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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

The Burning Room and The Night Ferry

The Burning Room by Michael Connelly

It has been several years since I've read a Harry Bosch novel, and I'm not sure why because I've always enjoyed them.  The Burning Room did not disappoint.

Detective Harry Bosch is with the LAPD's Open-Unsolved Unit now and nearing retirement.  When a man who was shot nine years earlier dies from complications of the bullet that lodged in his spine, the case is determined a homicide.

Harry and his partner Lucia Soto, a rookie detective are assigned to the case.  The shooter was never caught, but the case was sensational for several reasons, and although the victim survived for years, the Open-Unsolved case in now considered an open homicide investigation.  Harry and Lucia are faced with a case that is nearly ten years old and that continues to be of high media interest.

Harry and Lucy do their best with the twists and turns that develop in their investigation, but they also, in their spare time, work on another cold case, a fire that resulted in the death of several children at a daycare facility.  Lucy is one of the survivors of that fire, and she is determined to see if she can find the culprit responsible for the deaths of her friends.

Two cold cases keep the book moving.  Two great characters keep the reader emotionally involved.  Connelly remains at the top of his game.

read in Nov.

NetGalley/Little, Brown, and Co.

Police Procedural/Mystery.  Nov. 3, 2014.  Print length:  401 pages.

The Night Ferry by Michael Robotham

I read my first book by Michael Robotham as a NetGalley selection this year, and I was suitably impressed!  When NetGalley generously offered Suspect and Lost, the first two in the series, I was all over them.

Robotham has a unique method in his series that features the psychologist Joe O'Loughlin and/or D.I. Vincent Ruiz. Both characters may appear or only one, but in most cases, neither will be main protagonist.  There is always another character, the character whose story the novel presents.

In The Night Ferry, the third in the series, the story belongs to Alisha Barber, a detective with the Metropolitan London Police.  D.I. Ruiz has a small role and is the link that continues to connect the novels in the series, but Ali is the protagonist.

Ali receives a note from her best friend Cate, from whom she has been estranged for a number of years.  The note says that Cate is in trouble and that she wants Ali to come to their high school reunion.  At the reunion, Cate tells Ali that she needs her help, but the two are interrupted, and Ali is not able to get the details.  Before Ali can talk to Cate alone, Cate and her husband are hit by a car--the husband is killed and Cate never regains consciousness.  

The plot involves illegal immigrants, human trafficking, forced pregnancies, and illegal adoptions.  Ali is an intriguing character: a modern Sikh with a relatively conservative family, a dedicated friend, a dogged detective, and often, too impetuous.

Not without its flaws, I nevertheless was immersed in The Night Ferry from beginning to end.   I did find the conclusion a bit too ambiguous, but it was a great ride.

Library copy.  

Crime/Mystery.  2007.  384 pages.


  1. Happy to see that you liked "The Burning Room." I just bought an e-book version and downloaded it to my Kindle right before I spotted your review. I have always enjoyed the series even though I seem to read only every other one of them for some reason.

    1. I like the series, too, but like you, have not read all of them. I used to read them when a new one would appear on the new book shelf at the library. I like Connelly's style and his characters.

  2. I've never read Michael Connelly you have a favorite book of his?

    1. No, I don't have a favorite. I've only read them occasionally over the years, but I really enjoyed this one. :)

  3. I don't think I've read anything by Michael Connelly and The Burning Room sounds like a good read. I'll have to check out his series.

    1. I can't remember anything really about the early books, just that when I'd read one, I would enjoy it. The last one I read was a couple of years ago, and I'm glad that NetGalley offered this new one which reminded me that I like Harry Bosch as a character.

    2. Thanks! I read these kind of books all the time. Robotham is a new author to me. I've read the first couple of Connelly books and a random one somewhere in the series. I enjoyed them. Do you feel that when one knows about the character of the story that they can jump in here, or do you need to read the whole series in order?

    3. I have not read half of the books; this is the 19th in the series, I think. I read two or three in the 1990's I guess, and maybe 3 or so since then. I don't think you need to read them in order to enjoy them. Almost all I remember about most of them is the protagonist. :) The stories work whether you are familiar with previous characters. This one mentions previous partners Bosch has had, but I couldn't remember anything about them; didn't effect the story line at all.