This is my review of Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly.
Why do I persist in reading Harry Bosch novels? The first part of "Nine Dragons" reminded me of the reasons, with the piecing together of evidence from tiny clues, the details of police practice, the convincing relationships between the male characters including hints of tension based on personality and race, together with the flavour of Los Angeles – the dusty wind from the mountains, the houses sprawling over the dry valleys, and great rivers of traffic crawling along the freeways, not to mention Bosch's shameless consumption of artery-clogging fast food.
Although it may be quite unrealistic, I was intrigued by the idea of capturing a still image from a video in order to use the landmarks visible through an open window, including the reflections in a pane, combined with analysis of noises on the video, in order to locate the position of a kidnap victim thousands of miles away in Hong Kong.
However, once Bosch arrives in Hong Kong, everything deteriorates. Connelly's women usually seem over-romanticised to me, and the presence of Bosch's ex-wife Eleanor Wish – the CIA agent turned super-croupier does not help. Perhaps understandably, since he is trying to find his kidnapped daughter, Bosch throws caution to the winds, but in the ensuing thud and blunder, further dragged down by crude plotting and style, I completely lost interest. It seemed a waste of time to bother reading to the end, so I feel obliged to award 3 stars for the first half…..