No coincidences, boredom or contrived resolutions
I have to begin by mentioning my favourite aspect about connelly's novels. his descriptions are crisp and allow the reader to stay enthralled in the book. never does he take more than a paragraph to change the scene or describe something pertinent to the plot. there are no run-on lists or byzantine room layouts. for the majority of the locales (the sewer pipe adjacent to the reservoir, the fbi and lapd offices, etc) he gives a sharp and trenchant description of the investigators, which readers are easily able to use as a springboard to fill in the missing puzzle pieces in their imagination. this sucks the reader in and at the very least, makes the simple act of reading a novel into an adventure. i never once rolled my eyes, imploring the pace to pick up. the layout of the novel itself is not what you would expect from a thriller. instead of forty or so chapters with hints being dropped through a cheese grater, each day is comprised of 40-60 pages. at first i found this daunting, but the incredible detail that connelly inserts into the investigation, from the extensive crime scene cataloging, to the autopsy and things that stick out like ice cream on spaghetti, does a brilliant job of dragging readers along for the investigation. one cannot help but empathise for the sorry state of law enforcement politics, and while some are able to make a comfortable living through "hobbies" such as selling real estate, bosch is not one of them, and is still dragged around by the apparitions of his vietnam war induced ptsd. which brings me to the protagonist - he certainly isn't one of your clean-shaven, stereotypical and methodical detectives who is surrounded by bumbling assistants and yet manages to thoughtfully sift through the evidence until the means and motives behind the crime become apparent. his vices include cigarettes and beer, his temper is on a knife's edge and connected to a considerable amount of dynamite, and he is willing to openly flout departmental guidelines. this is quite understandable as murder trails become cold very rapidly. arrogance combined with resourcefulness and a keen knack for connecting dots between apparently unrelated cases and evidence is usually enough for him to get his way. furthermore, having bosch as a veteran cop allows connelly to plant seeds of intrigue - details regarding a previous case, the dollmaker murders, lead to his suspension and later suspicion under the unblinking eyes of iad. this also allows the author to avoid spending time on boring and possibly long-winded police training sessions. instead, the results are provided for us to observe in the exploits of bosch, wish, edgar, lieutenant harvey, assistant chief irwin irving and others. most are unforgettable after a single description, and none of them are boring. the first saplings of romance begin to bloom just before the midway point of the story and the investigation. there are inklings of a follow-up thread in later novels, but even so, this book stands alone as one of the pinnacles of crime thrillers. as an apotheosis of the genre, it is not only well-written and accessible to non-cops, but blurs the line between right and wrong in several ways. i am currently listening to an audiobook for the black ice, and i am not disappointed so far. if only hollywood would stop lazing about and make more movies featuring bosch and haller.