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City of Bones (Harry Bosch Series #8)

City of Bones (Harry Bosch Series #8)

4.2 249
by Michael Connelly

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On New Year's Day, a dog finds a bone in the Hollywood Hills--and unearths a murder committed more than twenty years earlier. It's a cold case, but for Detective Harry Bosch, it stirs up memories of his childhood as an orphan. He can't let it go. As the investigation takes Bosch deeper into the past, a beautiful rookie cop brings him alive in the present. No


On New Year's Day, a dog finds a bone in the Hollywood Hills--and unearths a murder committed more than twenty years earlier. It's a cold case, but for Detective Harry Bosch, it stirs up memories of his childhood as an orphan. He can't let it go. As the investigation takes Bosch deeper into the past, a beautiful rookie cop brings him alive in the present. No official warning can break them apart--or prepare Bosch for the explosions when the case takes a few hard turns. Suddenly all of L.A. is in an uproar, and Bosch, fighting to keep control, is driven to the brink of an unimaginable decision.

Editorial Reviews


The Barnes & Noble Review
In A Darkness More than Night, Michael Connelly's complex hero Harry Bosch shared center stage with another Connelly protagonist (Terry McCaleb of Blood Work) in a convoluted homicide case in which Bosch himself became a primary suspect. In City of Bones, Bosch takes the lead in the high-profile investigation of a murder committed more than 20 years in the past.

The investigation begins when a family pet unearths a cache of bones buried in a shallow grave in the hills above Laurel Canyon. Forensic evidence indicates that the bones are those of an adolescent boy who endured an extensive history of physical abuse. Bosch, who experienced his own share of adolescent trauma, takes the case to heart, pursuing every lead in the killing with typically obsessive zeal. Eventually, a phone call from a Los Angeles woman whose brother disappeared in 1980 sets Bosch on the proper path, and he identifies the dead boy as Arthur Delacroix. Locating Arthur's killer, however, turns out to be a difficult -- and hazardous -- business. Bosch's investigation leads to a number of dead ends and false conclusions before arriving at the sad, tawdry truth. Along the way, that same investigation claims two new victims: a solitary, rather pathetic set decorator who was once convicted of pedophilia, and an overzealous rookie policewoman with a lifelong penchant for high-risk activities.

Though some of the characters are not as well developed or convincing as they are in Connelly's finest novels, such as The Black Echo and The Concrete Blonde, the central mystery in City of Bones is both compelling and affecting, and Connelly's portrayal of life in the inner circles of the LAPD is as credible as ever. Bosch himself -- that vulnerable, obsessive, sometimes self-destructive figure -- remains one of modern crime fiction's more durable creations. By the end of this particular investigation, Bosch has reached a turning point in his problematic 25-year career and faces a potentially life-altering decision. To be continued... (Bill Sheehan)

