The Concrete Blonde is the third Michael Connelly novel to feature LAPD homicide detective Hieronymous “Harry” Bosch. It opens with Bosch shooting a naked, unarmed man named Norman Church. Church was a suspect in the “Dollmaker” serial killings case. After the shooting, forensics tied him to nine of the eleven killings. Nevertheless, Church’s widow sought a civil judgment against Bosch and the LAPD and sued them in federal court.
As the trial gets underway, however, the LAPD receives a note written in the style of the Dollmaker which points them to the body of another woman. Her body bears the signature of the murderer’s other victims. However, she was killed after Bosch shot Norman Church. This casts Church’s guilt into doubt and throws a span into Bosch’s legal defense. Connelly weaves these two strands together in a well-paced narrative that is part police procedural, part legal thriller.
I am a huge fan of mystery series, and Connelly is one of my favorite series writers, through both his Harry Bosch and Mickey Heller (aka, “Lincoln Lawyer”) novels. The Concrete Blonde can be read independently of the series, but if you want to see Bosch’s character develop, start with The Black Echo and work your way through the novels in order.
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