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5.0 out of 5 starsEven better
Reviewed in the United States on March 20, 2017
I almost skipped this one because of the negative reviews. And I can understand them. Bosch himself doesn't even show up until 80+ pages in. And the reader has to get comfortable with an entirely new character. But the reflected, indirect view of Bosch is in the end incredibly revealing. And the skill with which the stories come together is truly amazing. This book was much harder to read than any of the prior ones. It didn't grab me for the longest time. But I persevered and the payoff was so worth it. I would honestly say this was the best one yet. Very odd to say since I was agreeing with the negative reviews for at least half of it.
3.0 out of 5 starsEssential for Harry Bosch continuity, but...
Reviewed in the United States on September 5, 2018
...this is so far my least favorite Harry Bosch book. It starts without Bosch, then gradually brings him into the story, but instead of Harry being the main character, he is testifying in court most of the time. I think Connelly used a common TV trick, when the writers have run out of ideas: put the main character in a frame-up. You know how it goes: a character you know so well, suddenly is accused of something they would NEVER do, and all the authority figures immediately assume he is guilty, despite seasons and seasons of this character being above reproach. It was tiresome to read, especially since I knew Harry would get out of it (it's only the 7th book in a 20+ series). I didn't like any of the characters at all; if Connelly has written any other books with McCaleb as the main character I wouldn't bother to read them. But references to events from earlier books do move the story along, so it is worth reading for that. It's on to book 8 for me, and I sure hope Connelly gets back to the Harry Bosch stories we knew in the first 6 books.
5.0 out of 5 starsIf you enjoy really fine detective story fiction
Reviewed in the United States on April 4, 2017
If you enjoy really fine detective story fiction, this is for you. Harry Bosch is a multi dimensional character, and the author has developed him over a series of novels. TV has created several films of Harry that are available and are very well done. Michael Connelly writes an excellent story. This is one of those books you start and finish in one sitting. Don't make any plans once you begin. A great read.
4.0 out of 5 starsHarry Bosch is Investigator, Witness, Suspect
Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 2021
Michael Connelly rarely takes a false step and he doesn't break that pattern in the page-turning thriller A Darkness More Than Night. Harry is the lead investigator and major witness in the case against David Storey a big time Hollywood film producer. Terry McCaleb is an ex-FBi profiler who is five years from a life-saving heart transplant. He's living his post surgery life as a charter boat captain on Catalina Island with a new nurse wife and four month old baby daughter. A Los Angeles sheriff deputy approached Terry for some help in a stalled murder case involving a tortured murder scene . The two men and their cases come together and Bosch becomes Terry's suspect in the murder of a man Harry was sure murdered a young woman years before. The courtroom drama of Story's trial.unfolds while Terry closes in on Bosch. The pace is highly pressured and the procedural details intricate. Wholly satisfactory ending even with Bosch's ambiguity.
4.0 out of 5 starsA Slightly Different Harry Bosch; Still A Good Read
Reviewed in the United States on April 5, 2020
As a fan of Harry Bosch, I liked it. It wasn’t my favorite. But, its good. It seems Mr. Connelly over-wrote parts of it. The story gets going rather quickly, but without Bosch. It takes him a while to appear. He comes in slowly, then takes he’s rightful place as lead character.
He becomes both the hardened cop solving a case, as well as the accused in a case. There are some lesser characters in the book I didn’t feel were developed well. Mr. Connelly does keep the book moving at a steady pace and inserts some very nice twists. Some of the better twists have Harry and another “friend” taking a long searching inventory of themselves toward the end; which makes for an interesting, thought provoking read. The last couple pages left me thinking about Harry’s one-time friend’s fate.
This may not have been my favorite Bosch read. But, its well thought out, well written and really should not be missed, Its far from disappointing.
I love Bosch. I can't get enough of the books and devour them one after another. That being said, this is my least favorite book in the series so far. Why? Because it is lite on Bosch. For much of the time he is a peripheral figure. Edgar and Kiz are nonexistent, as are Irvin Irving and Lt. Billets. Don't get me wrong, I still give if four stars cause the story is compelling and Bosch is in there, but as a supporting character and that makes it my least favorite so far but still pretty danged good.