Orlando Sentinel
...Bosch and Connelly are at their finest...a cracking pace...the investigation [is] tightly focused and credible...
Publishers Weekly
Harry Bosch is at the top of his form which is great news for Connelly fans who might have been wondering how much life the dour, haunted LAPD veteran had left in him. His latest adventure is as dark and angst-ridden as any of Bosch's past outings, but it also crackles with energy especially in the details of police procedure and internal politics that animate virtually every page. What other crime writer could make such dramatic use of the fact that the front door of a house trailer swings out rather than in, creating problems for a two-man team of detectives? Who else would create to such credible narrative effect an egotistic celebrity coroner who jeopardizes an investigation because she lets a TV camera crew from Court TV follow her around, or an overage female rookie cop so in love with danger that she commits an unthinkable act? When the bones of an abused 12-year-old boy who disappeared in 1980 turn up in the woods above Hollywood (near a street named Wonderland, where former governor Jerry Brown used to live), the case stirs up Bosch's memories of his own troubled childhood. Also, as his captain so aptly points out, Harry is the LAPD's prime "shit magnet," an investigator who attracts muck and trouble wherever he goes. So it's no great surprise when the investigation takes a couple of nasty turns, right up through the last chapter. Connelly is such a careful, quiet writer that he can slow down the story to sketch in some relatively minor characters a retired doctor, a couple who lived through their foster children without missing a beat. (One-day laydown Apr. 16) Forecast: Connelly doesn't need much help in hitting the charts, but Little, Brown is going all out anyway, with a massive television, radio and print ad campaign, transit ads in New York and a 10-city author tour. Expect blockbuster sales and blockbuster satisfaction. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Detective Harry Bosch is back on the homicide scene in Hollywood when the body of a 12-year-old boy, who was the victim of repeated physical abuse, is discovered. To make the case more difficult, the murder trail is cold, being more than 20 years old. Harry's investigations uncover secrets-some better left undisturbed: family violence, desertion, past sins, the seamy side of a seemingly normal neighborhood. Harry, unable to leave the case unsolved, worries about the problem until he identifies a suspect. When his partner "clears" the case, with fatal consequences, Harry decides to hang up his gun. Well read by Peter Jay Fernandez, Connelly's latest thriller provides plenty of red herrings, plot twists, and romantic interest that will keep listeners guessing for a long time.-Joanna M. Burkhardt, Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Univ. of Rhode Island, Providence Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Connelly takes his customary edge off Harry Bosch's latest case: the murder of a 12-year-old runaway that had never even been suspected until a playful dog turned up his bones in a shallow grave. Most of the people who lived in Laurel Canyon around 1980-the approximate date the forensics indicate the sorely beaten boy's life was abruptly ended with a final blow to the head-have long since moved on. So one of Harry's first jobs is figuring out who was even in the neighborhood when the boy was buried. Even after a distinctive skateboard allows Harry to identify the victim as Arthur Delacroix, lots of problems remain for Harry and Julia Brasher, the LAPD rookie who's soon sharing his confidences and his bed. A conversation with a known pedophile who lived a few doors away from Arthur's grave plunges Harry into official hot water. Arthur's abusive father is suspiciously eager to confess to the murder. And a routine chat with Johnny Stokes, a childhood friend of Arthur's who's grown up to be the complete loser, explodes in violence. Connelly handles all these episodes with his accustomed skill, but he can't hide the fact that they're episodes designed to make a 20-year-old homicide seem more urgent and dangerous to the present-day cast than it actually is. Harry still shines as a detective, and the sorry souls the evidence flushes out into the open go far to explain his conviction that "in every murder is the tale of a city." But the case itself is marked by coincidences and shifting suspicions that suggest untidiness rather than virtuosity, and there's precious little of the unremitting tension that's won Connelly such a following over the past ten years. A bone to throw to loyalists whilethey wait for another case to rival A Darkness More Than Night

Product Details

Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
Harry Bosch Series , #8
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Sales rank:
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The old lady had changed her mind about dying but by then it was too late. She had dug her fingers into the paint and plaster of the nearby wall until most of her fingernails had broken off. Then she had gone for the neck, scrabbling to push the bloodied fingertips up and under the cord. She broke four toes kicking at the walls. She had tried so hard, shown such a desperate will to live, that it made Harry Bosch wonder what had happened before. Where was that determination and will and why had it deserted her until after she had put the extension cord noose around her neck and kicked over the chair? Why had it hidden from her?

These were not official questions that would be raised in his death report. But they were the things Bosch couldn't avoid thinking about as he sat in his car outside the Splendid Age Retirement Home on Sunset Boulevard east of the Hollywood Freeway. It was 4:20 p.m. on the first day of the year. Bosch had drawn holiday call-out duty.

The day more than half over and that duty consisted of two suicide runs—one a gunshot, the other the hanging. Both victims were women. In both cases there was evidence of depression and desperation. Isolation. New Year's Day was always a big day for suicides. While most people greeted the day with a sense of hope and renewal, there were those who saw it as a good day to die, some—like the old lady—not realizing their mistake until it was too late.

Bosch looked up through the windshield and watched as the latest victim's body, on a wheeled stretcher and covered in a green blanket, was loaded into the coroner's blue van. He saw there was one other occupiedstretcher in the van and knew it was from the first suicide—a thirty-four-year-old actress who had shot herself while parked at a Hollywood overlook on Mulholland Drive. Bosch and the body crew had followed one case to the other.

