“The Overlook” began its existence as a sixteen-part narrative published in The New York Times Magazine, and it’s evident from the start that this is a very different Harry Bosch novel.
Despite the expansions and connective tissue added for its mass market release, “The Overlook” reflects its inaugural audience; it’s lean, it’s fast and it lacks much of the subtlety Michael Connelly’s work is lauded for. Instead, it reads like an episode of “24,” with a real focus on plot rather than rich characterisation. But just because it doesn’t read like a traditional Bosch novel doesn’t make it unworthy of its place within the acclaimed series. If anything, it’s rather delightful seeing Connelly work different muscles using the same old characters, paring down on the facets of his writing that he’s renowned for. The trademark twists and turns are here; they’re just rapid-fire, bang-bang-bang, one after the other; relentless. This makes sense, given the gravity of the case Bosch is working, which has catastrophic implications for the entire city. Connelly smartly throws his protagonist into a situation we’ve not seen him face before, thereby validating the pace of the tale. It reads fast because Bosch needs to be fast to succeed.