When a serial killer agrees to confess to a string of murders, LAPD detective Harry Bosch may finally have an answer for Dan and Irene Gesto, whose daughter, Marie has been missing for thirteen years. Bosch is never at rest until a case is solved, and ever since he came out of retirement, he’s been pulling the Gesto file regularly, hoping for a break.
Echo Park is the story of how Raynard Waits becomes the center of a high profile case, made conveniently public during a tight political race for Los Angeles District Attorney. Harry Bosch is a guy who follows his own rules, but is true to his deep-seated drive to get the bad guys. He maneuvers through city politics and other hidden agendas to nail Waits and whoever else may be responsible.
I jumped into this Bosch mystery series, knowing nothing about the main character. In creating Bosch, Connelly was inspired by the 15th Century Dutch painter, Hieronymus Bosch, known for his paintings depicting sin, violence and hell. Connelly fans have their pick of twenty-nine novels, many with Bosch as their main guy. While it may be best to start at the beginning, I enjoyed this 2006 crime mystery very much. It’s smartly written, with many well-defined characters, has a little bit of romance and not too much violence. I always like reading about the battle between good and evil, particularly in combatting violence against women. Connelly makes it clear which side he and Bosch are on.
I especially enjoyed getting to know Harry and his quirky nature. As with many mysteries, we learn about area restaurant menus and what everyone eats. And, although I’ve never driven through Los Angeles, I had fun reading about the different neighborhoods and got a realistic feel for how the action was unfolding. Equally fun is the banter between Harry and his contacts across the city who help him uncover the facts – they’re often resistant at first because they know he’s a rule-bender – but they always come through for their friend.
Echo Park has many exciting twists and turns. I’m not a trained mystery reader and prefer to have the story develop for me, without thinking too far ahead. I was surprised more than once by plot and character shifts. Connelly includes surprises to the very end that would satisfy even the seasoned mystery reader.
I recommend Echo Park to anyone who enjoys mysteries and likes to see justice served.
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