I've seen some of the other reviews of this book and frankly I'm stumped why some don't like it. I loved it! It's two stories in one, that dovetail into each other. One Harry Bosch is participating in the prosecution of a killer he caught. The second is about Terry McCaleb, an ex-FBI profiler, who helps a detective look at the murder of a guy Harry Bosch tried to catch for the murder of a prostitute. It soon becomes clear that Harry might be the killer Terry is looking for. But really? How could Harry be the killer? These two separate and complete stories are wonderful reads in and of themselves, but the fact that they dovetail together makes them even more exciting. Again Connelly has written a masterful plot. The characters are so very well developed that they are a pleasure to read about. Bosch and McCaleb are both tortured with darkness in their souls. I hope this story becomes part of the Amazon streaming series about Bosch! Again, I really, really liked this book. I simply can't imagine why anyone wouldn't enjoy this thrilling read!
Reviewed in the United States on February 27, 2019
To be honest, I nearly quit reading these after the first three. They were okay, but having seen the "Bosch" series on Amazon Prime, I had certain preconceptions about the series that the books failed to live up to. Finally I decided to try one more, and am now glad I did. From number four onwards, these have gotten progressively better and better. So why not five stars? The story sometimes bogs down in police procedure. I'm sure it's all true-to-life, but the stories suffer a bit from endless trivial detail. Still, I can recommend the series without reservation.
5.0 out of 5 starsTwo heroes for the price of one, and two intriguing storylines to keep you up all night.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 7, 2017
When I first started reading this book, I wasn’t sure which of Michael Connelly’s creations was the main focus of the story – was it Harry Bosch or Terry McCaleb? This troubled me a little as the book opens with a prologue featuring Harry Bosch and then we don’t hear from him again until chapter 6, about 50 pages into the book. Instead, the first five chapters feature Terry McCaleb, an ex-FBI profiler who had been the main character in an earlier novel 'Blood Work'. I did not find him a particularly likeable character. However, I have subsequently noticed from other reviewers that their opinions differ depending in part on whether or not they had already read 'Blood Work'. Those who had read it are generally more positive about Terry McCaleb, and some of them actually recommend reading it before this novel. The second thing noticeably different about this novel is that it appears to contain two different storylines that not only seem to be unconnected but also move at a different pace. The first story involves Terry McCaleb being asked by the LA police to help with the investigation of a gruesome murder while the second involves Harry Bosch’s participation in a court case where he plays a prominent role for the prosecution. This novel draws upon events and characters that have appeared in some of the previous Harry Bosch books. While it is not necessary to have read the earlier Bosch stories to appreciate this one, I felt I had a greater appreciation of the characters and events in this story because I had read the earlier ones in the series. The pace of the book picks up in the latter stages of the novel where there is a lot more ‘action’. The number of twists and turns that occur in the later stages of the book to both storylines were so engrossing that I just could not put it down until I had finished it. In this respect Michael Connelly shows what a master story-teller he is as both storylines, while told from very different perspectives, really held my interest.
Update: 14 November 2017. Having just finished reading 'Blood Work' by Michael Connelly, I can confirm that it is definitely worth reading this book before reading 'A Darkness More Than Night'. Terry McCaleb is the central character in 'Blood Work' and knowing his back story from that novel now makes me a lot more more sympathetic towards his character in this book. In addition, Blood Work is also a terrific novel.
4.0 out of 5 starsAnother taut, well-plotted and gripping thriller
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 10, 2018
Among the aspects that has set Michael Connelly’s series of novels featuring jaded detective, Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch in a class of its own have been the plausibility of the characters and plots, and the verisimilitude of police procedure. Connelly clearly knows his material well and has conducted exhaustive research.
