Magazine article The Spectator

Lone Wolf in Los Angeles

Magazine article The Spectator

Lone Wolf in Los Angeles

Article excerpt

Lone wolf in Los Angeles

LOST LIGHT by Michael Connelly Orion, L17.99, pp. 360, ISBN 0752856561

Michael Connelly is best known for his thriller Blood Work, which Clint Eastwood filmed, but his work is better defined by his series of novels about Harry (Hieronymous) Bosch. Through ten novels, including one crossover book in which Blood. Work's hero, Terry McCaleb, believed Bosch guilty of murder, Connelly's detective has developed the kind of lonely and isolated character D. H. Lawrence famously expected classic American heroes to be.

Bosch ended his last case (City of Bones) by quitting the LAPD, and taking a box full of unsolved case files with him. Lost Light is his first outing as a private eye, reopening the four-year-old murder of a movie production assistant. Four days after the apparent sexual assault on her, while Bosch investigated, armed robbers made off with $2 million from the set of her film. The investigation had passed to other hands, and gone nowhere.

Inevitably, Bosch begins turning over stones and discovering connections, one of which appears to link to the financing of terrorists. This puts Bosch squarely in the sights of an offshoot of America's new Bureau of Homeland Security, and in their sights is not a pleasant place to be. Needing help in surviving the heavy and unfettered hand of national security, he calls on his ex-wife, a professional gambler in Las Vegas, who harbours secrets of her own.

Bosch's conflicts with bureaucratic authority always created tension in the earlier novels. The conflict becomes more intense here, because, emphasising Bosch's new status as a lone wolf, the story is told in first-person narration, just like the classic hard-boiled detectives. …

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