RARA-AVIS: deconstrucing Hieronymus part 3

From: BaxDeal@aol.com
Date: 06 Mar 2008

like Void Moon, CHASING THE DIME, Connelly's third stand alone thriller is based on a marketable hook: a man who becomes obsessed with a woman he's never met. a standard theme in noir fiction, the author brings it into the present day with a high tech veneer and a non-pro protagonist. but while the hero's lack of skills lends itself to a modicum of thriller infused jeopardy, it also undermines the credibility of the plot, especially since Connelly doesn't seem to invest the same level of emotional conviction that he bestows on The Poet's Jack McEvoy or Blood Work's Terry McCaleb, and certainly not his beloved Harry Bosch. the result is a mostly forgettable work, one that might have floundered the career of a fledgeling or even mid-list level author. but when you've reached the level where your name alone allows you to debut a book #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, you can release a book with the most cynical title on a work of crime fiction since Charles Willeford's NEW HOPE FOR THE DEAD

no one can fault an author for cashing in when they've discovered the goose that lays the golden eggs. many big names in publishing it seems are driven by that holy grail rather than any interior muse or demons. others may start off in artistic fervor, but find that success and the distractions that come with it have distanced them from the passion and hunger that set them on their path. sandwiched between 2 uninspired but commercial thrillers, the concept-rich McCaleb/Bosch disappointment A Darkness More Than Night could even be seen as more akin to the works that bookend it, rather than the earlier, deeply inhabited series that gave it birth

perhaps sensing the comfortable trap going up around him Connelly returned to his bread and butter. CITY OF BONES is a vintage Bosch outing, with the detective solving a 20 year old murder, discovered when a dog digs up a shallow grave. tired and burned out, the case reminds Bosch where he came from and who he is. and similarly, the book reads like a visit from a long lost friend, bringing back everything you always loved about your mutual past. but the author wasn't content to just push his old, familiar buttons or walk the same streets he'd come to know so well. at the end of the book, on the spur of the moment...



-- Bosch resigns from the L.A.P.D, taking a box of long dead cases with him.
 things would be different from here on

the same was true for Michael Connelly. proving he wasn't content in the comfortable place his career had taken him, the author literally followed his creation out the door, moving from Los Angeles to Tampa, Florida. things would be different for him as well


John Lau

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