Book Banter: The Burning Room

burningTitle: The Burning Room (Harry Bosch #20)
Author: Michael Connelly
Genre: Mystery
Length: 388 pages
Where Bethany’s Copy Came From: The Indianapolis Public Library

Plot Basics: LAPD Detective Harry Bosch has a new partner and a new cold case to solve. Ten years ago, a mariachi player was shot in an apparent drive-by. He survived, but the bullet lodged in his spine slowly killed him. When he finally dies from that injury, the LAPD turns their attention back to the case. Meanwhile, Bosch’s new young hotshot partner, Lucy Soto, is working a cold case of her own, the tragic Bonnie Brae fire where she was one of the lucky young survivors. But, with Bosch still perched on the edge of retirement, both cases could prove its better to let some secrets

Banter Points: Connelly is back with another solid police procedural. I think the best thing about Bosch over the years is watching him adapt to technology. From the early days when Bosch didn’t like using a typewriter to now where he’s still a bit of a Luddite but uses tech to ping a cell phone (for example), it’s a good device to show the passage of time.

Bummer Points: I’ve seen a lot of people raving about this Bosch book online and while it’s good, I’m not sure that it deserves all that. I was disappointed in the ways that the two cold cases played out and I was disappointed too in Connelly’s story-telling. I never doubted that Bosch and Soto could solve it. I found the style overly narrative with too much telling and not enough showing.

Word Nerd Recommendation: I think I said the same thing with Harry Bosch book #18, but it’s time to let Harry retire from the LAPD. Connelly’s 2013 “Gods of Guilt” in the Mickey Haller series was far better. If you’ve been a long time Bosch reader, stick with it, but if you’re wondering what the deal is with Connelly, go back to the beginning and read the early cases.

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