15 August 2011
Book Banter -- Nine Dragons
Author: Michael Connelly
Length: 374 pages
Where Word Nerd's Copy Came From: Indianapolis Marion County Public Library
Plot Basics: Det. Harry Bosch is called out a liquor store robbery that leaves the Chinese-American proprietor dead. Feeling somehow connected to the dead proprietor because of a brief encounter during the LA riots in the 1990s, Bosch vows he will find the man's killer. As his investigation points to the shadowy world of Chinese triads, Bosch also receives disturbing information that his daughter in Hong Kong is in danger because of his investigation. He goes to Hong Kong to find her and puts the lives of those he loves -- and his case -- in jeopardy.
Banter Points: I finally feel like I've "arrived" in this series. Two years ago at Bouchercon 2009, "Nine Dragons" was brand new I was back around book 5 or 6 in the series and this was the title I needed to get to. Nevermind that Connelly has a couple more beyond this one now, I feel like I've made it through the backlist.
And, more to the point, it's been a worthwhile trip. I've been reading the Bosch series (and all of Connelly's backlist) since winter 2009 and I've decided I really like this series. Nine Dragons continues in this grand series of Bosch's life and work unfolding with problems with his kid and problems with his new partner. This story wouldn't hold very well as a stand-alone, but it's a great addition to the series.
Bosch is/will be one of the iconic detectives of the late 20th/early 21st century. The way we've got continuing TV movies, etc of Holmes, Poirot and Miss Marple, look for Bosch to take his place among the great detective ranks in the future.
Bummer Points: As the series progressed, Harry was a slow adopter of technology, but this book has him mostly proficient with cell phones and doing all sort of videos and things with it. While an old dog can learn new tricks, it felt out of character for Bosch and could have been a more crucial plot point to still have him fumbling.
Word Nerd Recommendation: Do I really have to say that you need to read this series at this point?