Review: Trunk Music by Michael Connelly

Trunk MusicThe thing about Michael Connelly’s Bosch series is that they are phenomenally re-readable. First time round you’ll be turning the pages desperately trying to identity the killer. Second time round, you’re able to savour Bosch’s world a little more – bask in mid-nineties Los Angeles, its beauty and its underlying tensions – and marvel at his ability to weave a compelling mystery. As I make my way through the series for a second (and in some cases, third time) I’m truly enjoying pulling the books apart, desperately trying to understand how they work, and why they’re so damn effective.

When Tony Aliso’s body is found crumpled in the trunk of his car, Harry Bosch’s colleagues in the LAPD are quick to declare the murder a case of “trunk music” – that is, a mob hit. Aliso had ties to Las Vegas mob, after all, so it comes as no real surprise that this ishow his life ended. But Bosch – back on the job after mandatory leave – isn’t ready to write off the investigation. So he digs deeper, and deeper – and soon finds himself tangled in a web of police politics, Hollywood film-making, and Vegas gangsters. The mystery is convoluted, but coherent, and Bosch’s reunion with his former flame Eleanor Wish adds important personal stakes.

Trunk Music is comfortably top tier Michael Connelly. Readers seeking innovation or experimentation might be disappointed – – those looking for “genre subversion”, for example (ugh) – – but the fact remains, no other writer has produced better police procedurals than Connelly, and few will write ones as good as Trunk Music.

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