26-Sep-2011

City of Bones by Michael Connelly

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Michael Connelly was one of the authors I had been recommended during my search for a good thriller/mystery novel.

As books go, this is a good read. Detective Harry Bosch is called to investigate the bones of a small boy, found scattered in Hollywood Hills. The bones are twenty years old, if not older. Bosch takes up the investigation, despite the general reluctance of the top team. After all, this would be a case unlikely to be solved after so long, and would not justify the time and money spent. Bosch persists and goes through with the case.

Detectives are in fashion just now. I watched the popluar TV series, Dexter, with both eyes glued to the screen (Though, the protagonist is less detective and more serial killer). I keep occasionally surfing through the CSI series. I have come to expect that most detectives in novels would be the brooding types. So to stand out from the clutter, the writing has to be good, the story interesting and the protagonists likable.

Connelly does a good job of the first two. The chapters flow smoothly from one to the other. The pages turn rapidly as you hungrily wait for the next stages to evolve – always a good sign in a novel of this genre.

Where Connelly could have done better, was with Harry Bosch. Imagine an office where you work solid hours, say from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and can be considered hardworking and dedicated. Now, imagine if you had a colleague who clocked in at 7 a.m. and clocked off at 11 p.m. and sent messages on the blackberry on the time in between. Suddenly you look like someone who spends all her time having a personal life whereas you colleague seems to be single handedly pushing the economy through.

Bosch is a bit like that. One can’t complain about him working so hard. But it is annoying to notice the manner in which he tells his partner about things, only after they have happened.

Still, I would pick up another Connelly. He is pretty good at the detective business, the minor annoyance in his protagonist notwithstanding. So if you are looking to experiment with detective stories, try this author.


2 comments:

Bharathis said...

Archu read a Connelly and liked it. I shall try to get this book for Dad now.

Bharathis said...

Archu read a Connelly and recommended him. Now I shall get this one for Dad.