Michael Connelly kicks ass in Echo Park, the latest mystery novel starring Detective Harry Bosch. This is a tight, captivating, mystery whose pages almost turn automatically before your eyes. Echo Park finds Harry Bosch exorcising another old demon though this time the demon is himself and how he handled a murder case some thirteen years ago. While he tortures himself with the guilt of not having caught a killer who then killed at least nine other women Bosch still has to solve the original case and other similar ones. Kindle: Echo Park (A Harry Bosch Novel Book 12)

It all begins when Reynard Waits is pulled over and found holding a bag with parts from two different corpses. Facing a lose-lose situation, Waits makes a deal with the D.A and confesses to the murders he committed, including that of Marie Gesto, a case Bosch could not solve thirteen years ago. Bosch does not believe Waits’ claim, especially since he has always had another suspect in mind. When he discovers an entry in the Gesto murder book that shows Waits contacted him and former partner Jerry Edgar thirteen years ago, Bosch starts to question his abilities while trying not to drown in the wave of guilt that follows that discovery.

This is but one aspect of Echo Park, the latest mystery novel by Michael Connelly. There is also the usual game playing by Bosch’s superiors at the LAPD, the reappearance of FBI agent and former flame Rachel Walling, and Bosch’s usual tendency to be a lone wolf and a bit of a loose cannon. Add to this Connelly’s usual tight and quick pacing and you’ve got yourself one hell of a detective novel.

Connelly is at the top of his game here. You sometimes have the distinct impression he is actually playing games with the amateur detective we all become when we read a mystery. He plants clues an intelligent reader will figure out and then has Bosch or another detective reveal their solution much too early on in the novel for said clues to be that meaningful. You know Connelly is messing with your expectations and all you can say is, “Please, Sir. Can I have some more?”

Echo Park is by far the best mystery I have read in a long, long time including past great efforts by Connelly.

Echo Park
Michael Connelly
A Harry Bosch Mystery
Little, Brown 2006

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