Long time Audible member (8 years, 500+ books). Avid flyfisherman, hunter, bicycler.
My audiobook addiction began in 2005 with "The Closers" by Michael Connelly. I was blown away. The story and the narration were so good, I knew right then I was hooked. In the following years, I listened to virtually every Michael Connelly book, and I enjoyed all of them - until The Black Box. This story felt shallow and uninspired. Harry Bosch has become a shadow of his formal self. The story was chock full of cliches and simplistic writing, and the character development was almost non-existent. The narration was terrible and made me feel like the narrator was speaking in satire. I think this will be the last Michael Connelly book I read. It's the end of an era.
three favorite words: "This is Audible."
The narrator ruins this book.
The story line is good, but I'd rather be locked in a room listening to someone scratch a chalkboard than listening to this.
Mr. Connelly, please make the publisher (or whoever?) re-record this book with either Len Cariou, Dick Hill or Peter Giles as narrator. Your writing deserves better than this.
His performance is like a college lecture - monotone in cadence and pitch and tone. No emotion. Characters are not clearly defined.
I have listened to all the Harry Bosch books, and looked forward to the new release, but I truly could barely stand to listen because I found the robotic narration so irritating. I love Dick Hill and Len C is great ... Others have been okay ... But I won't ever get a book by this narrator ever again, regardless of the author or series.
I have read and enjoyed all of Connelly's series and this one sad to say is lazily written and very poorly performed. If you have read Connelly's earlier efforts, you remember Harry (Horonomous) Bosch as a tunnel rat from Viet Nam who searched for deadly killers and had on numerous occasions been forced to use his weapon. Now we have an author who seems maingly interested in explaining how tough it is for his character to raise his daughter. Give me a break. There is not intrigue nor do the actions of the protagonist make any sense. They are explained as a man playing a hunch. HMMM.... if you are writing a story at least make the effort to think up a few clues so as to give the detective a reason to take a course of action.
I'm a huge Harry Bosch fan and almost didn't finish this book. The story was average, very slow at times. It's definitely not Mr. Connelly at his best.
Bring back Len!!! McConnohie is far too montone and slow. I'm very thankful for the previous reviewers who recommended listening to the book at a faster speed. Doing that made the montone quite tolerable. I don't know that I would have finished the book without it.
Not really. For anyone thinking of trying a Harry Bosch book, I'd recommend one of the earlier novels. They far better than this one.
No, the narration was so poor it was laughable.
I love Harry, but this was not an edge of your seat book.
The guy had such a dull, flat monotone he could have been reading the yellow pages. His attempts at giving the characters unique voices was a complete failure. At one point Jerry Edgar sounded Latino and in another place as if had a slight speech impediment. Madeline sounded like one of the guys from the office. Really, really poor performance. Who picked this guy?
Yes, the narration was so horrible I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
I am going to buy the book and read it and will never buy another audible book read by this guy.
No way around this, the narrator is bland, disinterested in the story and almost robotic. Never will order a preorder again without knowledge of the narrator. It's a prime example of how important the narrator is for an audio book to succeed. And how a bad narrator can destroy an excellent book. This one I'm going have to get the book.
How can this happen with an exceedingly popular and great writer, a cash cow from audible's biz perspective?
First time readers to this series, skip this audio version, find the book in a library or buy it. Listen to any of the other books in this series narrated by Len Cariou or Dick Hill. Frankly, the new preorder system is helpful with knowing about upcoming books, but audible selling preorders in to March 2013 is too far in the future for me and without stated narrators is not working for me, and I wish it was a separate sort function. In the meantime, I'll be skipping over them to actual books released. I can't even rate this Connelly book a 5 star for the story which it may very well deserve, as the story became flat and I couldn't get engaged in this listen.
Not unlike listening to Scott Brick who was once a great narrator but now over-emotes and is impossible for me to listen to any more. Skip those. Audible you are losing biz.
There's nothing new here Bosch-wise: same high-energy, straight ahead Harry we have grown to love. He's still working Open/Unsolved crimes, and picks up one that he began twenty years earlier. He didn't wrap up the earlier one because it occurred in the chaos and confusion of the LA riots that followed the Rodney King verdict in 1992. All he has to go on initially is one shell casing, but trust Harry to apply his instincts and hunches to find the killer.
Along the way he gets caught up in police politics - a white victim in the midst of all the black killings, and solving it and not the others looks bad for the chief. True to the character Connelly has created, Harry bucks the system and presses on anyway. No, not his favorite chief Irvin Irving, he's gone. This fellow's name is O'Toole, nicknamed (of course) the Tool.
The book really gets rolling when Harry strikes out on his own to confront the bad guys in their own town. Some pretty hairy scenes, though Harry doesn't get so badly mistreated as many other modern mystery heroes do. I guess that all started with Mike Hammer, and now it seems mandatory for the hero to get beat up, often pretty severely (though they seem to recover pretty quickly!)
There's a good bit of treatment of Harry's relationship with his daughter, none of which contributes to the plot. Maybe Connelly just wants to show us Harry's human side. There's little to no love interest for Harry this time, although FBI Rachel does make a cameo appearance.
Michael McConnohie does an OK job. No, he's not Len Cariou, but he's better than some of the other Harry Bosch narrators. McConnohie's narration history does include a number of factual nonfiction books, and I think he's probably better off sticking with that. McConnohie doesn't do a very good black ghetto voice. You have to pay close attention to the story to know when one of those bad guys is supposed to be talking, you won't get it from the dialect.
On the whole, though, a credit well spent.
I wanted to give the narrator a break but I couldn't. There was no distinction for Harry & the characterization was flat. Also, the story was not particularly interesting. C- at best. Don't waste your money.
reading is pure joy
The CA Central Valley tie-in of the title and the more police procedural type plot make this a slightly different Harry Bosch. Narrator was a tiny bit plodding -- but so was Harry in this one . Very good but not the best ever. Narrator mispronounces ManTEEca repeatedly which bugged me . Used detective Chiu as a sterotypical Asian tech geek, not as believable as most Michael Connelly characters. Mendenhall going "off reservation " is left unexplained, despite it being a significant subplot. Is Connelly saving Chiu and Mendenhall for a sequel? Otherwise has all the satisfactions of a Harry Bosch novel. Even at less than his best Michael Connelly tells a better story than most writers.
Other Harry Bosch's -- same pacing and characters.
It is ManTEEkah