Mysterious Book Report The Black BoxThe Black Box by Michael Connelly

Little, Brown, $27.99, 403 pages, ISBN 978-0-316-06943-4

The Black Box by Michael Connelly, is another chapter in the continuing story of one of the best tough guys to ever come along in crime fiction, Detective Sergeant Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch of the Los Angeles Police Department.  He’s past mandatory retirement age and still on active duty thanks to a five year extension called the DROP, working on the open-unsolved, or cold case unit, when he’s given the twenty year old unsolved homicide of a woman journalist who was murdered during the 1992 riots that devastated LA after the Rodney King trial.  It’s a case Bosch has never forgotten because he was the responding officer when Anneke Jesperson was shot in the head execution style in the Watts section of the city at the height of the riots.  The evidence was filed away and the murder was left unsolved for two decades.  Jurisdictional interference and work overloads have prevented her case from being properly examined—until now. Bosch wasn’t able to fully investigate the crime when it happened because of sheer case overload.  The LAPD was overwhelmed by the number of homicides during the riots to do the job properly . . . a fact not forgotten by him.  The case begins to break when Bosch is able to find the pistol used in the women’s murder . . . the first step in opening the ‘black box” that will solve the case.  From the Iraq and Afghan war zones, to Denmark and the USA, Bosch follows the faint trail that leads to a killer who’s been hiding in plain sight for twenty years.  In spite of opposition from a unit supervisor who’s more concerned with numbers and promotions than the human victims, Bosch soldiers on, determined to take the case to its surprising conclusion.  With the deft and expert touch of a maestro, Connelly once again reminds us all why he’s the undisputed alpha dog of the crime writing pack.


John Dwaine McKenna