Book Review – The Black Echo

Why I read this book: Part of a $100 worth of books I picked up at a used book store.  I wanted to get some crime mystery/thrillers to build that into my own books.  Was also curious because the series has a good following, and the author has had his works turned into movies.

Did I enjoy this book: I’d say yes.  It was longer than I thought, but it didn’t feel that way while reading.

What I will do because of this book: I’m not sure that this particular story does much to change me.  It contains some useful detail in description that makes me think of being more specific in some of my other writing, but on the whole, there’s nothing stylistically that I think I would grab.  I will say that some of the backstory descriptions went on a little long and I found myself turning pages.  Something to keep in mind.


The Black Echo (Harry Bosch, #1)The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Black Echo is about as Crime/Mystery as it gets. Our protagonist the stoic, loner type. He’s jocking a job he’s over-qualified for, and is generally known as the best detective anybody’s ever met… If only he’d play by the rules. He’s unapologetic and does things his own way, which doesn’t really endear him to most people he meets… But that’s okay. He lives alone, surviving on beer and cigarettes while he sees what’s really going on despite the fact that everybody else tells him he’s reading too much into it.

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen this backdrop before.

To be fair, I have read this book nearly 25 years after it came out. Perhaps it set the stage for what has become thousands of cliches, perhaps Connelly enjoyed the cliches and wanted to use them. To be perfectly honest, it doesn’t really matter. The book is a good read.

The story follows the investigation of the murder of Meadows, a Vietnam War veteran who was a tunnel rat along-side our hero, Detective Harry Bosch. The murder is framed to look like a overdose, and only Bosch wants to attribute it as something more. As he begins the investigation, he finds himself drawn into a deeper plot involving multiple agencies and even his own past from Vietnam.

The edition I’m reading has just under 500 pages, and I could probably summarize almost every major event, minor event, and conversation in less than 2. This seems like it’s wordy and verbose, and yet somehow it isn’t. Unlike so many books now-a-days where you have to read each page a few times to make sure you didn’t miss something, The Black Echo flows smoothly through the investigation of the murder to Bosch’s backstory to his current relationships and interactions.

The characters feel real and believable, and the while the plot doesn’t blow your mind, it saves a few surprises that you won’t see coming. Worth a read, if only to get ready for the long haul with this Detective over a dozen books of future content.

View all my reviews


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