Saturday, October 17, 2009

Review: Nine Dragons

Summary: LAPD Detective Harry Bosch is off the chain in the fastest, fiercest, and highest-stakes case of his life.

Fortune Liquors is a small shop in a tough South L.A. neighborhood, a store Bosch has known for years. The murder of John Li, the store's owner, hits Bosch hard, and he promises Li's family that he'll find the killer.

The world Bosch steps into next is unknown territory. He brings in a detective from the Asian Gang Unit for help with translation--not just of languages but also of the cultural norms and expectations that guided Li's life. He uncovers a link to a Hong Kong triad, a lethal and far-reaching crime ring that follows many immigrants to their new lives in the U.S.

And instantly his world explodes. The one good thing in Bosch's life, the person he holds most dear, is taken from him and Bosch travels to Hong Kong in an all-or-nothing bid to regain what he's lost. In a place known as Nine Dragons, as the city's Hungry Ghosts festival burns around him, Bosch puts aside everything he knows and risks everything he has in a desperate bid to outmatch the triad's ferocity. -- Little Brown

I was so excited when I found out that there was going to be a tour for NINE DRAGONS by Michael Connelly. I almost missed out on signing up because I was vacationing at Disney World, and then I didn't receive the book until last week. But things worked out after all -- I guess it was just meant to be. You see, I absolutely love Michael Connelly's books; and he's one of my all-time favorite authors!

One of the main reasons that I love Michael Connelly's books so much is that I think his detective lead, Harry Bosch, is just a fantastic character. Harry is without a doubt an extremely flawed man; and yet, I absolutely love him. Maybe it's because I feel as if I've been along with him for so many years, but I seem to accept even the most deplorable things about him. He is an extremely complex character (you really have to read some of the earlier books to understand him) and he carries a lot of baggage with him; however, I choose to think that I can see beneath Harry's rough exterior -- he really is a troubled but caring man!

Overall, I really liked reading NINE DRAGONS. It probably isn't my favorite Harry Bosch book, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. Much of the story took place in Hong Kong; and while I found parts of it very interesting, I think I just enjoyed the Los Angeles parts more. I guess I'm a Harry Bosch/LAPD purist. I liked reading about Harry's adventures in Hong Kong, but I think I most appreciate Harry when he is face-to-face with criminals, other cops and the police department brass.

The action in this book was very fast-paced, and NINE DRAGONS was a quick read. As is the case with most Connelly books, I was kept guessing about the mystery aspect of the novel; however, I did have a few ideas about the culprit. Having said that, I don't want to come across like I figured out the crime because I had no idea how it was all going to come together. I'm just saying I was suspicious of a character -- nothing more.

There are a few twists and turns along the way and especially with the ending, but I hesitate to say too much because I don't want to give anything away. In fact, when I was about halfway through NINE DRAGONS, I read the Entertainment Weekly review. I was extremely saddened to see that the reviewer gave it a C-, but I was even more upset by the spoilers in the review. While no specifics were mentioned, I was expecting/looking for some things that otherwise would have shocked me. I definitely think knowing some stuff in advance took away from my overall enjoyment of this novel! I guess I learned a valuable lesson about not reading reviews before finishing the book.

What I really appreciated about this novel was the ending. I had my doubts about Harry many times throughout this story, but I was glad to see that his softer side appeared by the novel's close. I also liked how Mr. Connelly played with my mind not only about the specifics of the Los Angeles crime, but also about Hong Kong angle. I thought the book wrapped up nicely, and I can't wait to see what Harry is going to face next -- both as a cop and a father!

I got hooked on Mr. Connelly's books many years ago (way before I was a mom and even before I was married.) I absolutely loved his murder mysteries, and I thought Harry Bosch was possibly the best detective character that I'd ever encountered. Well... seventeen years later, I still feel the same way -- I love all of his books! As far as I'm concerned, Mr. Connelly is a pure master of the suspense/thriller genre. If you'd like to learn more about Mr. Connelly and his books, you can visit his website. There is also a Q&A that will provide some additional insights into his latest novel NINE DRAGONS.

Check out these other stops for the Nine Days of NINE DRAGONS Tour:










Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book and allowing me to participate in the tour.


bermudaonion said...

I've got about 30 pages of this book left and probably won't get anything done this morning until I finish it. It's my first experience with Connelly and I'm loving it.

Beth F said...

I loved his The Lincoln Lawyer, which I read earlier this year and which was my first Connelly. I can't wait to get going on the Bosch books too. Hummm, I may have to do a challenge or something next year to help me stay focused!

Sheila (bookjourney) said...

I really enjoyed my reading of this as well. A bit different than what i have read lately and a nice change!

Jenners said...

I think I read maybe one of the Harry Bosch books and it just didn't grab me. Not sure which one though ... perhaps I should give them another try.