Michael Connelly’s Chasing the Dime

Overview: Henry Pierce has just moved in to a new apartment, complete with a new phone number. Unfortunately, that number belonged to a girl named Lilly. Since his break-up with his fiancé, Henry decides to find Lilly. Will this idea work out for the best? Or will he regret ever starting out on this excursion.

Story Telling: Normally, a mystery involving people outside of law-enforcement, or the legal field, being the protagonists is called a cozy-mystery. I’m not so sure what kind of mystery this would be, as it breaks the other rules for a cozy.

Dislikes: It’s Henry. This guy is supposedly a certified genius. I understand that just because you are a genius in one field, it doesn’t mean that the genius branches out to all aspects of your life, but this guy doesn’t even have the basics of common sense. His moral code irked me as well.

One more thing. I don’t care if you prefer to call it ‘social engineering,’ a lie is a lie. At least be man enough to admit to it.

Likes: Playing the game of cross-over cameos is pretty fun. Also, there were quite a few honorable characters in the story.

Favorite Character: Well, there’s Nicole, Robert Renner, and Clyde Vernon.

Favorite Scene and Quote: There isn’t one here.

Conclusion: This is a story for those who prefer it dark. Personally, I prefer some redeeming factor in my protagonists.

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Michael Connelly’s The Crossing-Harry Bosch 20 Mickey Haller 7

Overview: Harry is now retired fro the LAPD. Unfortunately, Martin O’Dell’s attempts to save money for the department, may backfire for it instead. One of the perks of having a lawyer for a brother. Now Harry can see the downsides of having a defense-attorney for a brother. Mickey needs a favor, and Harry is the only one he can turn to. Mickey is positive that his client is innocent, and his investigator–Cisco–has had an accident. Harry begrudgingly agrees to look into the case. But will he survive the crossing?

Story Telling: We have a suspense-novel, and a mystery. You can’t call it a police-procedural this time, as Harry no longer has a badge. Surprise! This is a third-person point-of-view story.

Dislikes: Harry seemed so depressed this time around. Maybe, I’ve gotten too used to his mission-oriented thinking. Or it could be that I’m no where near retirement.

Likes: Lucia is terrific. She could have easily gained brownie points with her colleagues by snubbing her former partner. I like how she handled it.

It’s good to know that Harry’s mission is to the truth, and not the prosecution.

Oh, and I finally learned how to pronounce Cisco’s name.

Favorite Character: It’s a toss-up between Lucia and Cisco.

Favorite Quote: Here’s what I mean about Cisco’s name. “It sounded like she pronounced the name Watch-Your-House-Key.”

Favorite Scene: Mendenhall is back. And she agreed to go on a date with Harry.

Conclusion: This is a pretty good book. If you are a fan of Harry Bosch you might want to catch this one.

Michael Connelly’s The Gods of Guilt-Mickey Haller 5

Overview: Mickey is still practicing criminal defense law after losing his run for District Attorney. Now a murder case has landed in his lap with a very familiar victim. What was Gloria Dayton doing back in Los Angeles? Did Andre La Crosse kill her, or is he just a convenient patsy?

Story Telling: We are with Mickey, so this is a first-person legal thriller. Warning: read ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ first. This one will make more sense that way.

Likes: Mickey has one heck of a mentor in Legal Siegel.
Their relationship was a keystone of this novel’s enjoyment factor.

Maggie McFierce may have been irked at Mickey, but she still strongly encouraged their daughter to keep a relationship with her father.

Dislikes: Hayley, you were a spoilt brat this time around. Even if Mickey hadn’t gotten the man, who killed your friend and her mother, off on a technicality, it may not of stopped the accident. Life happens to the best of us. And it sometimes ends before we can make amends. Defense attorneys are just as important as prosecutors are. It’s called ‘checks and balances.’

Favorite Character: Legal Siegel, especially the way he treated Mickey like a son.

Favorite Quote: Legal tried to help Mickey out of his funk here. “The point is that there are plenty of people out judging us every day of our lives and for every move we make. The gods of guilt are many. You don’t need to add to them.”

Favorite Scene: One of the best scenes would be just about any time that Mickey is around Legal, but particularly when the team breaks him out for the pizza party.

Conclusion: This was a terrific novel. I just hope that they next Harry Bosch novel doesn’t lean so far into politics again.

