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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)

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  1. 11
    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. 02
    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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English (63)  French (3)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (68)
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
First-rate detective story. A body turns up that was intended to look like a heroin OD, but it doesn’t look that way to Harry Bosch, LAPD homicide detective. He pursues small clues which connect the murder with an unsolved bank heist as well as a related heist still in the offing. Bosch is a maverick who must deal with bureaucratic administrators, goons from internal affairs, lazy or incompetent fellow officers, and vengeful FBI agents. The Black Echo is a good, melancholy mystery/suspense novel. ( )
  bibliostuff | Mar 20, 2014 |
Thoroughly enjoyable but dated - I had to smile at the fact that they used pay phones to contact one another. That really changes how crimes are solved between then and now. The maverick police detective was okay but I never really cared for his success or failure and that detracted from the read. ( )
  Marssie | Mar 2, 2014 |
The backstory: After enjoying the Bosch pilot on Amazon, I decided to finally start reading the Michael Connelly series so many, including Alafair Burke, one of my favorite crime novelists, rave about.

The basics: The Black Echo, the first novel in Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series, introduces readers to the LAPD homicide detective. When a dead body is discovered in a pipe, Bosch recognizes the victim as a fellow tunnel rat from his days in Vietnam. What otherwise might have been classified as a junkie dead from an overdose turns into a complicated, intriguing mystery stretching back to the Vietnam War itself.

My thoughts: Originally published in 1992, The Black Echo is a delightful time capsule into its time. As close as 1992 seems, the Vietnam War is closer to it than it is to today. This mystery is firmly grounded in the lingering impact of Vietnam, and it even takes its title from a War reference:
"Meadows was something else…. Back then, we were all just a bunch of kids, afraid of the dark. And those tunnels were so damn dark. But Meadows, he wasn’t afraid. He’d volunteer and volunteer and volunteer. Out of the blue and into the black. That’s what he said going on a tunnel mission was. We called it the black echo. It was like going to hell. You’re down there and you could smell your own fear. It was like you were dead when you were down there."
As a character, Bosch is a little bit rogue, which I enjoyed. The reader slowly learns more of his back story, but I was so engrossed with the mystery, I hardly cared when or how I learned about Bosch himself. As is often the case with first-in-a-series-mysteries, the person solving the mystery has a personal connection to the victim. In this case, the connection was fascinating rather than convenient, and it drove the story deeper.

Favorite passage: "My father was in the military. Most I ever spent in one place was a couple years. So my memories aren’t really of places. They’re people."

The verdict: The Black Echo is a tight, twisty mystery whose resolution left my mouth hanging open. I enjoyed the journey as much as the payoff, and I can't wait to read Connelly's next Bosch mystery. ( )
  nomadreader | Feb 25, 2014 |
[Cross-posted to Knite Writes]

This book took me a while to get into. I think the beginning was a little slow, but I can overlook that given the quality of the book as a whole.

Obviously, Connelly has been hugely successful with Harry Bosch (see: the number of books in the series), and I can understand why. The plot is excellent. The pacing is fast but not too fast. There’s plenty of action mixed in with important character development scenes and world-building. I can’t point out a single thing wrong with the plot of this book — it’s tight. Everything makes sense. There are no loose ends. The book has a tense climax and really good falling action. It doesn’t just drop off and end suddenly. It’s a gradual and interesting decline to a conclusion that promises the possibility for good future sequels.

I didn’t find anything especially fresh and new in Connelly’s voice or POV, although I thought his dialogue was excellent. Lots of realistic slang and accents. It gave you the sense that the setting was genuine. I’ve never been to LA, but I could picture it and its people perfectly thanks to Connelly’s descriptions and dialogue.

So, pretty good on all fronts. ( )
  TherinKnite | Jan 13, 2014 |
Offered to the OZ VBB
  livrecache | Nov 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 63 (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)

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Connellyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Pasetti, Maria ClaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:41:10 -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 11 descriptions

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