Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Concrete Blonde, by Michael Connelly

The Concrete Blonde opens with Harry Bosch confronting and killing a serial killer known as The Dollmaker. Chapter One picks up four and a half years later when Bosch is sued by the killer's widow for killing her husband. On the day of opening arguments, a note is delivered to the precinct that points the detectives to a new Dollmaker victim. Even with the trial going on, Bosch must figure out if the new victim is a copycat or did he kill the wrong man.

As a rule, I don't like serial killer stories (movies, tv, books). I find them tedious and repetitive. The killers typically dispose of their victims in creepy ways and almost always taunt our hero detective with notes or phone calls. One of my biggest problems with them is motive. Ninety-nine out of a hundred times the killer does what he does because of some childhood trauma and he ends up killing some version of his mother over and over. Give me someone who kills because of love, hate, jealousy, or mistake and compounds that first action by making further bad judgments throughout the book. It's much more realistic.

That being said, Blonde is an example of how to pull off this kind of story well. The focus is mainly on Bosch trying to figure things out with only a small amount of the typical cat-and-mouse routine. There is also a lot centered on the trial and watching the two lawyers set traps for each other. Bosh is the center of this book, not the killer.

Because Connelly is such a good writer, I enjoyed this one.

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