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CompleteMartialArts.com - The Overlook (Harry Bosch)

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Manufacturer: Vision
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5

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Binding: Mass Market Paperback
Dewey Decimal Number: 813.54
EAN: 9780446401302
ISBN: 0446401307
Label: Vision
Manufacturer: Vision
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 304
Publication Date: 2008-01-01
Publisher: Vision
Studio: Vision

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Editorial Reviews:

In his first case since he left the LAPD's Open Unsolved Unit for the prestigious Homicide Special squad, Harry Bosch is called out to investigate a murder that may have chilling consequences for national security. A doctor with access to a dangerous radioactive substance is found murdered in the trunk of his car. Retracing his steps, Harry learns that a large quantity of radioactive cesium was stolen shortly before the doctor's death. With the cesium in unknown hands, Harry fears the murder could be part of a terrorist plot to poison a major American city.
Soon, Bosch is in a race against time, not only against the culprits, but also against the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI (in the form of Harry's one-time lover Rachel Walling), who are convinced that this case is too important for the likes of the LAPD. It is Bosch's job to prove all of them wrong.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Bosch By Numbers
Comment: "The Overlook" is Michael Connelly's eighteenth novel, his thirteenth to feature Harry Bosch and was first published in 2007. Orphaned at twelve when his mother was murdered, Bosch's teenage years were spent in and out of orphanages. He enlisted in the army and served in Viet-Nam, before returning home and joining the police force. Once a member of the LAPD's elite RHD (Robbery-Homicide Division), he was demoted to the Hollywood Division after an Internal Affairs investigation. After more than ten years in Hollywood, he was notified of a 'promotion' back to RHD - however, he chose to quit the force instead. He left the LAPD with an armful of Hollywood 's open-unsolved cases, tool out a private investigator's licence and continued to 'speak for the dead'. However, a couple of persuasive phone calls from a former partner from his Hollywood days saw him return to the LAPD - working out of the Open Unsolved Unit, at the Parker Centre, rather than at Hollywood . Any cases that would have a high media prolife or would appear to be a time consuming, long running case get passed over to Homicide Special by the local police departments. "The Overlook" opens with Harry picking up a case from the Hollywood Department - Harry's old stomping ground.

Stanley Kent's body found was found close to Mulholland Dam, overlooking a house that once belonged to Madonna. He seems to have been the victim of an assassination - forced into a kneeling position, he was shot twice in the back of the head. However, Harry has barely arrived at the scene before the FBI also turn up - in the form of Rachel Walling. (Bosch isn't too upset - he's worked with her a couple of times before, and has also enjoyed her company on a more intimate setting). While Bosch has only been able to gather the most basic information about the victim, Walling knows a great deal more about him. Kent worked as a medical physicist, and had access to nearly every hospital in LA County - and all the radioactive material used in the treatment of cancer. Naturally, now that he's turned up executed, the automatic assumption is terrorism...

By Michael Connelly's standards, "The Overlook" was hugely disappointing. It first appeared in serial form in the New York Times, which may account for something - but it almost seemed that Connelly was trying to write the book equivalent of a Greatest Hits' package. The whole terrorism thing was ticked off with "Lost Light", while the "Echo Park" case was talked about far too often. Kent's body was found at Mulholland Dam - where Bosch's first case in "The Black Echo" began - while the opening is a sanitised version of a classic Bosch pose. (In the early books, Bosch suffered from insomnia and would have spent much of the night smoking, drinking and listening to jazz. Nowadays, he's quit smoking and there's no mention of any beer). There was an entirely pointless meeting with Jerry Edgar - one of Bosch's ex-partners at Hollywood - and several phone calls to Kiz Ryder, his other ex-partner. Even the 'swimming pool incident' - when Bosch heard of his mother's death - is wheeled out again for no real reason. Rachel Walling's appearance really stank of laziness : she and Bosch only met for the first time "The Narrows", but they have now teamed up so often Connelly should just have her transferred to LAPD. (The LAPD could do with her - even though that Bosch has no trouble in either reading or bluffing her, and that her interrogation technique is clearly on the wrong side of average. Bosch's actual partner - Ignacio "Iggy" Ferras - appears to be little more than an errand boy). Given the suspicions of terrorism, I'd have thought Bosch should have been kicked off the case the second Walling arrived. However, it's possible there wasn't time for the paperwork to come through - given that the whole thing was solved in only twelve hours. One of the book's genuinely 'new' character characters - Captain Don Hadley - really made me shudder. I can only hope this guy was just a very bad caricature and that there aren't really cops like him in senior positions. Overall, hugely disappointing for a Bosch book - I can only hope the next instalment isn't serialised and that Connelly puts more effort into it.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Good, short introduction to Harry Bosch
Comment: I started reading The Overlook in the New York Times back in 2006. For various reasons, I stopped reading the weekly installments. Later, Connelly revised the story, making it more the novel it wanted to be rather than sixteen sections of equal word length. I read the novel and quite liked it.

In The Overlook, Harry Bosch is with a special unit of robbery homicide and he gets the call around midnight. Like many times throughout his books, Bosch is asleep in an easy chair, fully dressed, ready for a case. He gets one, a murdered man out on the overlook over Mulholland. He's breaking in a new partner, a kid half his age, and the crotchety self of Bosch comes out. That's the least of his worries as FBI Special Agent Rachel Walling, old flame and fellow adventurer of previous books (including The Narrows), shows up and pulls federal rank. Bosch doesn't like that--natch--and the case is on.

