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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
With Angels Flight, Michael Connelly, the New York Times bestselling author of Blood Work and The Poet, returns to the bread-and-butter character -- the tough, no-holds-barred LAPD detective Harry Bosch -- who has virtually catapulted Connelly to the top of the gritty, police-procedural-thriller heap. Loaded with electrifying sequences, intriguing "NYPD Blue"-like big-city politics and procedures, and a killer plot stacked with high-speed twists and turns that'll keep you guessing until its very end, Angels Flight is an intense and terrific read.
Although Angels Flight was my first Connelly experience, I guarantee that it will not be my last. This novel really impressed me. Set in Los Angeles, the town where high-profile trials such as the O. J. Simpson and Rodney King affairs have captivated and scarred the nation in the '90s, Angels Flight serves up a compelling and highly sensitive double-murder investigation that has L.A.'s disgruntled black community setting its sights on the LAPD. When a controversial black lawyer (à la Johnny Cochran), who has made an extremely lucrative career defending the rights of the city's slugs while prosecuting the beleaguered police force, is found murdered, the media immediately point their fingers at the LAPD, and rioting is once again in the air. Was it actually a cop with a killer vendetta? It's up to Harry Bosch to uncover the sick and shocking truth.
Howard Elias, a savior in the eyes of Los Angeles's black community, is a devil to the city's law-enforcement agencies. Notorious for fanning the fires of high-profile civil-rights cases in which cops are depicted as evil incarnate, out to keep the poor black man down, Elias sets fear and anger coursing through any cop's veins. Now, on the eve of an extremely volatile trial that has the police once again jammed between a rock and a hard place, Elias is dead, brutally shot on the deserted late-night Angels Flight train.
Nothing sits right for Harry Bosch and his team. First they're selected out of rotation to head up the Elias murder. Then they're forced to work with an internal affairs group that's headed by a "prick" named Chastain; on more than one occasion, Chastain has investigated Bosch for procedural wrongdoing. Then there's Deputy Chief Irving, who appears to be more interested in damage control than he is in uncovering the truth. Although the acrimony among the investigators is an inch thick at the start, they agree on one issue: A suspect -- or a patsy -- had better be named soon, or there's going to be some serious hell to pay.
Thus begins the whirlwind of action, intrigue, and blistering suspense that is forged so masterfully by the talented Connelly. The plot may sound straightforward, even clichéd, but the reader is in for a chilling surprise. Each page reveals another potential suspect, startling discovery, death, or seemingly unmovable obstacle or distraction. During one 30- or 40-page sequence, the reader is bounced around so much that the publisher should include a warning label alerting those prone to motion sickness to keep their Dramamine nearby. Take nothing at face value: Friends may be enemies; enemies may be friends. The plot really keeps you guessing. If you enjoy hard-boiled police procedurals or just expertly written roller-coaster rides of suspense, give Angels Flight a read. You won't be disappointed.