The Black Ice is the second instalment of Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch series, the first part of which I discussed here.
The second Harry Bosch novel is similar to the first in that it’s main focus is – surprise! – Harry Bosch, an LAPD detective, who in the real world probably would have been fired for misconduct and disobeying orders ten times over already. However, since this isn’t the real world, I decided to suspend my disbelief when it comes to this whole ‘rogue cop’ act, because otherwise the whole plot would fall apart.
Said plot revolves around the mysterious death of a police officer. It looks like suicide, but – of course – Harry Bosch isn’t willing to accept this very plausible theory right away, and instead insists to dig deeper.
Spoilers: It wasn’t suicide.
He uncovers a web of criminal activity that ultimately leads him to a Mexican drug lord, who stops at nothing to establish a new drug called ‘Black Ice’ in the US.
Although the plot may sound straightforward enough, there are actually a lot of twists and turns in the story that keep this otherwise not very inventive novel interesting and made it worthwhile reading. I actually found it much more enjoyable than the first novel, which might be due to the subject matter as well as the improved pace – the first novel still had a lot of exposition to deal with that wasn’t necessary in the second novel, as the protagonist and some other major characters had already been introduced.
Speaking of main characters: apart from the fact that Harry Bosch’s ideas about discipline and subordination are certainly remarkable for someone who not only works in the police force, but also fought in the Vietnam war, what’s even more remarkable is that he also seems to be the only detective in the whole police department who has a shred of integrity left. Everyone else belongs into one of the following categories:
- too busy pursuing other things and earning money on the side to take their job seriously
- too busy saving the department’s face / arse to care about what’s really going on
- too busy drinking themselves into oblivion to take note of anything
- too busy defecting to the dark side to realise that it would be better to be one of the good guys
Looking at this list, isn’t it impressive that this department gets anything done at all? O.o -> See, and that’s why they haven’t fired Harry Bosch yet – mystery solved.
I’m actually looking forward to reading some more Harry Bosch novels in the future, as they really are excellent diversions in busy times like these. (And I just really enjoy reading detective fiction, can’t help it and won’t even try.)
On a sad side note: let me briefly tell you the story of how this almost ended up being the last book I ever read on my kindle. I was about to settle in on the sofa with the last few pages of the novel, when my kindle just suddenly didn’t turn on. It had been on the charger all day, so it should have been fully charged. I tried everything: resetting it, connecting it to my laptop, talking to it – nothing worked! Ultimately, I decided to finish my novel on my phone using the kindle app. Let me tell you – that’s no fun compared to using a kindle. The only thing that was interesting about it was seeing the app guessing at how much longer it’ll take me to finish reading the chapter / novel. Especially because the number of minutes it guessed kept going up instead of down whenever I turned a page, as I was consistently distracted by the kindle surgery my boyfriend was kind enough to perform next to me. His final verdict was crushing though: nothing he tried seemed to help anything and it looked like I’d need a new kindle.
However, when I tried turning it on the next morning, it suddenly worked again. It reset itself and now it seems to be fine, although I have yet to try if it actually stays that way in the long run, as I haven’t dared using it since.
What I learned from this experience:
- don’t trust technology – it’ll betray you when you least expect it.
- don’t get emotionally attached to your reading device.
- my boyfriend is the best for performing that emergency operation after a long day at work.
- the inside of a kindle looks interesting. For example, mine had a loose screw flying around in it. Nope, we didn’t find out where it originally belonged. I think we just took it out in the end.
Do you own a kindle? Did yours ever betray you like this?