MICHAEL CONNELLY – The Overlook. Little Brown & Co, hardcover; first edition, May 2007. Paperback reprint: Vision, January 2008.


   This was originally published as a serial in the New York Times Sunday Magazine with a final chapter added later which I guess accounts for the three years of copyright in the paperback edition (2006, 2007 and 2008). And perhaps for the book being under 300 pages, a rarity nowadays.

   Harry Bosch has recently joined the Homicide Squad at LAPD, and his first case is the murder of Dr. Stanley Kent whose body is found at the Overlook in Hollywood hills. Soon Bosch’s old flame, FBI agent Rachel Walling turns up. She’s a member of the FBI’s Tactical Intelligence Unit and is there because Dr. Kent had access to dangerous radioactive substances which could be used by terrorists.

   Sure enough, it turns out Dr. Kent had removed one hospital’s complete supply of Cesium after receiving a photo showing his nude wife hogtied and gagged in their bedroom with the threat of killing her unless he complied.

   The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are more interested in recovering the stolen Cesium, but Bosch’s main concern is solving the murder and he won’t allow anyone to push him aside no matter how many capital letters are in their name.

   As usual, with Connelly, the story was very well written and the characterization can’t be faulted. What can be faulted is the plotting. Pretty much from the get-go I knew which way the story was heading even if I didn’t know everything about the solution. Too bad his plotting isn’t the equal of his writing.