Michael Connelly, whose novel The Poet
won the 1997 Anthony Award for Best Mystery, is already recognized as one of the smartest and most vivid scribes of the hard-boiled police procedural. Now, with his much-anticipated sixth Harry Bosch novel, Angels Flight
, Connelly offers one of the finest pieces of mystery writing to appear in 1998. Bosch is awakened in the middle of the night and, out of rotation, he is assigned to the murder investigation of the high-profile African American attorney Howard Elias. When Bosch arrives at the scene, it seems that almost the entire LAPD is present, including the IAD (the Internal Affairs Division). Elias, who made a career out of suing the police, was sadistically gunned down on the Angels Flight tram just as he was beginning a case that would have struck the core of the department; not surprisingly, L.A.'s men and women in blue become the center of the investigation. Haunted by the ghost of the L.A. riots, plagued by incessant media attention, and facing turmoil at home, Bosch suddenly finds himself questioning friends and associates while working side by side with some longtime enemies.
Angels Flight is a detective's nightmare scenario and is disturbingly relevant to the racially tense last decade of the 20th century. Amidst the twists and turns of his complex narrative, Connelly affirms his rightful place among the masters of contemporary mystery fiction. --Patrick O'Kelley
From Publishers Weekly
Hollywood homicide detective Hieronymous (Harry) Bosch (Trunk Music, 1996, etc.) is up to his very stiff neck in politics, police corruption and racial tension. The echo of the Rodney King case is almost deafening when Howard Elias, an African American lawyer famous for suing the LAPD for racially motivated brutality, is shot dead on the short train run up a steep hill in downtown L.A. known as Angels Flight. Bosch and his team?a black woman named Kizmin Rider and a black man named Jerry Edgar?are assigned the highly sensitive case. Although Bosch sniffs racial and departmental political hokum among the brass, he doggedly focuses on finding the killer, knowing that cops will be among the suspects. It all smells even worse when Bosch discovers signs of evidence tampering by the first cops on the crime scene and learns that the civilian attorney assigned to oversee the investigation had personal ties to Elias. A bit of a cowboy anyway, Bosch is even more ornery than usual, since his wife has gone AWOL and returned to gambling. Further hampered by a secretive and even obstructive departmental leadership and by his former partner's apparent links to the crime, Bosch moves well outside the rules to discover the ugly motivation for the killing. Connelly has all the hard-boiled procedural moves down and gives Bosch a reckless crusader's moral code. The finale, set against riots, delivers a brutal, anti-establishment sort of justice. This isn't Connelly's best; the plot is sufficiently ornate to diffuse tension, and Bosch seems to be evolving from the true character of early books into a sort of icon, a Dirty Harry for our times. Simultaneous Time Warner audio; author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.