When a sheriff's detective shows up on former FBI man Terry McCaleb's Catalina Island doorstep and requests his help in analyzing photographs of a crime scene, McCaleb at first demurs. He's newly married (to Graciela, who herself dragged him from retirement into a case in Blood Work
), has a new baby daughter, and is finally strong again after a heart transplant. But once a bloodhound, always a bloodhound. One look at the video of Edward Gunn's trussed and strangled body puts McCaleb back on the investigative trail, hooked by two details: the small statue of an owl that watches over the murder scene and the Latin words "Cave Cave Dus Videt," meaning "Beware, beware, God sees," on the tape binding the victim's mouth.
Gunn was a small-time criminal who had been questioned repeatedly by LAPD Detective Harry Bosch in the unsolved murder of a prostitute, most recently on the night he was killed. McCaleb knows the tense, cranky Bosch (Michael Connelly's series star--see The Black Echo, The Black Ice, et al.) and decides to start by talking to him. But Bosch has time only for a brief chat. He's a prosecution witness in the high-profile trial of David Storey, a film director accused of killing a young actress during rough sex. By chance, however, McCaleb discovers an abstruse but concrete link between the scene of Gunn's murder and Harry Bosch's name:
"This last guy's work is supposedly replete with owls all over the place. I can't pronounce his first name. It's spelled H-I-E-R-O-N-Y-M-U-S. He was Netherlandish, part of the northern renaissance. I guess owls were big up there."
McCaleb looked at the paper in front of him. The name she had just spelled seemed familiar to him.
"You forgot his last name. What's his last name?"
"Oh, sorry. It's Bosch. Like the spark plugs."
Bosch fits McCaleb's profile of the killer, and McCaleb is both thunderstruck and afraid--thunderstruck that a cop he respects might have committed a horrendous murder and afraid that Bosch may just be good enough to get away with it. And when Bosch finds out (via a mysterious leak to tabloid reporter Jack McEvoy, late of Connelly's The Poet
) that he's being investigated for murder, he's furious, knowing that Storey's defense attorney may use the information to help get his extravagantly guilty client off scot-free.
It's the kind of plot that used to make great Westerns: two old gunslingers circling each other warily, each of them wondering if the other's gone bad. But there's more than one black hat in them thar hills, and Connelly masterfully joins the plot lines in a climax and denouement that will leave readers gasping but satisfied. --Barrie Trinkle
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Harry Bosch, the worn, pragmatic Los Angeles police detective, protagonist of a number of Connelly's earlier books, is joined by Terry McCaleb, former FBI crime-scene profiler, introduced in Blood Work (Little, Brown, 1998). Harry is immersed in testifying at the murder trial of a Hollywood film director, Jack Storey. When McCaleb, retired and living a quiet life with a new wife and two young children, is asked by a former colleague to look at the investigation materials of a recent gruesome homicide, he realizes just how much he misses his vocation. Terry alone has noticed some clues from the crime-scene video that point toward the influence of Renaissance painter Hieronymus Bosch. Despite pleas from his wife, Terry is drawn into the investigation and finds, to his dismay, that pointers lead straight to acquaintance Harry Bosch, whose real name is Hieronymus. Certain details in Harry's life fit in well with the profile Terry is developing of a ritualistic killer. The clues stemming from Bosch's paintings may lead readers straight to the Internet to view some of Bosch's well-known works to see the clues for themselves. The plot is intricate, and the twists and turns keep coming, but it is so well done, and the characters are so vivid, that confusion isn't a problem. Despite its length, this involving book is a fast read with "can't put it down" appeal.
