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The Very Best of Mr. Michael Connelly - Part 2

My August 31 post of The Hungry Detective ranked all the non-Bosch books. This list returns to take on the larger task of Mr. Heironimous Bosch. 9 Dragons made its appearance right before the Indy B'Con, and try as I might... ok I didn't try that hard... I didn't have time to read it for inclusion in these rankings.

As a quick aside I don't want to undersell any of the books at the bottom of the list. Mr. Connelly doesn't know how to write a bad book, but in my case there have been occasions where I have not connected with his work.

13. THE NARROWS - 2004
It is because I love THE POET so much that this book is at the end of the list. When Mr. Connelly is at his best his works has the precision of a watchmaker. THE NARROWS just felt forced and not worthy of the intricacy of THE POET.

12. BLACK ICE - 1993
Second book. Third read. I thought the story was pretty flat. It has been well over a decade since I read this book, but the story of Mexican drug runners(?) did not do much for me. The book is, however, prescient to the current border situation with Mexican Drug Dealers.

11. THE CLOSERS - 2005
Bosch returns to the comforts of the LAPD. He is on the Cold case desk. Sad to say that I remember very little of this book... good or bad.

10. TRUNK MUSIC - 1997
Another book that THD has lost to the sands of time, but again I don't remember not liking it. If I had to guess this book suffers from having THE LAST COYOTE precede it. I remember mobsters, Las Vegas, and the return of Eleanor Wish.

9. CITY OF BONES - 2002
This was the first 'real' Bosch book after a three year layoff. I was happy to have him back even if I am a bit foggy on the details

Third Person Harry Bosch made for a strange read. I think as time has gone on Mr. Connelly has done a better job of situating Bosch as a second character. Probably should be on my previous list, but what can I say. Too much time is expended on having Terry McCaleb, and others, trying to analyze and figure Bosch out.

7. ECHO PARK - 2006
This book begins what I feel is the second golden age of Mr. Connelly's writing. Bosch works a case that he was unable to solve 13 years before. In Crime Fiction, the past is only there to damn the present. ECHO PARK has that in spades. After a few 'off' books Mr. Connelly reminds us why he is the master.

6. THE BLACK ECHO - 1992
By his own admission this book was overwritten. Still this story of Bank Robbers is pretty compelling, plus the introduction of Eleanor Wish. I have had my problems with Rachel Walling, but Ms. Wish has always been an intriguing character, one that has challenged Harry at every turn.

This is where it all started for The Hungry Detective. Bosch is on trial for the most of the book for possibly killing an innocent man. The denouement of this book took me by complete surprise. Thinking back on this book it has all of the pieces of a great Connelly/Bosch book. A haunted hero, a twist ending, and a diabolical killer. Great book.

4. THE OVERLOOK - 2007
I did not read the serialized version, so this book came as a welcome surprise. Of the later Bosch books this maybe this class of the group. Just phenomenal. It is also the first book where I felt the character of Rachel Walling really worked for the story besides being used as a narrative information device for Mr. Connelly and Bosch.

3. LOST LIGHT - 2003
Bosch goes private. The end is devastating. I love this book.

2. ANGELS FLIGHT - 1999
LA is on the verge of a riot. Corruption, whether institutional or moral corruption, is something Mr. Connelly is does better than almost anyone. He is able to eschew the patronize lecturing and digs at what drives us to good and bad. I still think about the end of the book. Haunting work.

1. THE LAST COYOTE - 1995
Connelly's masterpiece. In a truly great career this is undeniably his best book. Mr. Connelly cements Bosch as the warrior samurai. One of the finest books I have ever read.

Comments

Jared said…
I haven't read all of the Connelly books, heck not even all of the Bosch books, but I have to agree that LAST COYOTE is easily the best I've read so far.

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