Connelly pits his latest series hero, FBI agent Terry McCaleb (Blood Work, 1998), against his veteran series op, LAPD detective Harry Bosch (Angels Flight, 1999, etc.), in this extraordinary excursion into good, evil, and the labyrinth of human motives.
Enjoying the good life over a year after his heart transplant and blissfully happy with his wife, stepson, and new baby daughter, McCaleb thinks he’s retired to run a fishing charter off Catalina Island. Actually, though, he’s the one who gets hooked. His old partner, Jaye Winston, needs him to profile just one more killer, a vengeful sadist who binds his victim’s legs to his throat, guaranteeing he’ll be slowly strangled as he struggles to break free. As McCaleb starts to collect clues—the unsavory history of the victim, the minatory inscription on his corpse, the painted owl perched above the death scene—his profiler’s instinct catches fire: he senses the handiwork of an avenging angel. But the fire turns to ice as the symbols his avenger chooses to decorate his crime lead McCaleb backward to a single, unexpected source: 17th-century painter Hieronymous Bosch, namesake of his LAPD counterpart Harry, who’s on the trail of a cold-blooded 20th-century sex murderer. Bosch’s style couldn’t be more different from McCaleb’s; where McCaleb uses intuition and psychological insight, Bosch uses legwork and logical inference. He’s carefully crafted a case against David Storey, a jet-set killer who’s sworn to Harry he’ll get away with murder. Demolishing Storey’s alibi, finding the witness Storey tried to bury, and discovering a possible second victim of Storey’s lethal sex games take Bosch within inches of a conviction. But now, as Storey’s trial draws near its close, the credibility of his testimony is imperiled by the growing suspicion against Bosch, and he must confront McCaleb—the physical vs. the metaphysical—or lose his chance to bring a killer to justice.
Bosch fan or McCaleb fan, you can’t lose with this chilling tour-de-force.