Michael Connelly’s The Burning Room-Harry Bosch 19

Overview: Harry has a year left on his DROP, and a new partner, again, Lucia Soto. Their case is a bit different for one of the Open Unsolved Unit’s cases. See, a member of a mariachi band, Orlando Merced, was shot and paralyzed ten years ago. Now, he is dead, as a result of the shooting. There’s just one problem for the killer this time around. You see, Lucy is so much like Harry, down to her mission, that their odds of closing this case are better than good. She even has an open case that eats at her hear: a fire at an apartment complex that killed several, including children at a daycare center in the complex. Will her formidable drive help them solve her case as well?

Story Telling: This is still Harry Bosch’s third person police procedural.

Likes: Harry makes a pretty good mentor. Lucy seems so much like a younger Bosch, except for the fact that she doesn’t smoke.

Maddie is taking her dreams to be a cop seriously. She’s joined a branch of the LAPD called ‘Explorers,’ along with a few volunteer programs.

Dislikes: I’ll be honest, I almost quit this book. It’s extremely hard to read out loud, unless you understand Spanish. The names, the places, even the music style, started to trip me up. Yes, there is large Hispanic population in Los Angeles. But this novel almost seemed to be trying to cater to that population. Even Lucy mentioned “white flight.” Just because someone moves from a neighborhood doesn’t mean that person is a racist. He or she could have moved for safety reasons, for the chance to get a better job, for a better school. There are many reasons. Though in the case presented by this book, it’s more likely that a white family would move simply because of the language barrier. Why do all of the efforts to be tolerant have to fall on the white families?

Also, the idea of a company seeking to fire someone to save on the pensions strikes me as immoral. You just don’t treat people like that.

Favorite Character: It would be Maddie this time around.

Favorite Quote: Rick Jackson has a good attitude about ‘the book.’ “The book comes through. You guys get a slice of pie while you were in town?”

Favorite Scene: I enjoyed the way Harry watched over Maddie during her ‘Carding’ sting. She never knew it either.

Conclusion: I’m not quite sure how to take this one. I’ll wait until I read “The Gods of Guilt” to pass judgment on the Bosch Universe.

Michael Connelly’s The Black Box-Harry Bosch 18

Overview: Harry has a chance to solve a case close to his heart. Twenty years ago a Danish reporter, Anneke–known as Anne for the rest of my review–was murdered during the Rodney King Riots. Now the gun used to kill her has been tied to two other murders. Harry is all for solving this case, though the higher-ups aren’t as enthusiastic. You see, Anne was a petite blonde white woman, found murdered in a predominately black neighborhood. There were a lot of black people murdered at the same time. Can the powers-that-be convince Harry that the city doesn’t need a new set of riots? I wouldn’t hold my breath if I was in their place.

Story Telling: Harry Bosch still delivers us a third-person police procedural. This time around, though, it seems like there’s a showing of the political side of police work.

Likes: Harry shows a strong vibe of fatherly concern when it comes to Maddie. Chu seems to have settled into a nice partnership with Harry as well.

Mendenhall was lined up with the honest reason that IAD was created for. No, I don’t care what the new chief wanted to call it, it’s still the IAD.

Dislikes: Hey, Mr. Connelly! For the most part, we read Harry Bosch novels to watch Harry hunt down the jerks who think that they can get away with murder. Or we read to see how his relationships with his family and would-be lovers are going. But, politics are very low on that list. And for this reader, it doesn’t even make the list.

Shawn Stone has serious problems, and that was before he got a name in the series.

Hey, Harry. Here’s a hint. Try not snooping into personalized bags. You trust somebody until he or she proves that trust is overrated (see Stone for an example).

Favorite Character: Bill Holodnak. He played a jazz game with Harry, and he set up one of the best scenes in the book.

Favorite Quote: ““Kid,” Holodnak said. “You’re doing better than most of the cops who come through here.””

Favorite Scene: Harry took Maddie to a specialized gun range. A nice start to a new life in law enforcement.

Conclusion: Once you get past the politics, this is a pretty good novel. Enjoy.

Michael Connelly’s The Reversal-Mickey Haller 3, Harry Bosch 16

Overview: Mickey Haller has been given a chance to cross the aisle this time around. Gabriel Williams needs an independent prosecutor to try the case of Jason Jessup. Jessup was convicted of a child’s murder, but that conviction was reversed to a DNA test’s results. Mickey agrees as long as he can choose his second chair and his chief investigator.

Story Telling: Now this is interesting. Mickey Haller, Maggie McPherson, and Harry Bosch on the same side of a court case? Can Jessup’s defense team actually survive this combination? We have Mickey’s first-person legal thriller, literally, crossed with Harry’s third-person police procedural.

