Echo Park

[Amazon Link] My book-picking algorithm offered me this choice from the to-be-read pile, part of my ongoing project to read all Michael Connelly's novels in publishing-date order. Echo Park was initially published in October 2006, and here it is October 2012. So I'm six years behind.

This blog's search functionality tells me that back in August 2006, I read Connelly's Void Moon, initially published in January 2001. So back then, I was slightly over five and a half years behind.

Disheartening conclusion: uh oh. Given this trend, he's writing them slightly faster than I'm reading them. The only solution is to read faster; everything else is too depressing.

Anyway: this novel is in his Harry Bosch series. Harry is still on the L. A. Police force, still working crimes in the Open/Unsolved unit. Bosch's mission is to keep tugging at the loose ends of historical crimes using new technologies and his famous doggedness.

Here, a new lead has appeared in the case of Marie Gesto, who vanished from the face of Southern California back in 1996. A demented serial killer caught (nearly literally) red-handed offers his confession to the ancient crime (and others) in order to avoid the death penalty. The D.A., in the midst of a hard-fought political campaign, is leaning toward accepting the deal.

Only problem is that the 1996 case files now show that the killer contacted Bosch and his partner back then. And for some reason they never followed up on this lead. If they had, there was a chance they could have prevented several subsequent serial slayings. Bosch, understandably feels pangs of guilt; this goes to the heart of his raison d'être for being a detective.

Bosch thinks the whole thing smells. And (this is a Michael Connelly book) he's right. What transpires is page-turning (figurative on the Kindle, but you know what I mean) drama, corruption, first-class detection, and violence.