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The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

The Black Echo (1992)

by Michael Connelly

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Harry Bosch (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,2411181,708 (3.89)269
  1. 21
    The Lion by Nelson DeMille (Scottneumann)
  2. 00
    Night Dogs by Kent Anderson (Littlemissbashful)
    Littlemissbashful: Both feature ex Vietnam vets turned cop and corrupt police departments. The demons are the same but the response is different.
  3. 03
    Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey (raizel)
    raizel: slight spoiler: both books have someone trying to do what is just and not succeeding

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» See also 269 mentions

English (113)  French (3)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (119)
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
Until about twenty years ago I used to devour American crime novels, rushing through one after another with a voracious appetite. But then something happened. I don't know what - I wish I did - but suddenly I found it very difficult ever to complete one.

I was, therefore, pleasantly surprised by 'The Black Echo', the first novel to feature Harry 'Hieronymus' Bosch, jaded homicide detective and Vietnam War veteran. Called to the site of a mysterious death, Bosch recognises the corpse as someone with whom he served in Vietnam, some twenty years previously. The body had been found in a reservoir overflow pipe near the Mulholland Dam, and the initial diagnosis suggests that this is merely another instance of a dysfunctional Vietnam veteran meeting their death through drug addiction.

We learn that Bosch himself might all too easily have been a disastrously clichéd character himself. Having been discharged from the army, he had entered LAPD and gradually risen to the Homicide Team. As the novel opens, however, we gather odd hints that his subsequent career has had as many downs as ups. It transpires that he had recently been instrumental in solving the case of a serial killer, which had led to a local TV station paying him a fee to use his name for a sensationalist series, but his fatal shooting of a criminal had led to him being investigated at length by Internal Affairs. All this sounds rather familiar - just another disgruntled, unorthodox detective. Connelly does, however, succeed in retaining Bosch's credibility.

This novel also strays across different genres - while Bosch's unconventional thought processes drives the investigation forward, the book also falls soundly into police procedural territory. Yet Connelly also offers a frightening insight into the work of many of the American troops in Vietnam who literally fought underground. The Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army used hundreds of miles of tunnels through the combat zones, and teams of American troops would be sent down to try to destroy them, often finding themselves in horrific combat beneath the ground. Connelly marshals all of this with great dexterity, all the more remarkable as this was his first novel. ( )
  Eyejaybee | May 29, 2019 |
Not as good as I thought it would be I must admit. This is the first Michael Connolly book I have read and although I like Harry Bosch, the story was not overly interesting. Somewhere in the middle my interest declined a bit and it was by sheer force I managed to continue reading. Luckily the ending was really good and left me with the interest to read the rest of the books. ( )
  MaraBlaise | May 19, 2019 |
wow, what a superb work of pop- fiction this is! As the first in the Harry Bosch series, it may be the best "first" book in any of the other series I've read, including those by Sue Grafton, Daniel Silva, and Robert B. Parker. The plot set up was most intriguing; US Army vets who used to operate in the underground tunnels during the US incursion into Vietnam are now using underground tunnels in LA to rob bank vaults. And as a police detective, Harry -- himself a former Vietnam "tunnel rat" -- has to overcome his fears to enter the tunnels to stop them. The motives date back to the last days of the war in Vietnam and involve millions of dollars in diamonds that were smuggled into the US. Meanwhile, as one complication, a member of his own department is part of the plot to get the diamonds, and as another, a pair of Internal Affairs officers who have been dogging his every move manage to thoroughly botch the elaborate plan to catch the thieves in action -- and to pay the cost with their lives. A sudden, dismaying plot switch at the end took me by surprise: Harry's assigned partner and occasional lover, FBI agent Eleanor Wish was also involved in the plot. But ending was satisfactory as was the entire reading experience. It appears that I've encountered another series for which I'll be obliged to read every volume. ( )
1 vote danielx | Mar 26, 2019 |
I'm looking all over for a new (to me) police procedural. I'm trying this, I'm really trying. Note to self: you will never be a Harry Bosch fan. Sorry. ( )
  CatherineBurkeHines | Nov 28, 2018 |
My read of The Black Echo was a bus man’s holiday: the writer in me is always curious to see how a successful series starts out. Michael Connelly gives a master class in police procedurals, filled with gritty details that ratchet up the reality feel. A fan of the TV series as well, there were no significant character clashes between the page and the flat screen for me—not to mention the plus of a whole lot of backstory on Bosch’s tunnel rat days in Vietnam. Will definitely continue with Professor Connelly’s seminars. ( )
  mtbass | Nov 23, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
Big, brooding debut police thriller by Los Angeles Times crime-reporter Connelly, whose labyrinthine tale of a cop tracking vicious bank-robbers sparks and smolders but never quite catches fire. Swift and sure, with sharp characterizations, but at heart really a tightly wrapped package of cop-thriller cliches, from the hero's Dirty Harry persona to the venal brass, the mad-dog IAD cops, and the not-so-surprising villains. Still, Connelly knows his turf and perhaps he'll map it more freshly next time out.
added by Roycrofter | editKirkus Reviews (Nov 1, 1991)
Harry Bosch, detective de la policía de Los Ángeles quedó marcado por la dura experiencia de Vietnam. Ahora, un caso le devuelve su pasado. La víctima, Billy Meadows, había servido en su misma unidad. Ambos eran ratas de túnel que combatían en la red de pasajes subterráneos del Viet Cong; ambos experimentaron el terror del eco negro: la reverberación en las tinieblas de su propio pánico. Ahora Meadows está muerto. Pero su rastro parece apuntar a un gran atraco bancario perpetrado a través de túneles de alcantarillado.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Connelly, Michaelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dowden, Renéesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Esch, JeanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Milanes, Helena MartinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pasetti, Maria ClaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Original title
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Important places
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This is for W. Michael Connelly and Mary McEvoy Connelly
First words
The boy couldn't see in the dark, but he didn't need to.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
LAPD detective Harry Bosch is a loner and a nighthawk. One Sunday he gets a call out on his pager. A body has been found in a drainage tunnel off Mulholland Drive, Hollywood. At first sight, it looks like a routine drugs overdose case, but the one new puncture wound amidst the scars of old tracks leaves Bosch unconvinced. To make matters worse, Harry Bosch recognises the victim. Billy Meadows was a fellow 'tunnel rat' in Vietnam, running against the VC and the fear they all used to call the Black Echo. Bosch believes he let down Billy Meadows once before, so now he is determined to bring the killer to justice
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446612731, Mass Market Paperback)

For maverick Lapd homicide detective Harry Bosch, the body in the drainpipe at Mulholland Dam is more than another anonymous statistic. This one is personal...because the murdered man was a fellow Vietnam "tunnel rat" who had fought side by side with him in a hellish underground war. Now Bosch is about to relive the horror of Nam. From a dangerous maze of blind alleys to a daring criminal heist beneath the city, his survival instincts will once again be tested to their limit. Pitted against enemies inside his own department and forced to make the agonizing choice between justice and vengeance, Bosch goes on the hunt for a killer whose true face will shock him.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:29 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

The very first Harry Bosch novel, winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, is available once more. A body discovered in a drainpipe on Mulholland Drive turns out to be a fellow Vietnam "tunnel rat" who had fought by the side of the maverick LAPD homicide detective. Now Bosch is about to relive the horror of 'Nam while on the hunt for a killer whose true face will shock him.… (more)

» see all 24 descriptions

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