Likes: Mickey picked a good prosecutor team. Maggie knows how the prosecution game is played. Harry really is like a dog with a bone, if you need something for the case, he can sniff it out. And Mickey was a perfect prosecutor, he knew how the defense would work. See, a perfect team.

Maddie and Hayley have finally met up. I envision a painful partnership for their parents to deal with.

Dislikes: Gabriel Williams is a pain. Poor Mickey. The DA was trying to use him as the fall guy.

Jason Jessup seemed to have a problem with his station in life. And this was before he went to jail in the first place.

Favorite Character: I have to pick Judge Diane Breitman. She was aiming to be fair. Her allegiance laid with the rule of law. As long as no games are played in her court, she was content to let the case go as smoothly as the opposing counsels would let it.

Favorite Quote: This paints a picture of Mickey’s feelings about his ex. “You have a way of convincing people, Mags. It’s a gift.”

Favorite Scene: I liked it when the Hallers and the Bosches had diner together. It was great.

Conclusion. This was a great story. But, I do think that Gabriel Williams never intended for Mickey to stay as a prosecutor. Also I think that Jessup was revisiting his abduction sites, not his dump sites.

Michael Connelly’s Nine Dragons-Harry Bosch 14

Overview: Harry Bosch and Ignacio Ferras have been called to a robbery gone wrong ending in the murder of the proprietor of Fortune Liquor, John Li. His son and wife seem broken up about it. When extortion starts surfacing in regards to the shop, it begins to appear that Mr. Li might have been targeted by one of the Asian gangs known as the triads. Harry is all for investigating the case until he gets a message from his daughter’s phone. Someone thinks that taking Maddie was a good idea. Those poor souls.

Story Telling: Well, it is another Harry Bosch novel. So it is a third person police procedural.

Likes: Harry showed himself to be a great father. He was ready with a pop-quiz to test her knowledge of her studies. He dropped everything to be there for her.

Sun Yee showed how much he cared for both Eleanor and Maddie.

Oh! We get a cameo from “The Lincoln Lawyer” side of the tracks.

Dislikes: Alright, David Chu, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but Harry is a bit territorial when it comes to his cases. Just something you should know if you’re going to work with him.

Eleanor was still acting like the worst thing that can happen is for her daughter to have a relationship with Harry. Their daughter is missing, and her first instinct is to threaten Harry Bosch?

And this was a biggie. In my opinion, the Li family had made the right choice when they moved to the United States. But, both of the parents killed their children’s spirits. Neither Robert nor Mia were given much of a choice when it came to fulfilling their dreams. The Li family moved to the States, but they didn’t accept the basics of American culture.

Favorite Character: When Sun Yee showed that he was willing to redeem himself from his own past, yet he didn’t judge Harry too harshly when Harry made a bad mistake.

Favorite Quote: Harry offers us a pearl of wisdom here. “We can make up for our mistakes here. Both of us.”

Favorite Scene: One of the best parts in this novel is when Harry meets up with the HKPD it was good.

Conclusion: This is a pretty good novel. It has a lot of family in the main plot, with a murderous sub-plot.

Michael Connelly’s Echo Park-Harry Bosch 12

Overview: Harry Bosch and Jerry Edgar drew the Marie Gesto case in ‘93. Marie Gesto disappeared when she was heading out to the stables for a ride. The case went cold during that time. Flash forward thirteen years and Harry Bosch gets a call that he has been dreaming about for years. Somebody is willing to confess to killing Miss Gesto, and he’ll take the investigators to the body. While preparing for the confession, Harry runs across some information in the murder book that shakes his faith in his own judgment.

Story Telling: Harry is back with his close third person police procedural

Likes: Harry’s relationship with Marie’s parents is something that I think they both needed. Mr. and Mrs. Gesto needed the face of the man running the investigation, and Harry needed the human angle. The relationship gave Harry a way to stoke the flames of the hunt, and kept the Gestos together.

Rick O’Shea was in a bit of a bind. He wanted to close as many cases as possible for his run for the District Attorney’s office. And yet, he seemed to want the truth to come out, in most cases.

Oh, we met Jason Edgar, Jerry’s cousin. He was a pretty neat guy.

Dislikes: Rachel Walling was back, and she still seems to be a bit of a control freak.

Maury Swan proved himself to be a bit underhanded.

I don’t think that I’ll ever be able to get along with any of Cecil Dobbs’ clients. You never know. He could always surprise me.

And honestly, Freddy Olivas was a good guy, I just didn’t care for his attitude.

Favorite Character: I have to go with both Edgars here. Jerry stuck by Bosch and Jason was willing to do what it take to help out. Both seem to be honorable men, in positions that suit them. Let’s all root for Jerry’s promotion in the Police Department. He is so overdue.

