Monday, November 23, 2015

Harry Bosch is Back in THE CROSSING by Michael Connelly

The Crossing by Michael Connelly sees popular character Harry Bosch return in a new police procedural mystery. Bosch is now retired as an LAPD detective. When defense attorney Mickey Haller asks Bosch to assist as an investigator in a homicide case, Bosch doesn't want to do it. He spent his whole police career putting such criminals behind bars. It would mean "crossing over" to help the other side if he works to free an accused defendant.

But Bosch does grudgingly agree to at least take a preliminary look at the murder case. The victim was a woman brutally beaten to death in her home. The accused suspect is a black former gang member, whose DNA was found at the scene.

The case looks solid until Bosch starts digging deeper. He doesn't like what he finds. Too many things don't fit. It looks like Haller's client may have been set up, possibly by someone inside the LAPD.

When new murders occur as Bosch keeps probing, things take a dangerous new turn. Someone unknown will keep killing to protect themselves and Harry Bosch is the next target on the list.

The Crossing is a riveting, outstanding read for mystery fans. Michael Connelly continues to deliver, book after book, the best novels in the police procedural genre.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Stephen King's BAZAAR OF BAD DREAMS a Dark Ride

Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King is a short fiction collection that ranges across genres from Horror and Fantasy to dark mainstream fiction. Running through the stories are the two common themes of fatalism and fear of the dark things that are always waiting somewhere in human lives.

The best tale in the collection is the outright horror novella, "Mile 81," about a monster in the form of a derelict car that sits waiting for victims at a deserted highway rest stop. The story has echoes of the straight horror shudders that King produced early in his career. Other entertaining tales are "The Dune," "Obits," "Ur," and "The Little Green God of Agony."

Less successful are a few of the mainstream fiction pieces like "Morality," "Under the Weather," and "That Bus is Another World." These are dark meditations that feel like they're reaching too hard for something and are ultimately unsatisfying.

That said, Bazaar of Bad Dreams is on the whole Stephen King's best story collection since Everything's Eventual. The stories are all told in the author's trademark earthy, colloquial, "Big Mac and Fries" style. Faithful King fans should be pleased with this new volume of his work.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

ROGUE LAWYER an Enjoyable Read from John Grisham

Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham features maverick street lawyer Sebastian Rudd, who takes on the most toxic criminal defendants that other attorneys shy away from. Rudd pays a price for that, needing a bodyguard and riding around in a bulletproof van because of the many threats made against him.

The novel follows Rudd as he defends a series of controversial clients. An accused child murderer. A cage fighter who beats a referee to death. A homeowner who shoots back at a SWAT team that mistakenly raids the wrong house.

The events are narrated in the first person by Rudd. His cynical commentary about the dirty little truths of the criminal justice system is both entertaining and troubling. But Rudd knows all the dirty inside tricks himself and he is only too willing to use them to win his cases.

Rogue Lawyer is a fast paced read with an admittedly flawed, but unapologetic main character. The novel is one of John Grisham's wittiest and most enjoyable in his long writing career.