I ended up reading this one when I was looking for the Joe Pike series on my e-reader and wound up with Joe Pickett instead. Some thoughts:
— it’s quicker to read than a Wyoming spring snowstorm
— it has more loose ends than a well-used, hand-made, Elk Hair Caddis trout fly made by an eleven-year-old boy with ADD
— there are so many plot holes that you’d be hard pressed to use it to net a twelve-inch Cut Throat trout without it falling through
— I’d suggest waiting for the movie, but I suspect this one would go straight to audio (not even HBO).
I should have been patient and found the Joe Pike.
Workmanlike until the last 20% of the novel, when the quilt unravels and dumps loose threads all over the floor.
Paint-by-number, formulaic, like a modular home slapped together from a blueprint, rather than something organic that grew together and formed a lifelike whole. Unlike other UK series (like Ian Rankin’s Rebus) there is no real human connection in the story, not in family, friends, or work colleagues. It’s as if someone read about how real human feel and tried to copy it onto the page without understanding what that really meant.
The Scandinavian Noir police genre is really strong these days. Stieg Larrson, Jo Nesbo, Arnaldur Indriðason, Henning Mankell, Karin Fossum: there seems no end of extremely talented novelists. Unfortunately, Hakan Nesser doesn’t belong on that list. His offering is as bland and meh and ineffectual as the police investigation at the core of this book. Give it a pass.
Harry Bosch never changes, not even almost 20 books into the series and into his own retirement stage. He’s still stubborn, obstrusive, hard on his partners and has trouble with authority. All good things because that’s what makes him a good cop and the books good reads.