Angels Flight (Harry Bosch #6), by Michael Connelly

Angels Flight by Michael Connelly

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

While I’m writing this, it’s the 4th of May 2024. It still feels weird to live in a world without Paul Auster in it. When I went to bed on the 30th of April, he was still there. On the morning of the 1st of May, when I opened the New York Times app on my phone, a black-and-white picture of Paul Auster gave it away.

I had known he was fighting cancer but I thought he had time… Time for more novels – after all, his novels have been present in my life for decades, most of my life. Auster’s novels were never easy to read but they were worth the effort.

Why am I prefacing a review of “Angels Flight” with that? First and foremost, I’m writing these reviews for myself. They add to my enjoyment of the novel discussed and they also serve as a reminder of them, and who I was when I read them. Of course, I’m also writing them for you, dear reader, and I love it when you like them (so, hit that button right now, what are you waiting for?) but that’s a bonus.

When looking for my next read, I first reached for a novel by Auster but I quickly realised, in my state of mind, I couldn’t enjoy it. So I decided to continue my Harry Bosch binge-reading and that turned out to be an excellent idea because it put me into a reading frenzy!

This time, Harry is called in to investigate the murder of a hotshot civil rights lawyer who was suing the LAPD for extreme police brutality against his client. Harry quickly discovers that the lawyer was right and his client completely innocent. Harry’s own colleagues, though, among them his former partner and old friend, Frankie Sheehan, as well as his nemesis, John Chastain of the Internal Affairs Division (IAD), feature prominently among the cast of this absolute page turner.

»[Bosch] “What? What am I doing?
[Chastain] “You’re thinning us out. That way you have better control.”
He waited for Bosch to reply but only got silence.
“But eventually, if we’re going to do this thing right, you are going to have to trust us.”
After a pause, Bosch said, “I know that.”

Teamed up with Chastain and his entourage at first, later joined by Roy Lindell of the FBI (and the previous novel), Bosch is the same old “hard-boiled” detective he always was, but – also as always – with a spin. Bosch is still willing to learn and to adapt. He’s alienated by computers at best but in contrast to many of his colleagues, he’s not only willing to learn but he’s not shy to ask for help:

»Rider came around the desk and looked down at the printout.
“It’s a web page.”
“Right. So how do we get to it and take a look?”
“Let me get in there.”

(Kizmin Rider is a female colleague of Harry’s.)

Sadly, as good as the novel is in almost every aspect, the author’s fledgling grasp of the then-emerging web technology is embarrassingly rendered. What Connelly writes about web pages, cookies, and other stuff is probably the worst technobabble I’ve ever read. Highly annoying if one knows better but good enough for everyone else.

As usual, Connelly’s other writing is smooth and wonderfully readable. The story itself is very engaging and represents a clear step-up from the previous novel, easily becoming one of the most suspenseful Bosch novels so far.

Unfortunately, the ending came unexpectedly quickly: The story was fully wrapped-up but the way it ends is satisfying in its consequences, but it feels rushed with chances to redeem a major character lost, and a few threads not loose, but at least not neatly tied up as in every other Bosch novel so far.

Nevertheless, I read till I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer and – very uncharacteristically for me – I started reading again almost immediately after waking up without even checking in on my computer.

A clear winner that garners 4.5 stars out of five from me, rounded up to five.


Ceterum censeo Putin esse delendam

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