Tuesday Pop Review- “The Black Ice,” by Michael Connelly

Welcome back to Pop Review Tuesdays, where I blog about something pop-related, typically either a book I recently read, movie or show I watched or a local restaurant. 

This week I review “The Black Ice,” a 1993 novel by Michael Connelly and the second novel in his “Harry Bosch” series.  Bosch, as you may recall from my review of “The Black Echo,” is a Vietnam veteran turned homicide detective.  Once a celebrated member of the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division, Bosch’s renegade tactics have relegated him to the less glamorous Hollywood Homicide unit. 

In “The Black Ice,” narcotics officer Calexico Moore’s body is discovered Christmas night in a Hollywood motel, an apparent suicide. As the LAPD converges on the scene to protect the department from scandal, Bosch inserts himself into the investigation.  The winding trail he follows leads to a Mexican drug operation across the border using a legitimate science lab as a front.  We see three seemingly separate deaths merge into one storyline, with an exciting climax taking place in Mexico.

Connelly does a great job of building toward the finale and artfully describes bullfighting to the point where I am determined to see one before my time is up.  Connelly also made the wise choice of shortening his chapters considerably from the first installment, “The Black Echo,” which was difficult to read due to the 35-50 page chapters.  The romantic angles are a little forced and far-fetched, as our main character, a curly-haired moustached chain smoker with a 6-pack per night beer hobby seems to have no problem quickly bedding his prey, but it is not too great of a distraction.  It kind of reminds me of the improbable love angle between thief and murderer Robert DeNiro and “girl next door” Amy Brenneman in the movie “Heat.”   

I look forward to reading the next installment, “The Concrete Blonde,” sometime soon. 

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