Bosch's cell phone chirped and he welcomed the intrusion into his thoughts on small deaths. It was Mankiewicz, the watch sergeant at the Hollywood Division of the Los Angeles Police Department.

"You finished with that yet?"

"I'm about to clear."


"A changed-my-mind suicide. You got something else?"

"Yeah. And I didn't think I should go out on the radio with it. Must be a slow day for the media—getting more what's-happening calls from reporters than I am getting service calls from citizens. They all want to do something on the first one, the actress on Mulholland. You know, a death-of-a-Hollywood-dream story. And they'd probably jump all over this latest call, too."

"Yeah, what is it?"

"A citizen up in Laurel Canyon. On Wonderland. He just called up and said his dog came back from a run in the woods with a bone in its mouth. The guy says it's human—an arm bone from a kid."

Bosch almost groaned. There were four or five call outs like this a year. Hysteria always followed by simple explanation: animal bones. Through the windshield he saluted the two body movers from the coroner's office as they headed to the front doors of the van.

"I know what you're thinking, Harry. Not another bone run. You've done it a hundred times and it's always the same thing. Coyote, deer, whatever. But listen, this guy with the dog, he's an MD. And he says there's no doubt. It's a humerus. That's the upper arm bone. He says it's a child, Harry. And then, get this. He said . . ."

There was silence while Mankiewicz apparently looked for his notes. Bosch watched the coroner's blue van pull off into traffic. When Mankiewicz came back he was obviously reading.

"The bone's got a fracture clearly visible just above the medial epicondyle, whatever that is."

Bosch's jaw tightened. He felt a slight tickle of electric current go down the back of his neck.

"That's off my notes, I don't know if I am saying it right. The point is, this doctor says it was just a kid, Harry. So could you humor us and go check out this humerus?"

Bosch didn't respond.

"Sorry, had to get that in."

"Yeah, that was funny, Mank. What's the address?"

Mankiewicz gave it to him and told him he had already dispatched a patrol team.

"You were right to keep it off the air. Let's try to keep it that way."

Mankiewicz said he would. Bosch closed his phone and started the car. He glanced over at the entrance to the retirement home before pulling away from the curb. There was nothing about it that looked splendid to him. The woman who had hung herself in the closet of her tiny bedroom had no next of kin, according to the operators of the home. In death, she would be treated the way she had been in life, left alone and forgotten.

Bosch pulled away from the curb and headed toward Laurel Canyon.

Excerpted from City of Bones by Michael Connelly. Copyright © 2002 by Hieronymus, Inc.. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Meet the Author

Michael Connelly is a former journalist and author of over twenty books, including the bestselling Harry Bosch series. His novels Blood Work and The Lincoln Lawyer have been made into major motion pictures. He has won numerous awards for his journalism, as well as an Edgar Award, a Nero Wolfe prize, a Macavity Award, an Anthony Award, and the 2009 Carvalho Prize for his books. Michael Connelly lives in Florida.

Brief Biography

Sarasota, Florida
Date of Birth:
July 21, 1956
Place of Birth:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
B.A. in Journalism, University of Florida, 1980

