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Harry Bosch is stranded as a knight-errant, a
latter-day Don Quixote struggling to make sense of a world gone mad after September 11th, 2001

'Connelly is the true heir of the hard-boiled tradition perfected by Raymond Chandler’s 'Philip Marlowe'. '

ISBN: 0-316-15460-1

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The ninth novel in Michael Connelly’s "Harry Bosch " series of Los Angeles- set police-procedurals LOST LIGHT finds Harry retired from the L.A.P.D. and unwilling to use the safety-net of a private-eye’ ticket ‘ that all L.A.P.D. ‘tecs resort to on paper, once they have severed their professional ties.
Bosch felt he was drowning in a sea of red tape and regulations that impeded his mission in life.
Harry is 52 years of age, divorced and utterly lost without his métier. He’s 'an ex-cop working freelance on an old case "- but is often obliged to pretend otherwise to earn any credibility in his new unfamiliar role as a private citizen.

In LOST LIGHT Bosch energetically antagonizes the F.B.I. and the warriors of the new "Homeland Security" - arrogant rule-bending patriots determined to protect the U.S. from terrorists. He is forced to act at his most deviously Machiavellian to combat the rising tide of fascism within the ranks of the F.B.I.’s hardcore element. Connelly introduced Harry - a cop on a lifetime crusade, and with a heart of gold - in BLACK ECHO eleven years ago. A Viet-Nam vet and ‘ tunnel-rat ‘ Harry is marked by his wartime sufferings. He resents authority and is a curdled romantic who has witnessed the consequences of a thousand homicides in The City of Angels. In the fourth novel in the series – THE LAST COYOTE - Harry was indefinitely suspended for disciplinary reasons. He seldom sleeps soundly and is so stubbornly persistent in his pursuit of ‘perps’ that he alienates most of those around him.

Thus Harry Bosch is stranded as a knight-errant, a latter-day Don Quixote struggling to make sense of a world gone mad after September 11th, 2001. His ideals as a law-enforcement guru seem entirely outmoded and passé. Some of his colleagues have perished in the line of duty, been left in a vegetative state, or are still practicing their profession and thoroughly resent his abrupt resignation from the force. A charismatic rebel Harry always had his admirers who feel betrayed by his departure from the L.A.P.D. Angella Benton, a twenty-four year old black Hollywood ‘gopher’ was sexually violated and slain, her corpse leaving an indelible impression on Bosch’s mind. Harry is convinced that her murder was bogus, maliciously ’rigged’ as the supposed act of a perverted sexual predator and that her death connected directly to a $2,000,000 hi-jack from a movie location. Money he suspects was used to finance a terrorist network in Mexico.

Subsequently a female F.B.I. agent Martha ‘Marty’ Gessler disappeared off the face of the earth. A very fit and armed six-footer and Gessler’s abduction stretches the bounds of credibility. Before she vanished Marty stored some key information about the stolen two million haul of banknotes in her computer which disappeared with her. She had been promoted from the L.A.P.D. bank robbery unit to a high-profile computer division.

Author Connelly is a gifted writer in the classic American mode – never use a big word when a smaller one will do the job; never indulge colorful similes or metaphors; let the story flow as naturalistically as possible against a lovingly detailed depiction of a city that exists as much in the imagination as in ‘reality’. Try manfully to keep up with the dizzying socio-political innovations of a new century propelled into utter chaos and incipient fascism by events previously considered improbable. America menaced by a ruthless war on its own soil, waged by fanatics who hold human life in utter contempt. Bosch is a man who resents the taking of a single life by criminal interests. He can never rest easy when a murder remains unsolved. Connelly is the true heir of the hard-boiled tradition perfected by Raymond Chandler’s "Philip Marlowe" novels and those heartfelt exposes of Californian corruption exemplified by Ross Macdonald’s "Lew Archer" classic series of mystery books.

© Alex Grant 2003

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