Bosch, which also makes this case, and thus the novel, deeply personal for him. When I finished the novel, I re-watched the pilot and am even more excited for the season to begin.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: library

Want to read Michael Connelly? I recommend starting at the beginning with The Black EchoBuy The Black Echo from an independent bookstore, the Book Depository or Amazon (Kindle edition.)

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