RARA-AVIS: Michael Connelly's _The Narrows_

From: Larson, Craig ( Craig.Larson@trinidadstate.edu)
Date: 03 May 2004

I read Connelly's latest over the weekend, and while I liked it, I wasn't knocked out by it, the way the previous Bosch book, _Lost Light_, did. _The Narrows_ seems to bring together just about every character Connelly has ever created (was I correct in thinking that the "Jane" character that Harry was talking to from his motel balcony was the lead from _Void Moon_?), when Robert Backus, aka "The Poet," comes back on the scene once more. The narrative switches, sometimes a bit awkwardly, from the first person perspective of Harry Bosch, to the third person perspectives of both Backus and Rachel Walling, his prot駩 in the FBI profilers' unit, and lead detective in the earlier Poet case, brought in from exile in the Dakotas to lend her expertise. There's a lot going on in this book and it moves very quickly. One odd bit of business I noticed that started to wear on my nerves was that very little of the dialogue used contractions--there were a lot of rather awkward, formal constructions that really didn't sound like realistic speech. I noticed this a while back with Patricia Cornwell, about the time her books stopped being very good, so I hope we're not in for a similar decline from Connelly. If you like Harry Bosch, you'll like this book, though it was almost too busy a novel to really add much in the way of character growth and development, things that did a lot to make _Lost Light_ so memorable. The emphasis here is on plot, plot, and more plot.

Craig Larson Trinidad, CO


And it doesn't look like Bosch will be a private eye much longer.

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