The Overlook is short, unlike nearly all of Connelly's books. That feature alone makes it a nice introduction to Bosch. He's all there, at least as I can tell from the four previous books I read. Knowing some of the detail that Connelly brings to his books, it's a nice break to have a lighter book with a straightforward plot. I can only imagine how many readers first read the story in the New York Times and proceeded to buy more Bosch books. He's a great character. He ages in real time. He gets hurt and, well, it hurts him. He's not above it all, although he thinks he is some of the times.

Connelly's writing style is, to me, of the Elmore Leonard School of Writing. Leonard, like Connelly, gets out of the way as much as possible when he writes. You actually forget that Connelly is the one writing the book. Unlike, say, Don Winslow or Ken Bruen--you read a few sentences and you know, right off the bat, who the writer is. That's cool for them. Connelly's different. You take any one paragraph out of any of his books and, chances are, you'd be hard pressed to name the writer. That is a great trait to have, in my opinion. It does not get in the way of the story.

Another aspect of Connelly's style that more obvious to me is what I like to call the Put-Every-Detail-In way of writing. Leonard has stated that he likes to start a scene as late as possible and get out before the scene ends. Connelly writes everything: what the characters eat, how they dress, every detail is laid out, scene by scene. I do think this is an effective way to write and I tend to be of this variety more often than not. My critique group likes to excise stuff that, upon re-reading, I see I don't need.

A word about the audio: Len Cariou is a good reader for the older Bosch. Dick Hill, the reader for a lot of the other Bosch books, is a good reader, too, but Cariou was especially effective for The Overlook. Cariou's gravelly voice gave Bosch's dialogue readings an edge to them especially when Bosch was irritated with the youth and inexperience of his new partner.

The Overlook provides a unique opportunity to learn from a professional writer in his prime. That is, if you have access to the novel as well as the original New York Times version. I have both and I read a few chapters, side by side, and made comparisons. It was fascinating. Things Connelly left out of the NYT piece (because of word count constraints) he fleshed out in the novel proper. There were passages where only one word was changed. I actually got the impression that the NYT version was a rough draft. Much like Springsteen does in his concerts, he sometimes considers the album versions of his songs to be rough drafts. If anyone wants to compare the two, go on over to the New York Times website and conduct a search for it. It's still there. Put both versions side by side, examine and study the differences, and ask yourself why Connelly made certain changes. It's a wonderful insight into the mind of a professional author and it's surely will help you become a better writer. It has for me. (excerpted from http://scottdparker.blogspot.com)

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: A Great Overlook!!!
Comment: This current Harry Bosch offering by Michael Connelly is just as exciting as all his other Harry Bosch offerings. Michael is an expert in writing detective novels, as he was a Crime Reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Harry is a Detective for the Hollywood Special Homicide Division and his first case from being transferred from the Cold Case Unit, has him finding a body on the Overlook over Hollywood. With his young partner, Iggy, they, along with the FBI, attempt to track down the murderer of a Phycisist working with Cesium, a radioactive isotope used for treating ovarian -uteran Cancer. Along with murder, Harry is thwarted by the FBI, who wants Harry out of the loop, since a heist of this isotope by known terrorists makes this a National Security issue. With a few plot twists and turns, this makes for an outstanding who-donut. If you can handle the few bad words, this is a great novel. Since I was born and raised close to LA, there are places very familiar to me. If you want to learn more about how Homicide works and all the politics between the divisions and between the locals and the Feds, you'll enjoy this offering and the rest of the Harry Bosch books. Michael's new one with Harry comes out in a few days. I highly recommend this page-turner, as it takes you straight to the last page to resolve the case.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: New case, old problem
Comment: Harry Bosch is back on the homicide squad - and even though the call he goes out on seems like it might be more related to Organized Crime, he is loathe to give up his first fresh case in years. Contradictions quickly arise - as they always do in these books - showing that the murder victim, who appears to have been the victim of a mob-type "hit" has no ties to organized crime - but he did have access to radioactive material from just about every hospital in the LA area. The FBI show up - including Rachel Walling, one of Bosch's former lovers - and want a piece of the action - preferably the biggest piece.

While Harry tries to solve the crime, being thwarted on almost every side, a deadly danger could be menacing LA. Can he find the answer in time?

Great story - lots of action and suspense. A definite recommend.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Bare Bones Bosch
Comment: Michael Connelly fans know Harry Bosch. He's the kind of scrupulously honest, clever, always-ready-to-break-the-rules-to-solve-the-case kind of detective you would want on the trail, assuming you're a good guy. Having read several Bosch novels, I was able to fill in the blanks a lot here, for the characters, several of whom appear in earlier works, are not well developed.

The plot centers on a Connelly staple: the tension between the feds (Foolish Bureau of Investigation?) and the locals. There's also the classic bit about the grizzled veteran breaking in the new partner.

The big mystery is the cold-blooded murder of a man who is carrying a large amount of radioactive cesium. It seems the cesium was stolen by terrorists.

The first fifteen chapters read like something Connelly could have written in his sleep. But, fortunately, it heats up, and the last eight chapters build to an exciting climax.

One thing I've found from Connelly's books: pay attention, particularly when Bosch is sniffing around. Connelly doesn't clutter his work with meaningless leads.

I haven't rated any of the other Connelly books that I have read, but I believe they were all solid fives. However, this book needs more depth, more detail. So, holding this work up against the high standards of other Connelly novels, I have to give it a four.

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