The Black Ice by Michael Connelly

The Black Ice by Michael Connelly
The Black Ice by Michael Connelly. This edition Orion 2009

The Black Ice is the second Harry Bosch book and in my opinion shows a marked improvement over the first in terms of style and substance. Starting with the apparent suicide of a cop, the narrative quickly becomes convoluted and engrossing, eventually leading to a twist that isn’t exactly telegraphed but which I have to admit I did see coming quite early.

Whereas The Black Echo gave a sizeable chunk of the narrative over to introducing and establishing the protagonist to the reader (sometimes to its detriment), this one seems to have less exposition and more action. This keeps the story flowing and made it a much more enjoyable read, and as a result this makes it feel like much more happens in this book. It also helps that three seemingly separate plot lines all converge into a single conclusion, and the reader is fairly dragged along by Harry’s investigation as he uncovers more evidence to build his case.

My only real criticism at this point is the apparent development of something of a formula. Okay, this is only the second book I’ve read in the series, but in both cases the protagonist manages to end up in bed with the supporting female characters. On top of this, we’re also given a portrayal of Harry as the only good cop fighting against a fraternity of politically motivated superiors who seem hell-bent on holding him back. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing I would hope that this formula doesn’t become the norm throughout the rest of the series.

That said, this is still a fun read and one I’d gladly recommend.

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