Harry Bosch – nearly his last case


A new Harry Bosch crime story used to be an annual highlight. Now we have to share him with LAPD’s Renée Ballard and (not every year) Mickey Haller, “the Lincoln Lawyer”. In Desert Star Bosch and Ballard are given alternate chapters as they investigate two cold cases: a rape/murder from 1994 and the brutal killing of a whole family a year earlier, whose bodies were buried in the desert.

New forensic evidence from DNA plays a crucial role, but re-interviewing witnesses and suspects is the most effective way of digging slowly toward a resolution. Both cases bring Harry into deadly confrontations, and you may begin to think, as I did, that Michael Connelly is getting ready to kill off his hero, our hero.

Because Ian Fleming didn’t kill him off, James Bond’s life and career has been placed in the hands of other writers, some as gifted as Fleming, some woefully talentless. Peter O’Donnell sent Modesty Blaise and her sidekick Willie Garvin on a final, fatal mission: the best option in my view.

007 clearly perished – heroically, of course! – at the end of No Time to Die. It will be interesting to see how the writers manage to resurrect him in the next movie, after they resolve the increasingly tiresome saga of naming Daniel Craig’s successor. Chrisopher Lee’s Dracula had almost as many lives as a cat; his ashes were easily reassembled (fully dressed, every time!). James Bond is clearly hallmarked for immortality.

We must perhaps brace ourselves for the death of Harry Bosch within the next book or two. Desert Star is not one of Connelly’s best tales, the pace is a bit slow and Ballard fails to come to life on the page in the way that Bosch always does, but the story has two thrilling climaxes and Harry Bosch reaffirms his status as the most believable of all investigators.

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