Reviews for Black Box
Booklist Reviews 2012 September #2
*Starred Review* At his core, Harry Bosch is a cop with a mission--to tip the scales of justice toward the side of murder victims and their survivors. The scales can never be righted, of course, even by solving the cases Bosch is assigned in the Open Unsolved Unit of the LAPD. That is especially true in the 20-year-old murder of Danish journalist Anneke Jesperson, who was killed during the L.A. riots of 1992. What was Jesperson, a white woman, doing in South Central L.A. in the aftermath of the riots? As usual, Bosch faces not only the seeming impossibility of reconstructing a crime that has been cold for two decades but also the roadblocks imposed by the bureaucrats at the top of the LAPD. But Bosch has never met a roadblock he wasn't compelled to either barge through or cannily avoid. Harry is such a compelling character largely due to his fundamentally antiestablishment personality, which leads to chaos as often as to triumph, but also because his unswerving work ethic reflects not simply duty but also respect for the task before him. Harry does it right, even--or especially--when his bosses want something else entirely. That's the case this time--How would it look if a white cop made headlines by solving the riot-related murder of a white woman? Better to let it slide. In real life, we all let things slide, but in life according to Bosch, nothing slides. We like Harry, as we like many other fictional crime solvers, because he never stops, but we love him because he has the scars to prove that never sliding is no easy thing. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Connelly's twenty-fifth book appears in his twentieth year of publishing, an anniversary that his publisher has been celebrating throughout 2012 with various "Year of Connelly" promotions, all leading up to the publication of The Black Box. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2012 October #2
Harry Bosch (The Drop, 2011, etc.) returns to yet another cold case--one that was taken out of his hand 20 years ago when it was still red hot. Assigned to an emergency rotation in South-Central LA during the Rodney King riots, Harry's sent out to an alley off Crenshaw Boulevard, where National Guard troops have found a body. The victim turns out to be Copenhagen journalist Anneke Jespersen, executed by a bullet to the head. With the city in the throes of a violent crisis, there's no time to work this case or any other, and the death gets tossed into the deep freeze till it's defrosted 20 years later by the LAPD's Open-Unsolved Unit. Now, however, some remarkable developments are waiting to be discovered. The Beretta handgun used in the crime has been traced to long-imprisoned gangbanger Rufus Coleman, whose brief off-the-record statement allows Harry to link the gun to at least two other murders in the intervening years. If the search for information about the weapon, mostly carried out by Harry's long-suffering partner David Chu, seems almost too easy, the questions that stymied Harry back in 1992--what brought a Danish reporter to America, to riot-torn LA and to the alley where she met her death, and why was she killed?--prove just as hard to answer, especially since Harry's new boss, Lt. Cliff O'Toole, makes it clear that on the 20th anniversary of the LAPD's darkest hour, he doesn't want the only case from that sorry chapter cleared to be the one that involved a white woman. Harry naturally meets O'Toole's opposition by raising the stakes. The resulting tension lifts this sturdy but uninspired procedural above most of its competition, though nowhere close to the top of Connelly's own storied output. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Library Journal Reviews 2012 June #1
LAPD Det. Harry Bosch is back, smart enough to connect a current murder with the 1992 killing of a young female photographer during riots in Los Angeles. That killing, never solved by the Riot Crimes Task Force, now seems a whole lot more personal than anyone ever thought. Look for special promotions this year for Connelly, who's releasing his 25th book in 20 years of publishing. [Page 78]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Library Journal Reviews Newsletter
LAPD Det. Harry Bosch is back, smart enough to connect a current murder with the 1992 killing of a young female photographer during riots in Los Angeles. That killing, never solved by the Riot Crimes Task Force, now seems a whole lot more personal than anyone ever thought. Bosch must search for the "black box," that one piece of information that will explain the link between the two deaths that's just been proved by ballistics. Look for special promotions this year for Connelly, who's releasing his 25th book in 20 years of publishing. - "Six Thrillers," LJ Reviews 5/17/12 (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 September #3
Bestseller Connelly's excellent 18th Harry Bosch novel (after 2011's The Drop) opens in 1992, a few days after the acquittal of the cops who beat up Rodney King incited an eruption of violence in Los Angeles ("Flames from a thousand fires reflected like the devil dancing in the dark sky"). In a South-Central alley, Bosch and his partner, Jerry Edgar, briefly examine the body of a Danish photojournalist, Anneke Jespersen, who's been shot dead. There's not enough time or police will power to enable Bosch to pursue the case--though he does retrieve a single spent 9mm brass shell casing. Twenty years later, while working cold cases in the LAPD's Open-Unsolved Unit, Bosch gets a second chance to answer for Jespersen. Contemporary forensic technology connects the shell casing to a gun and to the first Iraq war. The tenacious detective finds himself caught in a maelstrom of departmental politics and personal danger as he searches for the "black box" of the title ("a piece of evidence, a person, a positioning of fact that brought a certain understanding and helped explain what happened and why"). Connelly draws on all his resources--his thorough knowledge of police work, his ability to fashion a complex tapestry of plot, and his ever deepening characterization of Bosch--to craft a mystery thriller sure to enthrall fans and newcomers alike. Agent: Philip Spitzer, Philip G. Spitzer Literary. (Nov.) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC