Maybe the Metropolitan Planning Commission knew what they were doing when they tried to close the doors of our Little Free Library. I confess our LFL has turned me into a junkie. I’ve become addicted to the Harry Bosch mysteries by Michael Connelly. It started out innocently. I saw a three volume tome of Harry Bosch mysteries in our LFL and took them out, thinking I had never read any of these books though I had heard of them. One night when I was in the mood for something different to read, I picked up this thick book.I thought if the book wasn’t any good, I could return it to the LFL without reading it and have more room on my personal library shelves. It didn’t turn out that way. In quick succession I read the three books in that volume: The Last Coyote (1995), Trunk Music (1997)and Angels Flight (1999). I stayed up until 1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 am reading these books. I couldn’t put them down.
Once I finished, I remembered I had another paperback by Michael Connelly that had been on my book shelves for months. I found and quickly read City of Bones (2002). I breathed a sigh of relief. I might now get some sleep and complete other things I needed to do. However, the next day I went out to the LFL after some school children had messed up the books. As I straightened up the LFL, I saw someone had left another Michael Connelly mystery. So, in the next couple of days I completed 9 Dragons (2009).
Someone left a couple boxes of books on our porch. Since ours is the most notorious LFL in town, we get a lot of donations. Periodically I organize the books and share some with other LFLs if we are overstocked in a certain genre or author. As luck would have it, one box held another Harry Bosch mystery, The Burning Room (2014), a more recent addition to the series.
I don’t worry about reading the books in order because I don’t seek them out. They find me, so I read them in the order in which they appear in my life.I like the titles of the Bosch books because the connection between plot and title is strong and helps distinguish one book from another in my memory bank.
The Last Coyote refers a bedraggled coyote that roams Harry’s neighborhood after the massive LA earthquake that severely damaged Harry’s home. Or is the last coyote that Harry sees and dreams about really Harry himself who is in danger of being the last police detective of his ilk in the department? In this novel, Harry is on forced leave from the department and takes advantage of the time off to investigate his own mother’s murder.Trunk Music is what police term it when the killer shoots someone who is captive inside the trunk of a car at the time of the killing, an unpleasantly vivid image that describes the plot of this who-done-it.
Angels Flight concerns the sexual abuse and murder of a young girl. The title describes the way she was posed in death and her release from the horrors of her life on earth.City of Bones is what the medical examiner called the grid she laid out when recovering bones from a suspected homicide site on the side of a hill.
9 Dragons is the English translation of Kowloon, the name of the most populated region of Hong Kong. The murder of a Chinese liquor store owner takes Harry from L.A.’s Chinatown to Hong Kong where Harry’s daughter and ex-wife live.The Burning Room refers to an unauthorized basement child care center in a tenement that was torched by arsonists.
The Harry Bosch mysteries are gritty police procedurals, and Harry is a seasoned veteran. His job is his life blood but his success in solving murders comes with high collateral damage to those around him. The action is fast-paced and the body count high. Bureaucrats are Harry’s nemesis, and he often doesn’t have the support of his superiors in the police department. Just when it appears Harry has worked his last case, he gets a reprieve and his services, investigating homicides, are again in demand.