The Burning Room by Michael Connelly

The Burning RoomReviewed by Allen Hott

Harry Bosch, Detective Supreme, gets teamed up with a new partner who though a young woman has already been touted as being a true up and coming police officer. Harry finds out early on that his new partner has been commended for coming to the aid of a previous partner by using her weapon quickly and correctly in Harry’s eyes.

In true Connelly fashion the author has constructed a really great story about how these two cops work together on solving not one but two unsolved crimes from years past. They were given one to work that involved a shooting some twenty years ago but as good detectives they also along the way begin solving another old one.

Harry finds out early on that his new partner was very involved in one of the old crimes but not in the way you would think. She was actually a victim of sorts in a fire that took place in a building that housed the day care center that she attended as a very young girl.

The story basically begins when Harry is given the bullet that was just taken from a gentleman who passed away. The interesting thing about it is that the bullet is not the cause of his death. No, this bullet has been lodged near his spine for over twenty years.

Right off the case seems very strange in that the man, a member of a mariachi band, was shot in a park where those types of bands practiced and waited hopefully to be hired for an evening of music. Though the man was shot it appears that the bullet was not really intended for him nor was it shot at close range. Actually it was a rifle bullet and appears to have been shot by an expert marksman from an elevated distance away from the park.

While Harry and his partner are working all angles of this long past crime his partner begins to get Harry more and more interested also in her own very old scrape with violence. Although they haven’t been given that as a case it just works its way into their sights.

The two work hard trying to come up with suspects when in fact some have moved away and some have even passed away. Harry, as always, works in his tireless dogged fashion but he quickly realizes that he is actually probably working less in both hours and efforts than is his associate. She is like a young female Harry!

Connelly builds the story through really great looks into the police department, the hierarchy of it, and how sometimes the best choices do not work out in an investigation.

The only problem I have is in an ending that is somewhat foreboding. I really hope it is not the way it is going to be for Connelly’s Harry Bosch!

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