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Adventure In Reading - Michael Connelly - The Overlook

Updated on February 8, 2016

The Author And This Book

This book was published in 2007. It's about 225 pages. The book was originally written as a serial in 16 parts for the New York Times Magazine. Since that original publication, the author revised and expanded the story to become this book.

This book is about Harry Bosch. Bosch is a Los Angeles policeman who retired after 30 years service but found retirement was not very attractive. He was reabsorbed into the police department investigating homicides and this book details one of those cases.

Michael Connelly was born and spent his early years in Philadelphia before moving to south Florida where he finished high school and college and worked in the early 1980's as a journalist. He moved to California in 1987 and his books began appearing.

The Story

The story is about a killing that occurs in a parking lot in the hills of Los Angeles. The area contains multi-million dollar homes. Part of the area is devoted to a parking area that looks out over the city (hence the book name).

Several things are immediately incomprehensible to the detectives and to the reader but the probability that radioactive material is involved in the crime causes federal agencies to step in. Much of the story is caused by the conflict between the local police department and the federal agency. However, there is some internal strife in the local department because of a recently established and heaviy funded group within the Los Angeles department that deals with terrorist threats.

The insight that Harry Bosch shows from his years of police work are a major factor in the book. Both the insights that most other law enforcement personnel agree with and the insights that don't seem to do anything when they are expressed other than to irritate are present.

What Happens

Harry gets a middle of the night call telling him to respond to a killing. He contacts his new partner - Ignacio Ferras - and gives him instructions for meeting at the crime scene. Ignacio makes a point of trying to relax into a more familiar relationship with Bosch by asking him to use his nickname - "Iggy". Harry will have none of that kind of familiarity this early in the partnership.

When Harry arrives at the crime scene and before he accomplishes very much he is interrupted by the arrival of the FBI and conflict begins. One of the problems is that he had worked earlier with the agent in charge - Rachel Walling - even to the point of a romantic relationship. This relationship ended on a bad note in an earlier investigation and they hadn't spoken in over a year.

As an aside: Michael Connelly wrote a story about the case where the relationship existed. It was Echo Park.

Conflict continues with Harry and the federal agency approaching the case in different fashions. Harry wants to treat the case as a homicide. The FBI wants to treat the case as a terrorist threat. It is made clear that both agencies are probably correct because there is a death and there is evidence that a nuclear compound is involved..

Complicating the situation is the involvement of the Los Angeles Department - OHS - the newly formed division dealing with terrorists on the local level.

Intensity reaches a fever pitch. Harry and Rachel resume their never really forgotten relationship which serves to complicate the situation. The nuclear material that has gone missing turns up with medical ramifications.

Circumstances almost spin out of control but progress is made and the case is finally solved.

The Summary

This book is typically Harry Bosch in action and is a lot of fun. A reasonably complex story line drives the book and the several strings take quite a bit of thought to accomplish resolution. As with most of Michael Connelly's book I made this into a fairly quick read because I didn't want to put it down. I finished it with a day or so.

As I said, the book is a little bit complicated but I'd rate it around 7 or so on a scale of 1 to 10.


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