Tuesday, June 22, 2010

9 Dragon by Michael Connelly *****

What's your least favorite plot device? As a father of two daughters and two granddaughters, mine is kidnapping daughters. I can see its recent popularity as a recognition of the increased value of daughters in the modern world. Daughters are no longer burdens or second-class progeny. Also, these story lines tend to have more competent fathers than the usual insensitive bumblers. However, regardless of these pluses, I still prefer not to see daughters threatened in any way. It seems like such a gross demand for emotions, up there with killing babies (baby animals included).

With that caveat, Nine Dragons is another wonderful novel by Michael Connelly. In a mystery centered around a liquor store murder in South LA and the already mentioned kidnapping of Harry Bosch's daughter in Hong Kong, the action is fast, investigation detailed, and the plot refreshingly logical. Also, the kidnapping, while ever present, is not over played and the daughter's jeopardy is mostly off page.

Michael Connelly is a brave writer who is not afraid to kill off supporting characters and an economical one who resolves subplots sooner rather than later. Both these keep the tension and pace moving quickly. Don't start this book if you have a lot of commitments over the next few days - perfect of a down weekend.

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