He also maintains a clear audit trail and timeline, which enables him to refer back to previous stories, and also to interlace different characters between the successive books. For instance, former FBI Special Agent Terry McCaleb, who was the lead protagonist of Blood Work and has his own sequence of books, plays a prominent part in this novel, as does reporter Jack McEvoy, who played a pivotal role in The Poet, which had previously constituted a standalone novel.
As the novel opens, Bosch is preparing to play a significant role in the trial of a film producer accused of the rape and murder of two actresses. The producer is a particularly odious character, and has hired a top-notch defence attorney who deftly counters each new facet of the prosecution case. Meanwhile, Sherriff’s Officer Jaye Winston calls on Terry McCaleb, seeking his advice on an unsolved murder that she has been investigating that displays the hallmarks of an unusual killing. McCaleb is initially reluctant to participate, knowing that his wife will object. He is, however, too deeply ingrained an investigator to be able to resist, and succumbs to temptation. His review of the papers leads him to some unexpected conclusions, all of which seem to suggest that Harry Bosch, with whom McCaleb once worked a case deep in the past might be involved.
Connelly manages the two strands of the story very adeptly, never compromising the plausibility or integrity of the plot. He also captures the relationships between McCaleb and Winston, and between Bosch and McCaleb realistically,
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 14, 2017
Starts out as two cases but ends with them being intertwined. Bosch is his usual haunted obsessive self but we meet McCaleb, peculiar name, who is equally an obsessive/compulsive willing to ruin his marriage as he has to do what he has gotta do - profile. Unfortunately he jumps to the conclusion that Bosch did it and immediately tips him off that he is being investigated, an incompetent expert. They sort of co-operate and solve the cases though it all hinges on the real doer trying to do too much, why? The detection is interleaved with some courtroom action which I found quite dull. The two detectives have a snipe at each other at the end of the book about who is the least moral but who cares
4.0 out of 5 starsI'm going to give Bosch a rest...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 13, 2015
Just a short review... I have read all the books prior to this one and enjoyed some more than others. I didn't really like the format of this one, with the introduction of a new character and I also found that it was more than a little unbelievable. For example, a trained investigator jumping to conclusions based on somebody's name alone? There were other things too but I won't make any more spoilers. I have enjoyed Bosch and having read a couple of other crime novels since this one, I can say that Michael Connelly writes more grippingly than many others. The next book in the series however, is the one that has been televised. Having watched it, I don't think I care to now read it. Which is peculiar for me as some films lead me on to read the book and vice-versa. Time perhaps to give Bosch a break for a while, before deciding whether to read or skip the next one or not to return at all.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 19, 2015
This struck me as one of the tautest and best-constructed of Connelly's novels that I've so far encountered. The story positively flows along, subplots weaving and interacting, revealing details in a gradual, methodical manner that's almost maddening. This one concerns ex-FBI agent Terry McCaleb and Connelly's mainstay Harry Bosch, each working on a separate murder investigation that -- you just know this-- will each inexorably connect with the other. My experience has been that when Bosch has been combined in a plotline with another of Connelly's recurring characters, he's tended to lose his edge and show less of his complicated psyche, but this time he comes through quite splendidly in all his dysfunctional but dedicated glory, even while a large part of his action takes place within a courtroom. Of course the crimes (and the perpetrators) themselves bear the Connelly trademark shocking seaminess-- in fact, as the plot thickens, the crimes become all the more heinous in their greater implications. The ending is suitably dramatic and upsetting, but does not strain the credibility as far as sometimes occurs in Harry's adventures.
The one thing that made me scratch my head had to do with a major plot factor involving the work of painter Hieronymus Bosch-- Harry's namesake. Several intelligent and well-educated characters express total ignorance at the mention of the artist, and even admit they have no idea how to pronounce his first name ( are phonics totally dead?). This did not ring true to me, especially given that in several earlier books, when Harry has mentioned his full name to tangential characters of less cultured backgrounds, they have consistently made remarks along the line of: "You mean, like that guy who painted the weird pictures?" A small point, but something that jogged my capacity to believe.