Friday, May 30, 2014

Black Box by Michael Connelly


Anyone who reads my blog knows that I have been on a mad rush to catch up on all of the Michael Connelly books I have missed. I’m going to be really bummed when I finally catch up because I have read some amazing books in the last month. Black Box opens with the LA Riots in 1992, a topic that has been referenced a few times in the Bosch series. Bosch is called out to try and help anyway he can because the police are horribly outnumbered. While bouncing from homicides he comes across the death of a photographer and begins to investigate the case. Something about this one sticks with him and he wants to find out what happened, but then he is taken off of it and the case goes to the Riot division. It never gets solved.
20 years later Bosch links a bullet from a recent case to the death of this photographer. Finally he can try to close this after all these years. I guess I expected more form this book. The other Bosch novels I had read recently like The Drop were really good. I think my problem is that since this book came out in 2012 I have heard nothing but rave reviews about it. Critics and publishers couldn’t talk about this book enough. Normally I don’t put any stock in those reviews but Connelly hasn’t let me down yet so I guess I really got my hopes up.  I liked it but it wasn’t my favorite of the series.
The reason I didn’t care for this was that I felt there were big chunks of the book that were a little slow. I had a hard time staying focused on what I was reading a little and found excuses to do something else. This never happens with one of Connelly’s books which seems to make it even worse. Have you ever read one of your favorite authors and been made at yourself for not enjoying the book like you feel you should?
Black Box may have been slow at times but I wasn’t necessarily disappointed so don’t think this will be a negative review. The end of this book did pick up quite a bit and I enjoyed the last quarter of it. I also really like Bosch as a character; the little interludes about his daughter and life outside of the force are really enjoyable. I just couldn’t get into this case.
I felt the book was written very well and the problem wasn’t with how it read just with keeping my attention.  It’s kind of hard to describe exactly how I feel about this book. I want to give it 4 stars because I love Connelly as an author and Bosch is one of my favorite characters to read. However, the story was just not up to the standards I am used to. The Mickey Haller books are about trial law and those can lose me from time to time because that subject isn’t my taste but even those I felt were better than Black Box. I’m also trying to catch up on the Kathy Reichs books I have missed and have been comparing the two authors. I fear that I have grown out of Kathy Reichs’s books, I don’t feel that way with this one, and I still can’t wait to read the next one from Connelly. This just wasn’t one of my favorites and now I can move on. It happens, and I think I will rate this book 3 out of 5 stars. It pains me to do so because Connelly is one of my favorite authors and anything less than four is tough to do for me.

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