three-and-half-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
30-Sept-Oct-2007
user_rating: 
0

A-The OverlookAt the end of Echo Park ( 4 of 5 Stars Jan/Feb 2007), Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch left the LAPD’s Open Unsolved Unit and joined its Homicide Special Unit. In this 13th installment, Bosch investigates the murder of Dr. Stanley Kent, whose body appears on the overlook near Mulholland Drive. He meets up again with a former lover, FBI agent Rachel Walling, when she tries to take over the case in the name of national security. Tenacious as ever, Bosch stays in the game as Walling searches for dangerous radioactive materials left in Kent’s car. As the LAPD, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security fight for control of the case, Bosch follows clues to a nefarious terrorist plot.
Little, Brown. 225 pages. $21.99. ISBN: 0316018953

Denver Post 4 of 5 Stars
"The Overlook is a fine addition to Connelly’s oeuvre, replete with all the elements his readers have come to expect: great velocity, imagery and unexpected twists. But the novel’s most endearing quality, shared with its predecessors, is that Bosch and those characters in his orbit are unusually fully realized and fallible—in other words, human." Robin Vidimos

Los Angeles Times 4 of 5 Stars
"The other great literary creation in these novels is Connelly’s Los Angeles, a poisoned garden he’s mapped as a physical and psychological landscape, both scrupulously real. Into the daily flow of the city’s boulevards, freeways and public throngs he blends images—the tunnel, the precipice, the river, the coyote, the tower—that glimmer like hallucinations in a dreamscape by Edgar Allan Poe." Donna Rifkind

Oregonian 4 of 5 Stars
"He’s an economic writer with an arch sense of humor, a quick-sketch master, and his eye is on the plot all the way, making this a fast read and a hard book to put down if you’re a murder-mystery fan. … The fact that he’s writing in the 21st century adds immediacy." Holly Johnson

San Antonio Exp-News 4 of 5 Stars
"Connelly, a descendant of Raymond Chandler … is not just a police procedurist. … His plots always intrigue, and his prose is urgent—every sentence moves the story forward. The Overlook will keep you on the edge of the precipice to the last page." Steve Bennett

Washington Post 2.5 of 5 Stars
"Only slightly longer than half the length of his previous Bosch novels, and with its action compressed into a 12-hour time frame, it’s all hyped-up, jittery action, with a suspenseful story but little of the complexity and humanity that are Connelly’s trademarks." Kevin Allman

Chicago Sun-Times 2 of 5 Stars
"Within the Bosch oeuvre, The Overlook is professional but perfunctory. … The plotline doesn’t keep the mystery suspended, and worse, by page 92, I had figured out one of the criminals and the murderer’s motivation." Christine Ledbetter

Critical Summary

Michael Connelly originally published The Overlook as a serialized novella in the New York Times Magazine; the 16 sections contained 3,000 words each. Although expanded to novel form, The Overlook weighs in as a good, if slim (and perhaps, as a few critics claim, slight), addition to the Harry Bosch series. For the most part, the novel succeeds in maintaining Connelly’s trademark fast-paced action, plot twists, suspense, and spare, humorous writing—all over the course of 12 hours. Some reviewers cited tired characters, dull romance, a bizarre time frame, and plotting missteps, but for followers of Harry Bosch, The Overlook is a worthy addition.