four-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
26-Jan-Feb-2007
user_rating: 
0

A-Echo ParkIn the 12th of the Harry Bosch series (after The Closers, 2005), the titular hero returns to the LAPD Open-Unsolved Unit to get to the bottom of a haunting mystery. In the mid-1990s, 22-year-old Marie Gesto was murdered, and her killer was never found. When a man discovered with mutilated body parts in his car is brought in, Harry meets serial killer Raynard Waits, who may admit to killing Marie—and nine others. Unfortunately, Waits will confess only if he can avoid the death penalty, and Harry realizes that he missed an important clue to the murder years back. As politics cloud the upcoming DA election and the investigation becomes more difficult, Harry struggles to clear his conscience and save his career.
Little, Brown. 416 pages. $26.99. ISBN: 0316734950

Denver Post 4 of 5 Stars
"If it is clear by the end of [Echo Park] that L.A. Detective Harry Bosch isn’t yet at the end of his career, it is equally obvious that Connelly is a writer at the top of his game. … It is hard to deny the lure of the inner workings of humans, and this is mortar binding the walls of Connelly’s intense structure." Robin Vidimos

New York Times 4 of 5 Stars
"Echo Park is another prime demonstration of Mr. Connelly’s handiwork: he has woven entirely unsurprising elements into a surprisingly suspense-filled story. Just read his rivals in the crime genre to realize how difficult this is and how easy he makes it look." Janet Maslin

Orlando Sentinel 4 of 5 Stars
"It is testament to Connelly’s skills that he makes each variation on the Bosch theme work. … It may be a cliche to say you can’t put a book down, but once I started reading Echo Park, I just couldn’t turn the pages fast enough, and the thrills and surprises kept coming." Ann Hellmuth

Los Angeles Times 3.5 of 5 Stars
"One of the main reasons for Bosch’s popularity is that he’s the kind of guy who can spend time staring into the abyss and still take his cases ‘straight to heart.’ … If there is a comparison to be made, it is to James Lee Burke’s bayou lawman Dave Robicheaux, who is engaged in a continual battle against the arrogance and greed of the powerful and for the rights of the helpless and disenfranchised." Dick Lochte

Critical Summary

Harry Bosch has been around since the Edgar Award–winning The Black Echo (1992), and critics agree that neither he nor the police-procedural series has lost of any of their original luster. Instead, they’re both getting better with age. As in previous installments, both character and plot drive Echo Park: Harry’s passion for the case and his guilt at having not found the killer before more murders occurred create a flawed, convincing hero. Michael Connelly’s sharp eye for Los Angeles, from Sunset Boulevard to Beachwood Canyon and Echo Park, also kept critics turning the pages. Overall, Echo Park "is a richly imagined and finely crafted piece that grabs the reader on Page One and locks him but a half-step behind Bosch on every page that follows" (Denver Post).