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La rubia de hormigón by Michael Connelly

La rubia de hormigón (original 1994; edition 2004)

by Michael Connelly

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2,720602,169 (3.9)78
Title:La rubia de hormigón
Authors:Michael Connelly
Info:Barcelona : Ediciones B, 2004
Collections:Leídos, Read but unowned

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The Concrete Blonde by Michael Connelly (1994)



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[Cross-posted to Knite Writes]


Harry Bosch is being sued by the family of the infamous Dollmaker, the serial killer Harry gunned down a few years prior. Claiming the man wasn’t actually the killer, the family wants “justice” for Harry’s so-called rash behavior that cost them a father and husband. Helmed by the infamous lawyer Honey Chandler, things aren’t looking good for Harry.

And to make matters worse, a note delivered to the LAPD leads to the discovery of a murder victim that bears the Dollmaker’s signature…but was killed after the man’s death. Did Harry make a mistake and kill the wrong man?

Dealing with court and the new murder case at the same time, Harry finds himself in the dark underworld of LA prostitution and pornography, the Dollmaker’s hunting ground, where he desperately tries to retrace the Dollmaker’s steps and figure out who, if anyone, could be copying the serial killer’s style.

When he digs back into the old case files, he makes a startling revelation: two of the supposed Dollmaker victims weren’t killed by him at all but by a “follower” who’s been active since before the real Dollmaker was killed. Meaning there are likely several victims that haven’t been found.

But if the follower existed during the original Dollmaker time period, then it can only mean someone privy to the full details of the Dollmaker’s work could be the killer. Harry is forced to investigate the very police he worked with on the case. His first hunch is a cop deep in the underbelly of the pornography world — Mora — who Harry believes has gone to the dark side.

But when he breaks into Mora’s house to search for clues, he finds evidence not of murder but of a man warped by years spent too close to the seedy business practices of the porn industry. Mora confronts Harry, and, after a brief skirmish, surrenders and agrees to quit the force in exchange for Harry and his backup keeping quiet about his not-so-legal porn-related activities…and what Mora believes to be a real lead on the follower.

Mora points to university psychology professor Locke, who helped Harry and the LAPD profile the original Dollmaker. However, Locke disappears before Harry can confront him, and with the verdict on the Dollmaker trial coming due, Harry is forced to wait for his comrades to track the man down.

Except when Harry shows up for court after a long and harrowing weekend, he finds Honey Chandler has gone missing, too. He alerts the others to head to her home immediately…but it’s too late. Chandler was murdered by the follower long before Harry ever caught wind of the danger.

Surprisingly, Locke resurfaces, having spent a weekend in Vegas with one of his college students. After realizing Locke is not the follower, Harry puts the pieces together — the follower can only be one person. One person who knew all the details about the Dollmaker case. One person who hasn’t been scrutinized yet.

Bremmer. The very reporter who wrote the book on the Dollmaker. The reporter who’s been acquainted with Harry for years.

Harry confronts Bremmer at his home, and after a standoff, where Harry coaxes Bremmer into admitting his guilt on tape, Bremmer is arrested and finally thrown in jail where he belongs.

Harry, finally free of the Dollmaker case for good and only out two dollars thanks to an understanding jury, returns to his normal mode of life with girlfriend Sylvia (who we met in The Black Ice).

The End.

Cue Sequel.


My Take

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.



Like usual, Connelly’s writing was simple, clear, and to the point. No complaints.


Is It Worth Reading?

Definitely. But I recommend you start with book one, The Black Echo.


4.5/5 ( )
  ClaraCoulson | Nov 16, 2015 |
The Concrete Blonde by Michael Connelly; (4 1/2*)

As I read Connelly's Harry Bosch novels in order they just keep getting better. In this novel we return to an incident referenced in the first two books; Harry Bosch's killing of Norman Church, a murderer known as 'The Dollmaker'. Bosch had violated police procedure by going to the Dollmaker's apartment alone and had shot the Dollmaker after incorrectly concluding that he was reaching for a gun. Nonetheless, the LAPD concluded that the Dollmaker had committed eleven brutal murders. Although makeup from nine of the victims was found in the Dollmaker's possession Bosch now finds himself a defendant in a federal court civil trial brought by the Dollmaker's wife. He is accused of having violated the Dollmaker's civil rights.
The description of this trial is fascinating. Mrs. Church is represented by a high profile attorney known for her legal skills and air of righteous indignation. Bosch is represented by a Deputy City Attorney. Nonetheless Bosch is hopeful that given the ample evidence against the Dollmaker the jury will find in his favor.
However just as the trial begins another body turns up, murdered the very same way as the other victims. Known as "The Concrete Blonde," she was murdered after Bosch had killed the Dollmaker. Could Bosch possibly have killed the wrong man or is there a copycat killer out there? If that is the case can the police find him in time and will any of this affect the ongoing trial?
I enjoyed "The Black Echo" and felt that "The Black Ice" was an excellent read but "The Concrete Blonde" is by far the best of the lot.
I'm seriously liking this BOSCH character. ( )
  rainpebble | Nov 2, 2015 |
I am feeling rather disappointed about this novel. After a couple of excellent books to kick off the sequence, Connelly definitely sold me the dummy with this one.

The basic premise was sound enough. There had been various references in the previous two books to an incident in which the protagonist, Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch had confronted and then shot a man suspected of being the serial killer known as The Dollmaker. Bosch had fired because the other man had ignored warnings to stand still and had reached in desperation for something beneath a pillow. Bosch fired without hesitation, only to discover that he had been reaching for his discarded toupee rather than a gun.

Now, four years later, the victim's widow is suing the police force for compensation. As the trial opens a new corpse bearing all the hallmarks of a Dollmaker killing is discovered, leaving everyone to draw the uncomfortable inference that the man whom Bosch shot might have been innocent.

This all made for an intriguing backdrop to the story, but somehow it never quite seemed to get going. The courtroom scenes subsided into predictable turgidity, and even the investigation into the 'new' murder just rumbled on without Connelly's customary flair. ( )
  Eyejaybee | Mar 10, 2015 |
I thought initially this would be a weaker book, because of the trial. Luckily I was wrong. A great Bosch novel. ( )
  kenzen | Feb 23, 2015 |
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 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Connellyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Montanari, GianniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:53 -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)

(summary from another edition)

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