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Mystery Books - Michael Connelly - The Overlook - Another Review

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Michael Connelly
The Overlook
Little, Brown and Company 2007
Hardcover
224 pages
www.michaelconnelly.com

Originally written as a 16 part series for the New York Times Magazine, this expanded hard cover version of The Overlook is the most recent of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch mystery novels.

The Overlook by Michael Connelly begins when Dr. Stanley Kent is found murdered execution style on a stretch of road overlooking Los Angeles' Mulholland Dam. As personally unassuming as Wonder bread Kent piques investigative interest when he is revealed to be a medical physicist with uncommon access to restricted storage facilities at multiple L.A. hospitals.

In this post 9/11 world it is quickly discerned that it is not an ordinary homicide but one that poses a distinct and immediate threat to U.S. national security. The struggle for investigative power and control between the LAPD and the FBI begins. Their mutual distrust, coupled with distinct and often conflicting objectives and priorities foster less than stellar desires for cooperation and stir the pot enough to spark Bosch into taking matters in his own hands. Unexpectedly playing for the Feds is profiler Special Agent Rachel Walling. The ensuing tension that stems from her previous professional and personal history with Bosch makes her both a complication and a reluctant ally.

The Overlook is a slick, fast-paced mystery novel. The reader is quickly drawn in as momentum and excitement build exponentially, taking some very clever and unexpected twists along the way. An unsolved murder is interesting in its own right but there is also the feel of something larger and more malevolent happening to ratchet up the danger level of an almost perfect crime.

Michael Connelly is no nonsense and in complete control, using his straightforward, intelligent style to reveal crucial puzzle pieces, the perfect bait, at precisely the right moments. He does this just enough to feed the reader's need and growing desire for more. Using references to familiar news items, Connelly plays on but does not exploit the fears and vulnerabilities born of the Twin Towers and perpetuated by the current political climate. Add this to a tight plot and excellent characters and The Overlook becomes real.

The Overlook is brilliant, seamlessly written, and believable. We are grateful this mystery was released as a novel. It is far too compelling and addictive a read for many die-hard fans to cultivate the patience to endure the wait between each segment of the original New York Times Magazine serial.

Once again, Michael Connelly proves himself to be an excellent writer; the master of his game. If one could die from the obsessive ingestion of mystery novels, he would make it one hell of a way to go.

J Curran

Other Michael Connelly Reviews

Crime Beat: An interesting read for true crime fans.

The Lincoln Lawyer Audio Book Version: An excellent departure for mystery writer Michael Connelly

Echo Park: The best Michael Connelly mystery to date and that is saying a lot.

The Concrete Blonde: This third Harry Bosch mystery is solid.

The Overlook: Yet another great Harry Bosch mystery

The Brass Verdict - October 2008: A lawyer s murder brings Harry Bosch and Lincoln lawyer Mickey Haller together.

The Brass Verdict - A Mickey Haller / Harry Bosch Mystery: 20th Connelly mystery brings Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch together with a bang (from a revolver)

The Black Ice - A Harry Bosch Mystery: Second in the series. Brilliant, of course.

The Scarecrow: Jack McEvoy of The Poet is back in yet another excellent Connelly mystery.

Nine Dragons - A Harry Bosch Mystery: The lesser Harry Bosch mystery.

The Reversal - October 2010: Detective Harry Bosh, Mickey Haller, and their exes on the same case.

The Fifth Witness - April 2011: A solid (of course) Mickey Haller mystery

The Fifth Witness - J. Curran Review - April 2011: Third Mickey Haller mystery. This reviewer was not as impressed as the other one was.

The Drop - J. Curran review: Although not one of Connelly’s mind blowers from start to finish, The Drop is definitely a good solid read.

The Drop - A Harry Bosch Mystery: Decent enough Connelly but not up to usual standards

Blood Work Blu-ray: Excellent movie adaptation of Connelly novel

The Black Box - A Harry Bosch mystery: This time Bosch investigates a case dating back to the L.A. riots. Good but not great.

The Gods of Guilt - Mickey Haller Novel: The Lincoln Lawyer takes a case that propels him along a journey to face the demons of his past and present.

The Burning Room: You simply cannot put it down.

The Crossing - A Harry Bosch Novel: The Crossing, the twenty-second Harry Bosch, represents a major change in the life of Connelly s foremost character.

The Wrong Side of Goodbye - A Harry Bosch Novel: Harry Bosch is hired by a billionaire to find out if he has an heir and also works for the San Fernandino PD and discovers there is a serial rapist on the loose. This being a Michael Connelly mystery it is of course excellent.

The Late Show - A Renee Ballard Mystery: There is a new kid in town. Dog lover, and surfer by day, Detective Renee Ballard is a tough, tenacious, no-nonsense loner who works the late shift in Hollywood. Due to unsubstantiated accusations thrown at a superior officer, she is not exactly on the warm and fuzzy list of her fellow officers. With limited trust running both ways, her investigations are often solo.

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