Fair Warning | Book Review

Fair Warning begins with a murder. That’s unfortunate, but even more unfortunate for Jack McEvoy is that the LAPD considers him a suspect. McEvoy knows he’s innocent, but how will he prove it to the police. And how will he find the real killer?

This is the 34th book in Michael Connelly’s fictional world of murder in Los Angeles. Most of the books feature LAPD detective Harry Bosch, but other novels center around Mickey Haller (Bosch’s half-brother), Rachel Ballard (an up-and-coming detective and Bosch’s occasional colleague), and Terry McCaleb (an FBI serial killer investigator). Fair Warningis the third novel featuring award-winning journalist Jack McEvoy and FBI profiler Rachel Walling.

Connelly seems incapable of writing a boring book. While some are better than others, Fair Warning definitely finds him at the top of his writing game. I kept turning pages eager to figure out what will happen next.

And the elements of the story feel contemporaneous: Hatred of journalists. Incel rage against women. Consumer data breaches. Podcasts displacing print. And the ever-depressing reality of lives ruined by violence.

Jack McEvoy and Rachel Walling teamed up in Connelly’s novels The Poet  and The Scarecrow. They work well together, but they also have a past. If I read Fair Warning’s ending correctly, they may team up again in the future. That’s a novel I look forward to reading.

I’m also looking forward to Connelly’s November 10, 2020, release of The Law of Innocence, featuring Mickey Haller.

Five stars from me for Fair Warning. In my opinion, Connelly is the best crime writer currently on the market.

Book Review
Michael Connelly, Fair Warning (New York: Little Brown and Company, 2020).

P.S. If you liked my review, please click “Helpful” on my Amazon review page.

Review of ‘City of Bones’ by Michael Connelly

City-of-bonesMichael Connelly, City of Bones (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2002). Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle

City of Bones is the eighth installment in Michael Connelly’s series of novels featuring Los Angeles homicide detective Harry Bosch. It opens on New Years Day, when Bosch is called to a home in Laurel Canyon. A dog has found a bone, and its owner, a medical doctor, is certain that it’s human. Bosch begins to investigate and unearths the majority of a skeleton. Forensic examination reveals that the body belonged to a young male who had suffered physical abuse throughout his short life.

Within days, Bosch knows the name of the victim, Arthur Delacroix, and the year of his murder, 1980. But who killed him, and why? Connelly leads readers through Bosch’s 13-day investigation with storytelling skill, leading us down investigative rabbit trails, only to corner the killer in the last pages of the book. In addition to the identity of the killer, those 13 days uncover secrets that destroy lives and families and threaten to end Bosch’s career.

I was familiar with the plot of City of Bones before reading it. This book, along with Concrete Blonde, is the textual basis of the first season of Amazon’s Bosch series. The TV series took quite a few liberties with Concrete Blonde, but it hewed closely to the narrative of City of Bones, with a few, important exceptions. Still, it is a testament to Connelly’s storytelling skill that he captured my attention through the book despite the fact that I knew who the killer was all along.

I’ve reviewed a number of books in Connelly’s Harry Bosch series, together with books in his Mickey Halley and Terry McCaleb series. With one exception, I think each of them is well crafted and engaging. As a guy who likes to read mystery series featuring a lead character and returning cast of characters, I thoroughly enjoy Michael Connelly’s books and recommend them to people with similar tastes to mine.

Read the books in order, though. Each mystery is self-contained, but the character arc of Harry Bosch is worth making the time and effort to start from The Black Echo and work your way forward.


P.S. If you found my review helpful, please vote “Yes” on my Amazon.com review page.



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