In a 12-hour adventure first serialized in weekly installments in the New York Times Magazine, Harry Bosch finally catches a fresh case after years of resurrecting old ones (Echo Park, 2006, etc.), and it’s a honey.
Before he was shot to death at a scenic overlook on Mulholland Drive, Stanley Kent was a medical physicist who had access to the radioactive cesium used to treat uterine cancer. Because the murder looks like an execution, Bosch and his new partner, Ignacio (“call me Iggy”) Ferras of LAPD Homicide Special, are under orders to grab the case from Hollywood Homicide. In a breathtakingly short time, though, it’s grabbed from them by Rachel Walling, Bosch’s former lover, and her take-no-prisoners FBI partner Jack Brenner. The reason: Shortly before he died, Kent had driven to St. Agatha’s Clinic for Women and removed dozens of doses of cesium at the demand of the masked thugs who’d broken into his home, tied up his wife and threatened to rape and kill her. Alicia Kent is still alive, but her husband isn’t, and the cesium has vanished. Captain Don Hadley, the well-connected nincompoop in charge of L.A.’s Department of Homeland Security, is convinced the threat of a dirty bomb is linked to anti-American provocateur Ramin Samir; the FBI is more intent on locating a Syrian terrorist who goes by the nickname Moby. But Bosch is convinced the Feds have missed important clues, and soon he’s dug up an eyewitness to the crime and found new evidence at the Kent home. Both discoveries send him barreling into a series of jurisdictional battles that almost upstage the terrorist threat.
A beautifully stripped-down case that makes up in tension and velocity what it lacks in amplitude. Serialization hasn’t hurt Connelly any more than it did Charles Dickens, who’s cited at several key points.