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Friday, November 07, 2014

Nine Dragons (A Harry Bosch Novel) by Michael Connelly | LibraryThing

When authors with a successful series and a well-defined character take that character out of his/her normal environment, to a foreign country, say, where he performs spectacularly, you know  the book is about to go off the rails.  The only explanation I can come up with is that the author wanted a trip to whatever country where the new mystery takes place and wanted a tax write-off for the trip.

I like Michael Connelly and the Harry Bosch series.  This one, while a fast-paced read, as are the others, left me very unsatisfied.  Harry is not a very nice character, self-centered and hypercritical of others. For sure, he’s a good detective, but to ream out his partners for not telling him about everything, and then withhold crucial information from them doesn’t seem right or ethical, and it’s just stupid.

My eyes also begin to roll out of their sockets when the investigations become personal. My friends in law enforcement tell me that just never happens, and in this case, where Harry’s daughter is kidnapped in Hong Kong where she lives with his ex-wife, to prevent Harry’s investigation into a Triad extortion ring in LA, just totally strained my credibility.   Coincidences abound.  The gun found on a couple of bad guys in a hotel where they suspect his daughter might have been held, just happens to be inscribed with the initials of a “tunnel rat” in Vietnam, which Harry had been.  I mean, really.

Harry flies to Hong Kong to find and release his daughter, whom, he assumes, has been kidnapped by the Triad because of his personal actions in the LA investigation. He is confident he can accomplish all this in a *weekend* before he has to return to LA.  (Is there any doubt in the readers mind he’ll pull this off?  Is there anyone who actually believes this might ever be possible?) He leaves a trail of bodies following an “investigation” that was less believable than the Wizard of Oz.

Connelly is a competent writer and a good story-teller.  But this one just had me shaking my head in wonder.

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