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Angel's Flight

Reviewed: December 12, 2007
By: Michael Connelly
Publisher: Warner Books
480 pages, $0.00

Angel’s Flight is the name of the Las Angeles tram line where Howard Elias was gunned down. The high profile African-American lawyer had made no friends within the LAPD, having carved out a career based on suing the cops for this and that. As a result of his work the Internal Affairs Division was about to take a hard look at some practices and cases, so it’s not surprising that the men and women in blue are high on the suspect list for this this hit.

Harry Bosch shouldn’t have been called out on this case. He wasn’t in the rotation for call-outs on that night He certainly wasn’t the most popular officer on the IAD list, having been investigated by them more than once himself. Yet on this case he finds himself compelled to work hand in glove with some old enemies from that side of the force, while apparently searching for suspects among his usual comrades and fellow investigators.

Worse, he’s being used and he knows it. Harry has an impressive, if somewhat unorthodox, solve rate on cases he is assigned, so he knows the chief is using him to send a message Top that with the fact that he is given two black investigators for his team, and is forced share his findings with a recently appointed “inspector-general” who he soon discovers has an inappropriately personal stake in the case.

To top it all off Harry’s wife, a former FBI agent and problem gambler, has returned to her gambling addiction and it looks very much as if their marriage is on the rocks.

This 1998 mystery was written in the wake of the 1992 Rodney King beatings and riots in LA, and even ends with a riot in which the villain gets what’s coming to him from a mob. This is not entirely satisfactory for Harry, who would have preferred to have had the man outed quite publicly.

I’m working my way through the Bosch mysteries as they become available as e-books. This is the sixth that I’ve read, Each has been relentless and has left me nearly as sleepless as Harry is during most of his cases.

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