Trunk Music - Michael Connelly

***** A perfect ending

After several months, I went back to reading the stories of Harry Bosch born from the pen of Michael Connelly and I did it with the fifth book in the series, which is now more than twenty years old.
This time Bosch has to solve the murder of a film producer who is found dead in the boot of his car. It looks like a typical mob execution, which is precisely called “Hard Music”, like the title of the book, but the reality will be much more complex than what appears obvious at the beginning of the investigation.
As always, Connelly shows us the ambiguous face of police investigations in Los Angeles and, in this case, even in a Las Vegas that seeks to clean up its image from the negative influence of the past domination of the Mob on the city. But there is still a boss that the police cannot wait to eliminate, Joey Marks, and there are links between him and the victim. But the solution to the crime could be elsewhere.
Here and there are a few coincidences, which allow the protagonist to carry on his work and avoid to be killed, but they aren’t so bad.
It was nice to see the Las Vegas of those times in the pages of this novel, the same that I saw with my own eyes a few years before its publication. When Bosch describes the Mirage’s lobby with the white tigers behind the armoured glass and the sharks in the aquarium, I found myself looking at the same things in wonder. This allowed me even more to identify myself with his point of view and to experience the story as if it were real.
Beyond the investigation, however, what I liked most about this book is the return of a character from the past of Bosch who has an important role in the story’s development and especially in the epilogue. Too bad that the personality and the point of view of Bosch himself is preponderant, making the character less three-dimensional than how they appeared in the other book in which they were previously seen. In general, Bosch gives minimal space to the other characters, invades the whole scene, tending to make all the others look like tools enslaved to the plot.
The ending is absolutely perfect, as he himself says, without the usual bitterness or uncertainty that characterised the previous books. In reading it, I thought that the author intended to conclude Bosch’s story here and that only later he decided to go ahead, perhaps at the insistence of his publisher.
For me, if I didn’t already own the next book, I could stop here and be completely satisfied. Certainly, I will wait again several months before continuing with the reading.
I recommend this book to all crime thrillers’ lovers, but to really appreciate it you have to read the previous four, since the heart of these novels is indisputably Bosch, of whom the author each time shows you some new aspect making you experience his evolution through his point of view.

Trunk Music on Amazon.

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