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The Concrete Blonde by Michael Connelly

The Concrete Blonde (1994)

by Michael Connelly

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Harry Bosch (3)

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Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
In this classic from a #1 "New York Times" bestselling author, Detective Harry Bosch thought he'd stopped the serial killer known as the Dollmaker. Now the dead man's widow is suing Harry and the LAPD for shooting the wrong man--an accusation that rings true when a new victim is discovered with the Dollmaker's macabre signature. This was not one of my favorites in the Harry Bosh Collection, but recommend the series as there are so good ones! ( )
  JudithDCollins | Nov 27, 2014 |
I was reading this as a part of a Kindle omnibus and as I read the first few pages I wondered if the kindle books were out of order- but then I realized it was a flasback of sorts to the case that preceded this series. I like how Connelly develops Bosch through his flaws, through the less than ideal handling of the Dollmaker case. I also like how the series ties in LA history with this title weaving in the events of Rodney King and its aftermath. I like how the associate characters including Irving Irving (seriously?!) and Pounds develop along with the primary characters. I also like how the time passes between titles to develop the relationships between the characters in more time than the week-ish covered by the book allows. ( )
  skinglist | Jul 8, 2014 |
For my tastes, there were too many courtroom chapters. But overall, I enjoyed reading about how Detective Harry Bosch tries to prove his innocence through investigation out of the courtroom, which ultimately leads to his acquittal. ( )
  phillipfrey | Jun 18, 2014 |
[Cross-posted to Knite Writes]

I thought this was a great followup to The Black Ice. Connelly spent a lot more time in this novel exploring Harry’s feelings about the situations that have defined the past few years of his life, and I liked the change of pace. Much of this novel was spent in a court room setting, where Harry’s actions as a cop (and as a person) were deconstructed in a way that allowed the reader to gain a greater understanding of his motivations. His backstory, which has been briefly mentioned in prior installments, was brought closer to the surface this time around, and it added a great deal to Harry’s overall characterization.

On top of that, the plot was wonderfully twisted. There were some classic red herrings, a lot of hardboiled detective work, and several tense life-or-death scenes that kept the pace going strong in a book that could have easily fallen into a slow, plodding track, given all that “courtroom” stuff I mentioned. Connelly kept the suspense on high throughout, giving you just enough information to make you want to keep reading at all times but never dumping too many revelations at once.

The wealth of characters in the Harry Bosch world weren’t forgotten either. Connelly developed many, many characters in this book — from Harry’s friend and former partner Edgar to the frequently loathed Irving — and it kept the supporting cast rich, interesting, and relatable.

Overall, I really enjoyed this installment (if that wasn’t apparent) and look forward to continuing the series in the near future. ( )
  TherinKnite | Mar 31, 2014 |
The backstory: Concrete Blonde is the third mystery in Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series. Read my reviews of the first two: The Black Echo and The Black Ice.

The basics: Harry Bosch is on trial in civil court for the killing of the Dollmaker serial killer four years ago. Meanwhile, it appears the Dollmaker may not be dead. A new note, presumably from the killer, is received, and it points to a new body, one who died after the Dollmaker.

My thoughts: I have an odd fascination for serial killer stories, and Concrete Blonde is a good one. By re-investigating the murders from four years ago, before the Bosch series begins, the reader gets to know more about this case that demoted Bosch from the prestigious Robbery Homicide Division to Hollywood homicide. In many ways, this book felt allows Bosch and his recent past to come full circle. It's simultaneously an intriguing mystery and a suspenseful legal thriller, as every clue to the new body and note have potentially dire implications for Bosch's civil defense case.

I enjoyed each element of this novel, but I most appreciated the depth with which Connelly explores Bosch's backstory in this mystery. I'm frequently annoyed when mystery writers stifle character growth, even when paired with a compelling mystery. Connelly shows no fear, either in his mysteries tinged with law enforcement corruption or with exploring Bosch's demons. Bosch isn't a character I would say I particularly liked, but he is one I increasingly trust and remain fascinated by. I can't wait to see where Connelly takes him nest.

The verdict: Concrete Blonde is another excellent book in a superb series. While I correctly predicted some of its twists and turns, Connelly once again kept me on my toes. The biggest strength of this novel is the combination of beguiling mystery and the continued growth of Bosch as a character. ( )
  nomadreader | Mar 26, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Connellyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Montanari, GianniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Susan, Paul and Jamie
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The house in Silverlake was dark, its windows as empty as a dead man's eyes.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 044661758X, Mass Market Paperback)

In this classic from a #1 "New York Times" bestselling author, Detective Harry Bosch thought he'd stopped the serial killer known as the Dollmaker. Now the dead man's widow is suing Harry and the LAPD for shooting the wrong man--an accusation that rings true when a new victim is discovered with the Dollmaker's macabre signature.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:57:03 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

They called him the Dollmaker ... The serial killer who stalked Los Angeles and left a grisly calling card on the faces of his female victims. With a single faultless shot, Detective Harry Bosch thought he had ended the city's nightmare. Now, the dead man's widow is suing Harry and the LAPD for killing the wrong man - an accusation that rings terrifyingly true when a new victim is discovered with the Dollmaker's macabre signature. Now, for the second time, Harry must hunt down a death-dealer who is very much alive, before he strikes again. It's a blood-tracked quest that will take Harry from the hard edges of the L.A. night to the last place he ever wanted to go - the darkness of his own heart. With The Concrete Blonde, Edgar Award-winning author Michael Connelly has hit a whole new level in his career, creating a breathtaking thriller that thrusts you into a blistering courtroom battle - and a desperate search for a sadistic killer.… (more)

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