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A Darkness More Than Night (2001)

by Michael Connelly

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Jack McEvoy (1.2), Terry McCaleb (2), Harry Bosch (9)

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3,864642,539 (3.84)63
Terry McCaleb, the retired FBI agent who starred in the bestseller "Blood Work," is asked by the LAPD to help them investigate aseries of murders that have them baffled. They are the kind of ritualized killings McCaleb specialized in solving with the FBI, and he is reluctantly drawn from his peaceful new life back into the horror and excitement of tracking down a terrifying homicidal maniac. More horrifying still, the suspect who seems to fit the profile that McCaleb develops is someone he has known and worked with in the past: LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
harry involved with former Detective to solve grisly murders. He is also dealing with a murder trial that turns out to be related. Just ok. ( )
  pgabj | May 20, 2022 |
A very generic Connelly book. The investigators bumble around for a while, making progress but not too much. The bad guys resolve this by attacking them, in the thrilling last hundred pages. In this case, Connelly's standard plot works particularly badly, because McCaleb's investigative theory is preposterous. The writing is reasonably smooth, but not Connelly's best. ( )
  breic | Mar 2, 2022 |
This seventh book in Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch series was a strange experience for me: first because it is a sort of crossover with some of his other works, given that there is an extended cameo appearance for Jack McEvoy, who I previously met in The Poet, and a co-starring role for Terry McCaleb, retired FBI profiler who first appeared in Blood Work, a book I did not read but whose story I’m familiar with thanks to the 2002 movie, starring Clint Eastwood, which I happened to see some time ago. The other difference with previous Harry Bosch books I’ve read comes from the fact that here the LAPD detective has a less active role than usual and the bulk of the investigative process is left in the hands of McCaleb. Still, this odd combination works, creating a suspenseful framework that kept my attention riveted from start to finish, even though - as it happened with the previous books - I was aware of the general narrative threads thanks to the TV series that propelled me toward these novels since last year.

Harry Bosch is heavily involved in the trial of David Storey, a movie director accused of the murder of a young actress he strangled during sex, then taking her body home and staging an apparent suicide. Meanwhile, Detective Winston of the LAPD is dealing with the murder of a lowlife named Edward Gunn, whose strangely ritualistic details have her so baffled that she seeks the advice of Terry McCaleb, once a noted FBI profiler but now retired after a massive heart attack and subsequent transplant. When McCaleb discovers that Bosch had been watching Gunn for some time looking for the evidence of a crime, and that some of the grisly details of the murder link back to the works of Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, after whom the detective is named, he becomes convinced that Harry murdered Gunn in an act of deranged vengeance - and he’s determined to get to the bottom of it, as the two narrative threads of the story become dramatically entangled.

As I stated above, this novel has a peculiar flavor if compared with the previous ones, mostly because Harry Bosch here looks more like a guest star and Terry McCaleb is the front and center character, and for once it’s odd to see Harry not taking part in an investigation, although I have to say that the courtroom scenes where he finally enjoys the spotlight are among the best segments of the book: Connelly takes us through the sometimes painstaking details of the judicial process with such a flair that these sections are as engaging and thrilling as action scenes and they actually infuse some vitality in what had been something of a slow start with McCaleb’s part of the story. Moreover, this change in perspective allows us to see another side of Harry Bosch - or maybe the evolution of his personality that started with the previous book: even though he’s still quite determined (or dogged, some would say), he looks more grounded, less prone to stormy outbursts, and instead focuses more closely on getting things done the right way to insure that the guilty face the justice they deserve. He’s still somewhat cynical about the system and the loopholes it offers to offenders, but he looks better inclined than before to stay within the rules to get the desired results.

