The Burning Room
Michael Connelly
Little, Brown and Company 2014
400 pages

As a long time fan of Michael Connelly, I was very happy to read his latest Harry Bosch mystery, The Burning Room.  Kindle: The Burning Room (A Harry Bosch Novel Book 17) on Kindle

On the cusp of retirement, Bosch is LAPD Robbery and Homicide Division’s most senior detective.  He is matched with Lucia (Lucy) Soto; a young recently-promoted novice to the force, who has already established herself as a hero.  Unfortunately, her youth and inexperience cause the resentment of some of their colleagues.

The Burning Room by Michael Connelly starts with the gruesome every day autopsy of paraplegic Orlando Merced; a man who has succumbed to declining health due to blood poisoning caused by a bullet that lodged near his spine ten years earlier.  His death is ruled as a homicide.

Assigned to the case, Harry Bosch and Soto must learn to trust each other and forge an effective working relationship.  Things are strained, however, when Bosh discovers Soto undertaking a clandestine unauthorized investigation into a cold case she is personally connected to.  Here the plot twists, and The Burning Room begins.

While the trajectory of the Merced bullet is being traced, an intertwined plot emerges:  a 1993 unsolved arson in an unlicensed daycare that led to the death of several innocent children.  Was it gang or drug related?  Accidental?  Were there connections to the Merced shooting?

Add financial gain, dirty politics, infidelity, switched allegiances and robbery, and there is always much  more to the story than ever meets the eye.

Fan favourite Harry Bosch is a great character with an interesting, fallible personality.  The Burning Room further tracks Bosch the man, and Harry Bosch the homicide detective.  It fills in more information about his early history, his problems, his personal life, as well as his relationship with his daughter.

An expert at story development, Michael Connelly ties everything seamlessly together.   He has an excellent way of forming cases, with steps and missteps, complications and frustrations.  It is a real process.

What begins as a slow burn develops into an inferno.  It starts a bit low key, but with many shocks and surprises as the plot moves along, The Burning Room soon becomes a complex, riveting novel that goes deeper down the rabbit hole with every chapter.  Until the exciting and explosive ending, you simply can’t put it down.

You decide whether justice is served.

The final pages are a bit too Hollywood for this reader’s taste, but The Burning Room still leaves room for a tease, and speculation.

That being said, another very good Michael Connelly novel is on the shelves.

Other Michael Connelly titles reviewed here:

The Late Show   The Wrong Side of Goodbye  The Crossing  The Brass Verdict