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Mystery Books - Michael Connelly - The Concrete Blonde


The Concrete Blonde
Michael Connelly
Warner Books 2007
Paperback reissue

The Dollmaker, a psychopath serial killer has been shot. Detective Harry Bosch is holding the smoking gun. Overwhelming evidence convinces police that Bosch's target, Norman Church, is indeed the notorious killer so the investigation is closed.

Thus begins The Concrete Blonde, the third Harry Bosch mystery novel by Michael Connelly.

Disciplinary action kicks the former high ranking LAPD homicide detective into the less prestigious Hollywood Robbery Homicide Division where four years later Bosch finds himself embroiled in an intense trial to determine if he used excessive force and reckless cowboy police work in bringing down the unarmed Church whose wife steadfastly believes is innocent.

Just as Bosch's trial is getting underway a frighteningly familiar note surfaces which directs police to a partially preserved body encased in the concrete of a burned out building: The Concrete Blonde. The victim and the note itself contain all the hallmarks of the Dollmaker's perverse obsessions including signature information not released to the public.

Featured in a great series of novels by Michael Connelly, Harry Bosch is a tough, no nonsense cop with a keen mind and a gut for the business. Clever and calculating, he does not always play by the rules. Bosch is a complex, believable character with an uncommon depth.

In The Concrete Blonde, Bosch wrestles with his own dark history and the demons that torment him. His fears and vulnerabilities humanize him in a way the reader can understand and respect.  Michael Connelly is no short of brilliant. Exhibiting a deep understanding of the human psyche in his often raw and brutal portrayal of the sickness that permeates our so-called civilized society, he skillfully leads the reader through a delightfully intricate plot, providing drama, suspense, and excitement which stimulate a need to know and discover more about Bosch, the trial, the new investigation, and the final outcome.

Consistently interesting, each chapter offers pieces of the puzzle as Connelly plants gems of information which encourage yet toy with the reader's own theories and suspicions. One never really knows what will ultimately be revealed.

The Concrete Blonde is a mystery novel you can feel. Its meaty drama is so riveting from beginning to end that it is difficult to put down to do even silly extraneous things like sleep and eat. It plays like a movie and is sure to get the blood pumping

Connelly is an expert at luring the reader in and not letting go until the last page is turned. Gripping and entertaining, The Concrete Blonde is highly recommended.

J Curran

Other Michael Connelly Reviews

Crime Beat: An interesting read for true crime fans.

The Lincoln Lawyer Audio Book Version: An excellent departure for mystery writer Michael Connelly

Echo Park: The best Michael Connelly mystery to date and that is saying a lot.

The Overlook: Yet another great Harry Bosch mystery

The Overlook - Another Review: The usual solid and captivating mystery by a master.

The Brass Verdict - October 2008: A lawyer s murder brings Harry Bosch and Lincoln lawyer Mickey Haller together.

The Brass Verdict - A Mickey Haller / Harry Bosch Mystery: 20th Connelly mystery brings Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch together with a bang (from a revolver)

The Black Ice - A Harry Bosch Mystery: Second in the series. Brilliant, of course.

The Scarecrow: Jack McEvoy of The Poet is back in yet another excellent Connelly mystery.

Nine Dragons - A Harry Bosch Mystery: The lesser Harry Bosch mystery.

The Reversal - October 2010: Detective Harry Bosh, Mickey Haller, and their exes on the same case.

The Fifth Witness - April 2011: A solid (of course) Mickey Haller mystery

The Fifth Witness - J. Curran Review - April 2011: Third Mickey Haller mystery. This reviewer was not as impressed as the other one was.

The Drop - J. Curran review: Although not one of Connelly’s mind blowers from start to finish, The Drop is definitely a good solid read.

The Drop - A Harry Bosch Mystery: Decent enough Connelly but not up to usual standards

Blood Work Blu-ray: Excellent movie adaptation of Connelly novel

The Black Box - A Harry Bosch mystery: This time Bosch investigates a case dating back to the L.A. riots. Good but not great.

The Gods of Guilt - Mickey Haller Novel: The Lincoln Lawyer takes a case that propels him along a journey to face the demons of his past and present.

The Burning Room: You simply cannot put it down.

The Crossing - A Harry Bosch Novel: The Crossing, the twenty-second Harry Bosch, represents a major change in the life of Connelly s foremost character.

The Wrong Side of Goodbye - A Harry Bosch Novel: Harry Bosch is hired by a billionaire to find out if he has an heir and also works for the San Fernandino PD and discovers there is a serial rapist on the loose. This being a Michael Connelly mystery it is of course excellent.

The Late Show - A Renee Ballard Mystery: There is a new kid in town. Dog lover, and surfer by day, Detective Renee Ballard is a tough, tenacious, no-nonsense loner who works the late shift in Hollywood. Due to unsubstantiated accusations thrown at a superior officer, she is not exactly on the warm and fuzzy list of her fellow officers. With limited trust running both ways, her investigations are often solo.

Two Kinds of Truth - A Harry Bosch Mystery: It is a Connelly, of course it is great

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