Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Review of "The Burning Room" by Michael Connelly
Harry Bosch and his current partner, new murder detective Lucy Soto, work cold cases for the Los Angeles Police Department. Now they have an unusual one. Ten years ago mariachi band member Orlando Merced was shot in what was thought to be a drive by shooting. Merced survived, but the bullet was too close to his spine to remove, and the shooter was never caught. Now Merced has died from his injuries and the bullet has been recovered. Turns out it came from a rifle, giving Harry and Lucy new lines of investigation.
Meanwhile Harry learns that Lucy survived a long-ago deadly building fire that was thought to be gang-related, and Harry agrees to help her re-investigate that crime. Before long the fire is linked to the robbery of a check-cashing store, and Harry and Lucy are working all three cases.
The partners make good use of CCTV, computers, cell phones, and forensics to investigate the crimes, and the suspense builds as they discover one clue after another. Turns out the investigation into Merced's death has some political implications, and the check-cashing robbery seems to point to an inside job.
Harry and Lucy make an excellent team - their witness interrogations making good use of Lucy's fluency in Spanish. Harry also uses some of his other talents, like opening locked doors with paper clips and convincing a couple of old friends - a reporter and an FBI agent - to get him needed information. Harry even gets to spend some quality time with his teenage daughter.
The book has a wide array of interesting characters, including mariachi players, a former mayor and his assistant, a beautiful socialite, a Mother Superior, and more. The story moves at a steady clip to a well-constructed conclusion. This is a good book, recommended for mystery lovers - especially for Harry Bosch fans.