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The Black Echo (A Harry Bosch Novel) by…
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The Black Echo (A Harry Bosch Novel) (original 1992; edition 2002)

by Michael Connelly (Author)

Series: Harry Bosch (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,7941411,719 (3.91)298
An LAPD homicide detective must choose between justice and vengeance as he teams up with the FBI in the first novel of the "thrilling" Harry Bosch series (New York Times Book Review). 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.… (more)
Member:mandyp50
Title:The Black Echo (A Harry Bosch Novel)
Authors:Michael Connelly (Author)
Info:Grand Central Publishing (2002), Edition: Reprint, 496 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly (1992)

  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 298 mentions

English (136)  French (3)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (142)
Showing 1-5 of 136 (next | show all)
I've read this, and all of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch books, before. When I started these back in the nineties, I thought of them as largely throw-aways and will readily admit that I only picked this one up because Connelly and I went to the same university. So, this summer I'm reading some, and who knows, maybe all, of them again. I have the time.

When I think of recurring characters, or series novels, as installments of a whole, I usually go to John Rebus, the crusty Scots detective who's development over 20 or so novels provides as much of a biography of Edinburgh as Rebus himself. But Bosch is my first, and in some ways the one I know best. Bosch, American, is more knowable to me, where Rebus will always have a touch of the exotic and wistful for this self-identifying Scots derivative.

But why again? While they may be great fun, to paraphrase my mentor, they ain't great literature. However, in the midsts of a crippling depression, it can be nice to revisit a friend, no matter how fictional he may be. And really, doesn't Harry Bosch have more evidence to his existence than most people we know? Perhaps not in this age of social media. Still, Bosch is predictable, comfortable, and most importantly, doesn't demand so much of my attention that I feel I'm doing a disservice to the narrative if my mind isn't fully present when reading. The familiarity, still somewhat surprising due to years passing by and memory used for other things, is a warm blanket.

As for the book itself, there's more thematically this go around than I noticed before. The appearance of tunnels, the foreshadowing of the present crime by the experiences of Bosch in Vietnam, like I said-- no one's going to mistake this for Umberto Eco, or even William McIlvenney. But Connelly is solid, and there aren't the expected lapses into unbelievable dialog posing as exposition that is typical of many lesser practitioners. That is, until the big bad goes all Bond-villain and inexplicably narrates the missing details of the crime Bosch is pursuing through the novel.

So four stars. Solid, not great, but pretty good. I suspect the next few will get better, before the inevitable decline that occurs, as in so many long-running series, as characters stick around past their prime. ( )
  allan.nail | Jul 11, 2021 |
Always enjoy Harry bosch - another great read. ( )
  dwdw1 | Jul 9, 2021 |
Harry Bosch is a Noire-ish detective in the unlikely setting of Hollywood. He's a bit of the stereotypical hero policeman, a slightly loose cannon with less interest in making friends or following the rules than in uncovering the truth. This particular story hinges on his past as a Vietnam veteran, and includes a mildly silly romantic element, but the whole thing holds together pretty well. ( )
  wishanem | May 27, 2021 |
I admit it: I’m a latecomer to this party. Michael Connelly is an enormously successful writer and his series about Los Angeles detective Harry Bosch is his best-known work. But it’s taken me nearly 30 years to read one — and now I’m hooked. Connelly writes in the best traditions of both the police procedural (Ed McBain) and the LA-based film noir (Raymond Chandler). This book focusses on “tunnel rats” — American soldiers who during the Vietnam war would go down into underground tunnels in pursuit of Viet Cong fighters. I had the privilege of interviewing an American veteran of the Vietnam war who did exactly that, and have never forgotten what he told me. Bosch also, apparently, does hypnosis (another subject that, for the moment, intrigues me) — although doesn’t get a chance to demonstrate that skill in this book. Connelly has apparently written 30 novels, so there go my weekends for the rest of this year. ( )
  ericlee | May 5, 2021 |
There is nowhere better for me to try to understand the mindset of Harry Bosch or indeed his creator Michael Connelly by starting again where it all began book one in the series.

Harry is best described as "a detective who would do the right thing no matter what the cost. A man with a sharp worn code of conduct. A classic outsider.".... In The Black Echo we learn about Harry's activities as a tunnel rat during the Vietnam war and how the horrors of this underground hell helped shape him as a detective with the will to survive and a loner's code of justice. When the body of a fellow "rat" Billy Meadows is discovered in a drain outlet, Harry is determined to find the perpetrator responsible and bring justice to his onetime comrade in arms. In this endeavour he is joined by FBI agent Eleanor Wish, a relationship develops that becomes personal and leaves Harry wondering if her intentions are honourable or does she harbor an underlying agenda.

The weakness of the story is the plot; dirty money profits from Saigon laundered as precious stones and kept secret in a bank vault in downtown LA. The only way to retrieve the hidden stash is to tunnel deep into the innards of the bank. In contrast the strength of the story is the superb charactization of the main players. Bosch, Eleanor Wish and Deputy Chief Irvin Irving who appears to be on a one man crusade against what he views as underhand tactics by a maverick lone detective.

As always Michael Connnelly is razor sharp in his acute observations of the human spirit....."Sunsets did that here. Made you forget it was the smog that made their colors so brilliant, and that behind every pretty picture there could be an ugly story."....."He was a worn-out old man whose eyes had quit caring about anything but the odds on three year olds"..."I believe that shit happens. I believe that the best you can do in this job is come out even".......

Having just reread The Black Echo I have actually awarded it an extra star! Whilst the plot becomes a little laborious there are nice incidental comments that can be made. There is a theme of tunnels running through the story, a young teenager found murdered in a drainage tunnel, bank robberies where the perpetrators ingeniously use tunnels as their mode of entry, and of course Harry Bosch was a tunnel rat in Vietnam and murder victim Meadows was a tunnel rat and friend. The characters of Lewis and Clarke are portrayed as 2 buffoons from Internal Affairs, who under the strict command of Irving have been asked to shadow Bosch and somehow find or witness the detective acting outside the law. There is a particularly funny scene where Harry confronts the 2 and handcuffs them around a tree.....again this sense of comedy does not sit well in the overall theme of The Black Echo....needless to say the conclusion of this affair is swift and bloody.
The Black Echo is an important read not only because it is the first book in a great series but it lays the groundwork for many great adventures to come and the cynicism of dedicated detective that can only increase.... ( )
  runner56 | Mar 13, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 136 (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 (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Connellyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dowden, Renéesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Esch, JeanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, DickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Milanes, Helena MartinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pasetti, Maria ClaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is for W. Michael Connelly and Mary McEvoy Connelly
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The boy couldn't see in the dark, but he didn't need to.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

An LAPD homicide detective must choose between justice and vengeance as he teams up with the FBI in the first novel of the "thrilling" Harry Bosch series (New York Times Book Review). 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.

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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
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Hachette Book Group

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

Editions: 0446612731, 0316153613, 0316120391

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