Hieronymus Bosch is hands -down my favorite literary detective.. …not to be confused with the 15th century artist with whom you’d need to be a detective yourself to figure out his bewildering paintings…but 20th century LAPD Detective Harry Bosch. Michael Connelly has written about 21 novels and most of them feature Harry Bosch, a cop who catches killers. The Concrete Blonde is the 3rd in the series, but my first one to read. I immediately acquired the first 2 to begin at the beginning. Each Harry Bosch book stands alone as a novel, but reading them in succession gives you the fuller picture of the man who is often at odds with those in authority.
In The Concrete Blonde, Bosch is involved in a wrongful death civil suit for killing “The Dollmaker,” a man he believed to be responsible for brutally murdering 11 women. The problem is….during the trial he receives a letter from the serial killer describing the location of another victim, a blonde entombed in concrete. Since Norman Church was killed by Bosch 4 years ago, then he must have killed an innocent man, right? Whodunit indeed??!
The story combines courtroom drama and the police investigation into the new murder. Since this particular Harry Bosch book was written about 16 years ago, the detectives are still using typewriters and stopping to use pay phones. No matter. Whatever decade he is working in , he’s a man on a mission to “speak for the dead.”