The 19th Bosch

It took me all of six hours to read the 19th Harry Bosch novel The Burning Room, published last year by author Michael Connelly. Harry Bosch is the police detective main character of most of Michael Connelly’s novels, but nobody calls them Michael Connelly novels. Even the book cover of The Burning Room calls it a Harry Bosch novel.

The Burning Room is a good Bosch novel; there is no dumb trip overseas to China, no tiresome scenes of Harry lamenting his wife and daughter. A few books in the Harry Bosch series were bogged down in bullshit one cannot imagine halting a Philip Marlowe or Lew Archer. Harry still has a daughter, but she’s a snarky teen now, with no time for dippy dad. Harry’s got a new partner Lucy Soto and she is good at her job. The crime(s) in The Burning Room are interesting, and riding along with Bosch and Soto makes for a good time. And the last chapter surprised me; surprise is as rare as cactus in Vermont in genre novels like The Burning Room.

I don’t remember much of the previous 18 Bosch novels but I enjoyed reading most of them and look forward to the future novels. These are slick books made to go down easy, beach reads, summer books, whatever. Great books offer more than fleeting enjoyment, and they tap the parts of the brain a book like The Burning Room cannot. Connelly is the best alive at this sort of writing, perfect for when the brain needs a break.