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The Black Ice (Harry Bosch) Hardcover – June 1, 1993
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
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Lucky for Bosch he has a contact in the coroner’s office, one Teresa Corazon. She an attractive woman, available, and soon they are sharing some pillow talk at Harry’s cottage. Wonder if she’s whispering sweet details of the autopsies? Even worse, did Bosch fantasize about Moore’s wife during all this?
Bosch’s cases involve the drug traffic and require him to make a trip to Mexico where one of the most powerful drugs is something called black ice. It’s being made down there somewhere and somehow gets across the border in large quantities. Once he is south of the border, Bosch gets involved in various activities with Mexican police authorities, even taking time to see a bull fight. This kind of plot movement is a bit unusual for author Michael Connelly and seems to dilute the momentum of the story.
The most redeeming feature of this book is the surprise ending. I was tempted to give up the book earlier but I’m glad I persevered.
"Black Ice" is a particularly seductive and dangerous concoction of coke, heroin and PCP manufactured in Mexico and shipped through our very porous southern border. Harry Bosch gets pulled into the drug underworld while investigating the death of a dealer. He gets some information from LAPD drug enforcement officer Calexico Moore. Before we know it, Moore has gone AWOL and then is discovered in a motel room with his head blown off in an apparent suicide.
Or is it murder? And is the LAPD going to cover it up in order to save face? And how is Bosch going to solve at least one murder at the request of Lt. "Ninety-eight" Pounds in order to get the solve statistic above 50%?
And what about Calexico's sultry wife; is Bosch going to do anything with his weirdly unrequited fascination for her?
And what about Teresa Corazon, who is knocking boots with Bosch and is trying to get a promotion to permanent Medical Examiner? Will Bosch make it out of this book with an intact relationship?
And how do the deaths of a dealer, Moore and another LAPD homicide officer all tie together with "Black Ice"?
This is the second Bosch book. Connelly keeps us watching all the balls as they fly through the air. Bosch comes across as the iconoic tough loner with a heart of gold, committed to seeing justice done and truth uncovered, even, though, he doesn't necessarily want the law to interfere with his investigation or truth to be revealed if it means that a widow may lose her pension.
The story was entertaining and kept me turning the pages.
I was also glad that reading the books wasn't a retread of the show. I definitely feel like I can enjoy the books, and enjoy the show as well.
Bosch starts by doubting the suicide of a narcotics cop, while dealing with an unidentifiable Latino corpse. The search for answers takes Bosch to Mexico, where he finds himself in a vortex of excitable federal agents, brutal drug dealers and corrupt local cops. In the course of his investigations, Bosch does a lot of breaking and entering and manages to sleep with two different interesting women.
The Black Ice is a solid thriller — action-packed and nicely spiced with personal dramas. Harry Bosch is an attractive maverick detective with Vietnam still haunting him. I’m starting at the beginning of this series and looking forward to all the many books ahead.
Top international reviews
The story hooks you virtually from the start and is a real 'page-turner', in part due to the crisp, taut writing which makes it very easy to read. There are lots of twists and turns as the story unfolds and the ending caught me totally by surprise.
These early Harry Bosch novels are a real delight to re-visit. If you haven't read any yet, I would recommend you read them in order starting with The Black Echo, as then you will see how well Michael Connelly develops the character of Harry Bosch in this gripping second novel, The Black Ice.
Cal Moore is a Narcotics officer looking at a recent drug killing. However he himself turns into a victim as he is found in a motel room in what looks like a suicide. Rumours start circulating about how Moore had crossed over to the criminal side by selling the latest drug of choice Black Ice.
Harry Bosch doesn't understand it. It may look like a suicide but his instincts are telling him otherwise. His superiors tell him in no uncertain terms to stay away from the case but Harry soon starts his own investigation and is determined to find out the truth. The truth can only be found by Harry visiting Mexico but with it comes the danger of corruption and his own life being on the line.
I decided a while ago that I wanted to tackle the Harry Bosch series of books by Michael Connelly in order. I read his first novel a long time ago but it had been so long that I figured I should just start again at book 2 and try to read one every few weeks. Michael Connelly is a very successful author like many other crime greats such as Peter James, James Patterson and Lee Child but his writing style is not necessarily the same. Yes there are parallels in the majority of the crime genre books but that is to be expected. The one thing that is instantly noticeable for me is his attention to detail. This may not be favourable for some people but for me it makes a refreshing change. The other advantage to the detail is the advantage of getting to know why characters make the decision they do, especially when you know that this is an ongoing series.
The main character is Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch who is an ex-Vietnam soldier who is now on the force. Harry is a great character who is your typical cop who is strong willed and does things his way. People may complain about stereotypical `cop characters' but lets be fair, who wants to read about a cop who wants to play by the rules? Nothing would ever happen if that were the case.
Harry is quite a loner but he knows what's what and he smells trouble with a capital T when he sees Cal Moore dead in a motel room. The story itself did take a bit of time to gain pace but when I was about halfway through all the threads in the story seemed to come together and I was glad of all the detail.
Michael Connelly excels at describing the scenery and places that Harry visits and I could picture the dusky Mexican city that he ended up in. The great thing about this book was that although it may not have been as fast paced as some others I have read recently there was a great story behind it. The characters were well written and he added in a fantastic twist at the end which I admit I didn't see coming.
I regularly check out review stats on various websites and can see that Michael Connelly's earlier Harry Bosch books were not as popular. All I can say is that if that is the case I can't wait to carry on with the series.
All of the classic noir elements are there, seedy dive bars, seedy motels, cigarettes, bourbon, a dame in distress, and the chief not cutting any slack from behind his desk.
I enjoyed this book but felt the impact a little less than the 1st, the mystery however is handled well and did keep me guessing until the last part of the book.
This is book 2 in the Heironymus Bosch series of novels by Michael Connelly. It can be read in isolation but I find the sense of character develops better as you read each book in turn. (Also Harry's career takes some sharp twists later on in the series which could confuse the reader who reads in random order.)
It is almost the generic detective novel but given an egde by Connelly's characters and plotting. It is gripping and misleading, all you'd expect from the genre, but also very enjoyable. Leaving you wanting more - always a good sign in any fiction.
There'll be no spoilers here, just a recommendation that if you like quirkier detectives (Stephanie Plum, Kinsey Milhone, Inspector Banks, Rebus et al) this will tick the right boxes too.
My only gripe: it does suffer from acronym overload at times (all the series does to be honest).
Bodies are turning up around LA and there is some sort of linkage between the cases, thinks Bosch, who is probably the least likely detective to obey instructions to stay out of it.
Drug dealers, bent cops, gang members - makes no difference, they all end up in the morgue. Bosch picks at the threads that link them so as to get to the truth. Only his boss cares about solving these murders otherwise, and only so as to make his year-end statistics look good.
Depressing but fascinating.
Jack Whittaker is a database administrator specialising in SQL Server technologies and author of the DBAtasks Blog