Book Review: Echo Park

Detective Harry Bosch has returned to active duty with the LAPD as part of the Open-Unsolved Unit in this 12th novel of the series. Twenty-two year old Marie Gesto’s disappearance in 1993 has haunted Bosch through the years, something about that neatly folded pile of clothes found on the seat of her car put the hook in him. When a routine traffic stop nets serial killer Raynard Waits with bagged body parts in the back of his van, he attempts to parley information about nine unsolved cases in exchange for eluding the death penalty. Waits’ claims to know Gesto’s whereabouts which forces Bosch and the DA’s office to work together despite serious personal and professional conflicts. Additionally, it grates on Bosch that the entire plea bargain deal appears to be staged as a bid for the DA’s reelection as Waits’ manipulates the legal system to his advantage.

Connelly cleverly reunites Bosch with profiler Rachel Walling in this soul-searching mystery that forces the detective to face some difficult questions. Could some poor choices he made years earlier have resulted in the murder of several innocents? Is he nothing more then a sloppy rogue cop riding roughshod over a system that works or the good, intuitive cop he has aspired to be? Self-doubt and insightful moments dot the well-woven plot while the subplots and fully developed characters add depth and believability to this finely crafted crime fiction. 

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