Wednesday 17 May 2017

Book review : The Overlook - Michael Connelly

The Overlook is one of the books I brought home from last year's holiday in Lanzarote, having picked it up on the hotel's book swap library shelf. It is one of the novels in the Harry Bosch series - it is Harry Bosch #13 and Harry Bosch Universe #15 - but you don't need to have read any of the earlier novels to fully enjoy it. I have read one other Michael Connelly book - Nine Dragons, which was Harry Bosch #15 (click through to read my review). There are references to an earlier relationship and something that went wrong at Echo Park, which has made me want to go back and read the book (called Echo Park) just before The Overlook, but that is purely because it has piqued my interest.

I was slightly surprised by the speed and shorter-than-usual length of the book - it's 262 pages of a small format paperback so I raced through it in a couple of days, and the action all takes place on the same day - but this makes sense if you read the author interview at the back of the book. It was originally serialised in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, which meant that the author had to write sixteen chapters of as close to 3000 words as possible. When the novel was published as a book, he rewrote parts of the story that had been padded out or cut back to meet the word count but the high octane pace remains. For good measure, there is also a bonus final chapter that was originally written just for the author's mailing list.

In this book, Harry Bosch, recently transferred to the Homicide Special Squad, is called out to an execution-style death near Mulholland Drive. However, the FBI are more interested in the radioactive substances that have also gone missing and which could be used in a deadly terrorist attack. Bosch and the Feds are embroiled in a petty struggle to keep control of the case and, as you'd expect in a Harry Bosch novel, he comes out on top, wrapping up both cases and staying strides ahead of the FBI, despite their superior technology and resources.

The book was first written in 2006/2007 and, a decade on, some of it seems pretty outdated - Bosch not knowing how to use a mobile phone, for example, references to Ben Laden hiding out in caves and the hypothetical risk of terrorism, with 9/11 still in everyone's minds. Sadly, these days, the risks would be taken much more seriously as there have been more threats and attacks than I care to remember.

It's a fast-paced novel that is full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the end. It lacks some of the psychological depth of Connelly's other novels, but I still enjoyed the friendly (and not so friendly) banter between Bosch and his FBI colleagues and was swept up by the exciting plot. As I picked this up in a hotel, it was obviously somebody's poolside read and I would say it's perfect for the job.

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £8.99

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Orion (5 Feb. 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1409157326
ISBN-13: 978-1409157328
Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.2 x 19.6 cm

1 comment:

  1. I am a big fan of Harry Bosch and Michael Connelly books as They never dissapoint. Michael Connelly is writing a new book which is out on July 2017 The Late Show, a new thriller with a new female detective. Looking forward to discover it.


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