Trunk Music (Harry Bosch #5), by Michael Connelly

Trunk Music by Michael Connelly

»“Still the same old Bosch. Your way or the highway.”«

In this instalment, Bosch is back from his involuntary leave and investigates a case of the eponymous “trunk music” – a murdered man in the trunk of his own car. Bosch himself is pretty much as he always was but around him, things changed: His lieutenant, Pounds, is on another kind of involuntary and permanent “leave” and was replaced by Grace Billets.

Bosch: »I’d heard that you didn’t have any actual time on a homicide table while you were coming up,” he said to her.
Billets: “That’s true. My only job as an actual detective was working sexual crimes in Valley Bureau.”
Bosch: “Well, for what it’s worth, I would have assigned things just the way you just did.”
Billets: “But did it annoy you that I did it instead of you?”
Bosch thought a moment.
Bosch: “I’ll get over it.”

I liked this exchange – which is indicative of their entire relationship in this book – because, yes, he’s still “same old Bosch”: Direct, confrontational, but honest, and willing to move beyond his prejudice.

Billets recognises the old-fashioned cop and is equally direct, sparing him no challenges. She also stands up for him repeatedly. I very quickly took to Billets and greatly enjoyed her character.

»“It’s Bosch.”
“Well, the Michelangelo of murder, the Rodin of homicide.”

Alas, not everything is as good as usual: There’s a major twist after more than two thirds of the novel that the reader long sees coming. I was impatient with Bosch and colleagues to realise it and that somewhat marred my enjoyment.

Nevertheless, the writing is still very good and there are some very suspenseful parts of the narration. I also enjoyed the reappearance of Eleanor Wish and “that one stop” in Vegas…

3.5 stars out of five, rounded up to 4 stars.

Ceterum censeo Putin esse delendam

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