Review: The Black Echo, by Michael Connelly

I admit it: I’m a latecomer to this party. Michael Connelly is an enormously successful writer and his series about Los Angeles detective Harry Bosch is his best-known work. But it’s taken me nearly 30 years to read one — and now I’m hooked. Connelly writes in the best traditions of both the police procedural (Ed McBain) and the LA-based film noir (Raymond Chandler). This book focusses on “tunnel rats” — American soldiers who during the Vietnam war would go down into underground tunnels in pursuit of Viet Cong fighters. I had the privilege of interviewing an American veteran of the Vietnam war who did exactly that, and have never forgotten what he told me. Bosch also, apparently, does hypnosis (another subject that, for the moment, intrigues me) — although doesn’t get a chance to demonstrate that skill in this book. Connelly has apparently written 30 novels, so there go my weekends for the rest of this year.