The Black Ice - Not Among His Best
Written: Jun 17, 2007
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Well paced, well written, interesting read
Cons:One-dimensional, predictable, below average for Connelly
The Bottom Line: This isn't Connelly's best book. But it's much better than most.
My favorite author at the moment is Michael Connelly, a wonderfully descriptive, interesting yarn spinner with an eye for detail and an innate ability to entertain. Im determined to read all of his books. And, being slightly anal, Ive decided to read them in order and to review each one on Epinions. I started reading them several years ago and have recently decided to go back to the beginning. Ive already reviewed Connellys first novel - The Black Echo (http://www.epinions.com/content_376382131844). The Black Ice is his second, originally published in 1993.
Its also the second Harry Bosch novel, a character that Connelly focuses on in most of his novels (but not all). In this one, Bosch is on duty on Christmas Eve when a policeman, Calexico Moore, is found dead of an apparent suicide. The LAPD is determined to brush it aside, since Moore was under investigation for working with drug dealers and the department does not like to air out its dirty laundry in public.. Bosch, of course, wants to dig deeper, as he considered Moore a friend. Plus, he never minds letting the chips fall where they may.
About Harry Bosch
Connelly has written about a dozen books that feature Harry Bosch, real name Hieronymous Bosch, after the 15th century painter who was obsessed with darkness.
Connelly has created a deep rich character in Bosch, and we meet him for the second time here. Born in 1950, Bosch was orphaned at 11, his mother was a prostitute, his father unknown to him until adulthood (and just before his father's death). Turns out, his father was a very well-known LA attorney. Bosch bounced around from foster home to foster home and finally wound up in Vietnam, where he was a tunnel rat, a talent that comes in handy in this book as well as The Black Echo..
Bosch doesn't follow the rules very well, he drinks and smokes heavily and he doesn't have many long-term relationships with women. As this book begins, Boschs female companion is Teresa Corazon, the assistant medical examiner, who, luck would have it, performs many of the autopsies for the homicide department, including Cal Moores. They have a relationship of convenience, both using each other, and there isnt any thoughts of anything long-term. But, pillow talk being what it is, Teresa tells Harry a lot of facts that the department doesnt want him to know.
Bosch is good at what he does, and his boss, Lt. Harvey 㧎 Pounds, calls him into his office and asks him to solve at least one murder before the year is up to get his units ratio of solved to unsolved crimes up above 50% for the year.
Bosch takes over a case for one of his coworkers, an alcoholic who decides to retire, has a case of his own, and is still suspicious that Moores death wasnt a suicide. Conveniently, all of these cases turn out to be related. Most of the book focuses on Harry solving these crimes.
The title of the book refers to a drug available from Hawaii and Mexico called Black Ice. Its a mixture of cocaine, heroin and PCP. Im not sure if its a fictional drug or not, as a Google search failed to materialize much regarding this. In any case, in the book, drug cartels from Hawaii and Mexico are fighting to distribute this in southern California and bodies are littered throughout. .
The Black Ice is by far the weakest book that Ive read of Connellys. Its well written and entertaining, but the plot fits together too neatly, its predictable, and in the end, a little too black and white for me.
Many of the characters are poorly developed and remain caricatures of themselves, particularly the DEA agents and the villains.
Boschs relationship with Teresa Corazon is too convenient, as is his later relationship with Sylvia Moore.
Almost everything in this book is obvious. And what isnt obvious is ridiculous. The ending is particularly ridiculous. Still, despite all of this, I liked the book. Connelly, as usual, is engaging and interesting.
The Black Ice is not Connellys best book, but its still better than most fiction that you can pull off the shelf.
Title: The Black Ice
Author: Michael Connelly
Publisher (Paperback): Warner Books
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