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City of Bones (Harry Bosch Series #8) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 249 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read seven previous Harry Bosch books and this by far is the best one.. Very interesting and very well writtem..Connelly outdid himself on this one...
Bob-the-Kraut More than 1 year ago
Once again, Michael Connelly has written an excellent thriller that kept me glued to each page until I finished reading the book. Anyone who likes mystery and intregue will certainly enjoy this story. It is well worth the read and will most likely keep you reading other books in the Harry Bosch series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of the Harry Bosch series available so far, and have enjoyed each immensely. They are great police procedural books, have strong plots, and involved and interesting charecter development. I have eagerly finished each book, and have anticipated beginning the next--I will have to move onto the "Lincoln Lawyer" series, soon!
CorLaw3 More than 1 year ago
Michael Connelly's Detective Hieronymous "Harry" Bosch is back in the police procedural, City of Bones. Harry and partner Jerry Edgar are assigned the case of a missing child whose bones are found in the hills of Laurel Canyon. With the cases of child abuse and abduction today, this grisly and depressing storyline really punched me in the gut right from the start. I wanted this killer caught or worse more than Harry and Jerry did. As the case progresses, so does Harry's romantic involvement with Officer Julia Brasher. Because she's a fellow officer, she's supposed to be off-limits per LAPD regulations. Harry feels the heat on and off the case from his superiors to overly ambitious media personnel to his own desire wanting to solve this horrific crime. Connelly's always does a great job of depicting the inner workings of the LAPD chock-full of political correctness, rivals and friends, procedure and how the case works the psyche of Harry. In spite of all of this, as is the tone of a police procedure, the action is minimal and the solution to the crime didn't turn or twist as much as I thought it might. A key piece of interpreted evidence triggers the solution but it lacked that white-hot, 'I gotcha!' feeling. Police procedural mysteries are not thrillers or suspense stories and tend to reflect real life in a more subdued manner but after raising the hair on the back of my neck in the beginning just imagining what happened to this child, the ending to me didn't match that horrendous discovery to launch the case file. Then Harry at the conclusion left me scratching my head as much as the solution of closing the investigated and determined homicide. I wasn't quite fully satisfied with the resolution of neither the story nor a certain love interest in this one. But Michael's still the man and continues to be in demand.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am currently reading all of Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series in order, and I LOVE them. I am a big mystery/detective story fan, and I have tried so many different series from different authors, but I finally found the one for me! What can I say? I often find myself not really liking the main characters in novels, but I truly like Harry; he is a good guy - not perfect, but he works hard, isn't a womanizer, and isn't overly macho. All of the stories are well-written, realistic, contain surprises and twists, and keep me hooked until the very end. My favorites have been The Black Echo (#1), The Concrete Blonde (#3), Trunk Music (#5), City of Bones (#8), The Narrows (#10), although again - I enjoyed all of them. If you like detective mystery novels, you won't be disappointed with Michael Connelly and Harry Bosch.
Saturner More than 1 year ago
This was the first book of Connelly's that I read. I am CSI student and I decided to read a mystery novel to relax and fell in love with the Harry Bosch series. Now I need to decide which one will be the next. Should I start from the beginning or for the new ones? All of them has an excellent reviews, hard to choose.
adam7067 More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book because of the twist and turns that left you guessing where the story would end. Very enjoyable reading!
Sandyb50 More than 1 year ago
Harry Bosch's weakness and strength are the same: he cannot let go of the unsolved crimes in LA. As a homicide detective, the "bones" of an old case occasionally rise from the past to inhabity the present. Such is the case in City of Bones, a mystery which begins during the Rodney King / OJ Simpson riots and arises again 20 years later. But not only do the bones have more age on them, so does Harry, a man with a past that haunts him as much as his old cases do. Michael Connelly is excellent at creating a mood and sustaining it, playing it like the jazz notes that Harry Bosch so enjoys. His books are a compelling insight to the world of the Los Angeles PD and to the damaged souls who try to make the world right.
poppaDS More than 1 year ago
This story has to do with an old murder of a child where only bones are found where Harry Bosh is determined to track down the killer.
1dachsmom More than 1 year ago
I have found an author to add to my collection of great mystery writers. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was wonderful. Harry Bosch is one of my favorites.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read
DPAULFENTON More than 1 year ago
Connelly's Books are is believable and the stories are great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Harry Bosch is human enough to be a good surprising read every timje
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Connelly because I miss LA, and this is a very good mistery, with lots of turns and twists, with a Harry Bosch in great form. The usual undercurrent of sadness, in the ongoing personal life of the sleuth, which is very hopeless. The resolution of the mystery was not satisfying to me, and the more I think about it, the more I think that ....well, I cannot say without giving away the plot. I wish I could find the books in the right order.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What I couldn't grasp was how the autopsy report showed the injuries sustained to the body had occurred from abuse since early childhood yet the accused murderer supposedly acted on impulse and the act was not premeditated. That was the conflict of the evidence and did not make sense.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous 7 months ago
Walks around
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the Bosch books
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