Carol DeAngelo, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
When Terrence McCabe investigates a series of ritualized killings for the LAPD, he is horrified when his prime suspect turns out to be Connelly regular Detective Harry Bosch.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
It takes a special performer to do justice to Connelly's thrillers because of his complex character development and psychological bent. In Connelly's latest work, the reader's task is formidable because Connelly brings his two characters, Harry Bosch and Terry McCaleb, together for a blockbuster. While L.A. Police Detective Bosch, a compulsive, one-of-a-kind investigator, is officer-in-charge of a trial for a Hollywood director accused of murdering a starlet, McCaleb, retired from the FBI, is asked to profile a ritualistic murder of a man Bosch suspects of killing a prostitute. As the cases merge, the listener is treated to lessons in trial procedure, forensics, psychological motivation, and even fifteenth-century art and painters. To Richard M. Davidson's credit, the listener can really picture the gravelly voiced Bosch as he interplays with the more mild-mannered McCaleb. The trial sequences are especially interesting because Davidson is called upon to portray a multiplicity of characters in tandem. This reviewer was captivated by the content and performance, listening long into the night. A.L.H. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
In Blood Work
(1998), the critically acclaimed Connelly introduced his many readers to former FBI profiler Terry McCaleb, prematurely retired by the need for a heart transplant. In the author's latest work, McCaleb takes a break from tranquil family life on Catalina Island to help an L.A. County detective investigate a horrific murder that looks like it might be the first of a series. McCaleb's study of the murder quickly isolates a prime suspect: LAPD Detective Harry Bosch, Connelly's most memorable character and the star of his best novels, including Trunk Music
(1996). Although McCaleb knows and admires Bosch, he believes too much cruelty, depravity, and violence may have pushed Bosch over the edge. Connelly's appearance here elevates what might otherwise have been a major disappointment. The plot seems more than a little contrived, and Connelly seems to labor to reuse characters and events from earlier novels. Similar contrivances marred 1999's Angels Flight
, but even at less than his best, a new Connelly is pretty much a must-buy for public libraries. Thomas GaughanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Présentation de l'éditeur
Terry McCaleb, the retired FBI agent who starred in the bestseller "Blood Work," is asked by the LAPD to help them investigate aseries of murders that have them baffled. They are the kind of ritualized killings McCaleb specialized in solving with the FBI, and he is reluctantly drawn from his peaceful new life back into the horror and excitement of tracking down a terrifying homicidal maniac. More horrifying still, the suspect who seems to fit the profile that McCaleb develops is someone he has known and worked with in the past: LAPD homicide detective Harry Bosch.
San Diego Union Tribune, 1/21/01
"No one is better at exploring the conflict between good and evil...he tells their story skillfully..."
Denver Post, 1/21/01
"...Connelly's mysteries exude the grit of their settings, but their real standout element is the haunted nature of the heroes..."
Free Lance Star, 3/4/01
"...contains the best elements of Connelly's work: distinct, dynamic characters, a deliberate plot and an understanding of police procedure..."
Library Journal, 11/1/00
"...a quickly paced and interesting story...Connelly at his best."
McCaleb, now married to Graciela and with a baby daughter, is persuaded to take a case from the LA County Sheriffs office. He is asked to profile the killer of an unsolved murder. The victim was a scuzzball who six years earlier had been arrested by Harry Bosch for murder but then released uncharged by the DAs office. In doing what he does best reviewing the crime scene tapes and investigative records McCaleb picks up a clue the sheriffs missed, a plastic owl left at the crime scene that the sheriffs thought belonged to the victim. McCaleb discovers that it was left by the killer as a message. He traces this symbol to an icon used as a sign of evil in renaissance paintings, and finds that one of the most frequent users of this iconography was none other than Hieronymus Bosch, which makes Harry a suspect. The book becomes an examination of Harry Bosch through the eyes of McCaleb. Meanwhile Bosch is in the midst of a high stakes trial being covered in the press by Jack McEvoy. Bosch was lead investigator on a murder case that saw the arrest of the son of a wealthy and powerful man. As the trial progresses the defense strategy becomes clear: put Bosch on trial instead of the rich kid, make the focus on Bosch and his methods. McCaleb and Bosch, first at odds, must now work together to clear Harrys name
Biographie de l'auteur
Michael Connelly is a former journalist and has won every major prize for crime fiction. He lives in Florida.
About the author
A former police reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Michael Connelly is the author of seven acclaimed Harry Bosch novels: The Black Echo, The Black Ice, The Concrete Blonde, The Last Coyote, Trunk Music, Angels Flight, and A Darkness More Than Night, as well as The Poet, Blood Work and Void Moon. He lives in Los Angeles.