Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nine Dragons - Michael Connelly (audio)


Not long ago, my BFF said she had this latest Harry Bosch installment on audio from the library...did I want to borrow it for an upload? "Eh, well, yeah, I guess so" was my answer. Harry is one of those endearing crime thriller series characters that I've come to love. I'm not sure Connelly has been hitting his mark lately on plot, but why not? I go through a couple of audio books in a week.

Harry and his partner Ignacio Ferras (a little gun-shy from a recent shooting) were just assigned to a robbery/homicide at a liquor store...grunt work for these two veterans. The victim is none other than a Chinese immigrant who was a casual acquaintance of Bosch's years ago. With the assistance of over-ambitious Asian detective Chu, they believe the crime to have been committed by a Chinese triad gang. Bosch is asked to back off the case, he doesn't, and then his daughter Madeline is kidnapped in Hong Kong, where she is living with her mother and Bosch's ex-lover Eleanore Wish. So he runs around over there trying to save his daughter. There's guns, and knives and a body count. Of course.

I'm not trying to be snarky, but it is hard not to be when I have read three crime thrillers in as many months that involve the kidnapping of detective's daughters. You just come to expect that if a child of the protagonist is mentioned, you expect some sort of problem with them at some point. I guess it goes with the territory, but it gets old.

There are a number of sub-plots that are interesting. One was Harry's unrealized biases with the Asian people. Not that he harbored ill will, but that he had preconceived notions that were unfounded. Being the good egg though, Harry does give himself an attitude adjustment. Another entertaining plot was Harry's paternal instincts, and his relationship with his daughter. It's nice to see his protective side. There is also some angst between Harry and his partner. Harry is becoming frustrated with his partner's discomfort with the streets, and his torn loyalties between his family and his job. All of this comes to a tragic head in this story.

The story is a quick read. Via audio, you will find the narrator to be gruff and a little robotic. Not to the point where you can't finish the book, but enough that I couldn't listen to him for more than one book at a time. It does what you would expect...provides you with your fix of Harry, a little adrenaline rush, then you move on.

2.5 out of 5 stars


15 comments:

JoAnn said...

Think I'll pass on this... I don't seem to be making much progress with ANY audios lately.

Jackie (Farm Lane Books) said...

I wish I could get through as many audio books as you - I've been listening to the current one for about 6 weeks!

bermudaonion said...

I read the print version and think I enjoyed it more than you did. Of course, I didn't read about a lot of detective's kids being kidnapped prior to reading this book.

John Marvin Tan said...

Wow,I am not into reading but this one sounds very interesting..BTW, I am already following your blog.. I would appreciate if would follow me back

Zibilee said...

Sorry to hear that this one was not totally successful. The robotic narrator really would have chapped my buns too. I also see where the kidnapping plot would have been a bit derivative, as it seems like that is a standard in a lot of these books.

Julie P. said...

I am a huge Michael Connelly fan, but I agree that this isn't his best. I still think I enjoyed it more than you did.

Nymeth said...

lol - I have to say I loved that little bit of snark, Sandy :P Sorry that the book wasn't better!

Kathleen said...

I've never read any of Connelly's work! I have the Scarecrow on my shelves at home to read in the future. I know that is hard to believe from a crime/thriller junkie like me! Sorry you didn't enjoy this one.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

What I find ridiculous is that even though in these books the detectives' daughters are taken by the same serial killers as the other girls - all murdered - somehow the detectives' daughters survive! And come running into the arms of their dads! (That's why I like Susan Hill. If she had a daughter of a detective get taken, she'd have her get killed!) (I mean, not that I would be glad for that, but it would be a lot more realistic!)

Iliana said...

I really need to try a Connelly book. Actually I did, one I can't remember the name of right now but it was one of those right book/wrong time sort of things. I have a couple of his newer books but you know me, I'm going to try and find the earlier ones first.

Jenners said...

I tried a few of his books but they didn't really grab me.

And I'm just curious HOW you find time to listen to so many books? Are you listening all the time when doing anything? HOW DO YOU DO IT!?

Beth F said...

I read only 1 Connelly (The Lincoln Lawyer, on audio) but really liked it a lot -- enough to make me want to read more. Hope I pick good ones!

Anna said...

Sounds like an overused storyline, but I guess you could say there are some in every genre.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Alice Teh said...

I almost, almost bought this today but now after reading your post, I'm glad I decided to postpone it.

Literary Feline said...

I am sorry you didn't care for this one much, Sandy. I am still relatively new to the series (new in terms of how many books I've read--not in years).