The Black Echo - Michael Connelly

***** The first Bosch is never forgotten

I had never read anything by Connelly in the past and I admit that I was attracted to this series because it was brought to my attention by the existence of a TV series produced by Amazon Studios. Apart from that I knew nothing of the main character, Harry Bosch, nor had I read the book description of this first novel. I just decided to take it and read it, and then defer the judgments to a later time.
Well, it was love at first sight.
I quickly managed to create a strong bond with this character, so flawed as to be a perfect anti-hero. Harry drinks too much, smokes too much, sleeps little, eats little, is unruly, which led him to be exiled in Hollywood Homicide Squad. But Harry is clever, stubborn, has a great intuition, which in the past has earned him considerable success. Despite his life has become problematic, he does everything to accomplish his job, in particular, as it happens in this book, if he realises that somehow he ended up involved in the case.
In fact this is not a mystery, but a crime thriller. The degree of involvement of the protagonist with both the victim and one of those responsible for their death makes him an integral part of the main plot, thus making the character undergo a growth over the course of story.
It is also true that the disappointment he incurs (I don’t specify the reason of such disappointment, to avoid spoilers) could block this process and causes that the character is repeated as such in the subsequent books, but the existence of a complex subplot gives me hope.
I found very interesting the historical reconstruction relative to the tunnel rats in Vietnam. Something I appreciate a lot in the novels I read is their ability to teach me something unexpected and “The Black Echo” succeeded in that, too.
I also find it suggestive to read a story set in a time when people still used the landline to communicate, there were no cell phones, and computer access was difficult even for a police detective. All this makes the investigation most complex and compelling.
The introspection of the character is magnificent. One cannot but love him and want to know more.
The plot is super intricate, never falls into banality, forcing you to read very carefully throughout the novel.
The structure in long parts (divided in the few days when the story takes place) pushes you to read as much as possible and so the novel runs off fast, despite the large number of pages.
Personally I found it as a great inspiration when writing a book of mine characterised by a similar mood, and this discovery was for me like the icing on the cake, which made it an even more satisfying read.
So, in general I can say that it is a great novel, and I will no doubt read the next ones.


The Black Echo on Amazon.