Favorite Quote: Harry has some good comments after a shootout. “They say pain is weakness leaving the body.” Considering the world today, if it’s true, we all out to be getting pretty strong.

Favorite Scene: Kiz might not be my favorite person, but when Harry was so down about her injuries, she was able to cheer him up. It might have cheered her up too.

Conclusion: Harry was able to dodge a bullet with this case. It can confirm the good things about how the law is enforced. Or, if you’re of the more cynical mindset, it will confirm how you see those with money and power. Enjoy the story.

Michael Connelly’s The Lincoln Lawyer-Mickey Haller 1

Overview: J. Michael Haller Jr. has always feared that he wouldn’t recognize innocence if he ever saw it. Now, he’s not so sure about that. His client, Louis Ross Roulet, has been charged with beating a woman in an attempted rape. Roulet swears that he didn’t do it. Both Mickey’s ex-wife, Maggie McPherson, and the presiding DA, Ted Minton, believe that Roulet is guilty. If that’s not bad enough, Mickey stumbles over some evidence that seems to clear a former client of murder charges. What’s a lawyer to do?

Story Telling: We have a first person legal thriller here. Mickey seems to have a way with people.

Likes: Maggie is the kind of ex that I don’t run across in these books. She doesn’t hate Mickey for his job, nor does she teach their daughter to hate him.

Good thing Mickey has Lorna. She played a big role in this novel.

Judge Fullbright is a good one. She didn’t want any games being played in her courtroom. Plus, I kind of like how she got around her smoking ban.

Dislikes: I’m sure I’ll get some flack for this one. Jesus Menendez doesn’t have a case against Mickey’s ethics as a lawyer. No, Mickey didn’t see Jesus’s innocence. But, neither Jesus nor Fernando didn’t call Mickey until Jesus had already poisoned the well of his defense.

Valenzuella had a bit of a problem with his temper. His $8,000 television wouldn’t be broken if he hadn’t lost it.

In a way, I felt sorry for Minton. He had been promoted too fast. Nor did he seem to understand the reason for the defense attorney. I hope he didn’t lose his job over his boss’s mistake. Smithson was supposed to bring out the best in Minton, not use Minton to further his own career.

Favorite Character: Raul Levin was a pretty good investigator. He also knew when to keep things quiet.

Favorite Quote: J. Michael Haller Sr. gives us a quote that is a beautiful case of foreshadowing. As Mickey relates it: “He said the scariest client a lawyer will ever have is an innocent client. Because if you %&$* up and he goes to prison, it’ll scar you for life.”

Favorite Scene: Both Mickey and Maggie got drunk on different occasions. Both relied on each other to get home. These scenes were great.

Conclusion: This was a pretty good novel. It was interesting to see how Mickey was living before he met Harry Bosch. It was an intriguing novel. One that’s well worth the read.

Michael Connelly’s The Closers-Harry Bosch 11

Overview: Harry Bosch is back with the LAPD. Being a private investigator was fine, but it’s nothing like being a homicide detective. His first case on the new Open/Unsolved Unit is the case of Rebecca Verloren. She was a sixteen year-old girl who disappeared from home only to be found a few days later dead of a gunshot wound to the chest. The size of the gun throws the theory of suicide into doubt. Now, seventeen years later, there’s a DNA hit on the gun. It’s time to bring closure to this case.

Story Telling: We’re back to a close third person point-of-view that follows Harry around. The fact that it’s a police procedural is pretty much a given.

Likes: Harry and Kiz are partners again. This seems to be where Harry can shine.

Pratt seems to be a go-getter commanding officer. And the chief seems determined to fix the LAPD’s publicity record.

Dislikes: Irving seems to handle everything through the framework of fear. He either tried to inspire it in others, or reacted out of it.

I’m not going to tell you why, but Stoddard was a problem for me from his entrance into the story.

Favorite Character: Ravi and Raj Patel both seemed eager to get to work on the case.

Favorite Quote: Harry was picking on Jerry here. And Jerry lost his pencil. “Jerry, sometimes what goes up doesn’t come down.”

Favorite Scene: There were two here. One is definitely when Harry is at Hollywood Division with Jerry (see above). The other was when we learn exactly how Mackay got his ‘lewd and lash’ conviction. The lesson here: know where the Daddy is.

Conclusion: This was a fun kind of book. Yes, the case was sad. But Harry and Kiz had a way of working the case that made the ride enjoyable. I just wish Jerry had more time. He did deserve better than he got. He and Bosch make a great team.