On the other hand, I was dubious about McCaleb as a character, given that for someone who used to be a successful profiler he seems to fall far too easily for what is clearly a frame-up: even discarding the fact that we readers know intuitively that Bosch could not have murdered Gunn, because that’s not his style, the clues left in Gunn’s murder scene, those references pointing toward Bosch the painter and the punishments for sinners depicted in his works, everything looks contrived and - as detective Winston points out - plainly foolish for Harry to leave such a trail of breadcrumbs leading back to him. But McCaleb is so determined to follow his instinct that he chooses to ignore the obvious: this led me to wonder whether he truly was such a great profiler or if he rather wanted so badly to be once again in the “game” that he preferred to shoehorn the evidence into his choice framework rather than collecting it and then, and only then, assembling the whole picture. Or maybe he wants so badly to reconnect with the past he clearly misses so much, that he’s ready to ignore reason and listen only to that instinct that used to serve him so well once - a that now does not seem to work that well. This single focus that at times looks close to obsession did little to endear his character to me, and even later, when he understands he might have been barking up the proverbial wrong tree, I struggled to change my opinion and to see him in a better light.

Still, the conflict between these two different individuals drives the story just as much as the two narrative threads at its root, evolving into a novel that is compellingly fast-paced, its two halves merging into one another with effortless ease and showing once again the dark side of a city where glamor and glitter hide corruption and darkness more often than not. Showing also how Michael Connelly’s writing and plotting skills kept improving as he moved forward with this series, which to date remains one of my go-to choices when I am in the mood for some engaging thriller. ( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Dec 10, 2021 |
Probably the worst Bosch novel to date, however that is far from saying it's bad. I didn't totally buy some aspects of the premise, like why would a veteran FBI profiler arrive at the conclusion he did, it was so obviously a set up and the "killers do irrational things" explanation didn't quite fly. Also, if Connelly had done one simple change at the climax, it could have made it a lot more exciting. Just saying. Again, not to say it was a bad book. It was a solid thriller and I fully intend to continue the series. ( )
  usuallee | Oct 7, 2021 |
Terry McCaleb is done with his profiling days - he lives on Catalina island, has a daughter now and he is running fishing tours out from Catalina and he does not want to hear about serial killers anymore. Except that the universe and his old colleagues missed the memo - so he gets asked to just look at a case, almost for old times sake. Which is the last thing you do to a man who used to love his job.

Meanwhile, in LA proper, Harry Bosch is stuck in a courtroom, trying to assist the prosecution win its case against a murderer. The trial is in the news - the accused is a famous movie director, the victim is a wannabe actress and that makes everyone in tinsel town pay attention - one way or another, Hollywood will find a way to thrive on that.

The two cases do not seem to have anything in common at the start but then they would not be in the same book if they did not - and before long McCaleb builds a profile that matches Bosch. And with Harry being everyone's favorite in the police department (not), it comes down to the accused himself to try to clear his own name.

It is a tightly plotted novel and the "detective is accused in the crime" trope appears in most detective series sooner or later. This one was done well - using McCaleb made it look less as a hatchet job and more of a real possibility for awhile. The fact that it did not seem to be connected to Bosch's case also helped although if one had read enough novels in the genre, it was obvious that they must intersect somewhere. The appearance of Jack McEvoy and his role in the whole thing reinforced the idea that all of Connelly's series are essentially part of a mega-series and a shared universe and you can expect anyone to pop up in any of the novels.

While the end of the case was expected (even of how we got there was somewhat unorthodox), the end of the novel threw yet another curve ball at the reader. As is often the case, white and black do not exist when people are concerned and even if Bosch was not a killer, he was not entirely innocent either.

Another strong novel in the Bosch mega-series. ( )
  AnnieMod | Jul 23, 2021 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Connelly, Michaelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davidson, Richard M.Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pinchera, FrancescaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is for Mary and Jack Lavelle, who provded there are second acts.
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Bosch looked through the small square of glass and saw that the man was alone in the tank.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Terry McCaleb, the retired FBI agent who starred in the bestseller "Blood Work," is asked by the LAPD to help them investigate aseries of murders that have them baffled. They are the kind of ritualized killings McCaleb specialized in solving with the FBI, and he is reluctantly drawn from his peaceful new life back into the horror and excitement of tracking down a terrifying homicidal maniac. More horrifying still, the suspect who seems to fit the profile that McCaleb develops is someone he has known and worked with in the past: LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch.

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Average: (3.84)
1 5
1.5 1
2 24
2.5 9
3 184
3.5 62
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Hachette Book Group

4 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 0446667900, 1570429723, 1570429855, 1607886502


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