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.

The Concrete Blonde
Michael Connelly
Warner Books 2007
Paperback reissue

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