“My first Harry Bosch book was City of Bones, which I read unaware that I was mid-series. I became an instant Michael Connelly fan, and have kept up with the series as well as reading several of his stand alone novels. This year I decided to go back to the start and read those books I missed the first time.
The Black Echo is the first book which introduces us to Harry Bosch, a Vietnam Veteran and world weary detective who seems to have seen too many of the bad things in life but still strives to be a good cop, investigating crimes even when he has to bend the rules and go against the rules, frequently bringing nothing but trouble upon himself.
The storyline involves what appears to be the accidental overdose death of a known junkie. When Harry recognizes the victim as a former Vietnam Vet he begins to dig a little deeper, eventually becoming involved in an FBI investigation that leads to a romantic entanglement and a complex crime that involves far more than murder.
Connelly is terrific in slowly unpeeling the many layers of the investigation, and it’s great fun to watch Harry gradually and methodically but the pieces together. This is a police procedural novel at its best. I have a few little complaints, some of the police characterizations were a little clichéd and over the top, in particular the internal affairs officers, who were a bit buffoonish in their stupidity. The romance angle was okay, I can see two lonely people coming together, but it never felt genuine. Outside of that I found the mystery entertaining and well plotted. The Black Echo is a great introduction to the Bosch series, which I feel keeps getting better with each book.