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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Twisted Personalities

For John, BLUFWant to borrow it when you are back?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The Narrows
Michael Connelly
Hard Cover:  416 Pages (We listened to the audio version)
Publisher:  Little, Brown and Company
Language:  English
ISBN:  0-316-15530-6
Copyright:  2004

My wife and I just finished listening to the CD version of Mr Michael Connelly's Detective Novel, The Narrows.  It was a gripping yarn.  And it is a continuation of a story, The Poet, to which we recently listened.

The hero is retired Los Angeles detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch.  The way the story is written, we hear Harry's point of view and also the point of view of exiled FBI Agent Rachel Walling.  Exiled to the Dakotas because of her actions in the previous story, The Poet.  We also get glimpses of the point of view of serial killer and ex-FBI supervisor Robert Backus.  FBI Agent Rachel Walling shot and wounded Robert Backus as the end of The Poet and he crashed through a large window.  He escaped, but the body found wearing his clothes and with his ID was to decomposed to positively be identified as his.  SPOILER ALERT:  He was on the run, committing more murders.

Harry Bosch's detective instincts allow him to stay ahead of the FBI and only a little bit behind fugitive killer Robert Backus.

ANOTHER SPOILER ALERT:  Quoting from the Wikipedia article on the book:

However, the relationship between Bosch and Walling falls apart in the end when Bosch learns that the FBI had discovered that Backus had nothing to do with McCaleb's death but had withheld the information from him. In fact, McCaleb had killed himself in a manner to make his death look accidental, as his heart transplant was failing, and he did not want to burden his wife and children with the crippling expense of additional medical procedures.
This was a large chunk of the Wikipedia review.  And rightfully so, since it represents another plot twist.  Perhaps the author created it to make FBI Agent Rachel Walling go away at the end of the story, thus cleaning up a loose end.

However, I think that Harry Bosch was pushing it.  FBI Agent Rachel Walling was trying to protect her friend of former colleague.  Why make a Federal case out of it.  It turns out it isn't really all about Harry Bosch.  While FBI Agent Rachel Walling had been referred to by her ex-husband, in The Poet, as the Painted Desert, there might have been something there for Harry.  But, he couldn't leave well enough alone.  Perhaps this is a character flaw that makes him such a good detective.  Maybe it is the character flaw that makes him a not so good lifetime partner.

Regards  —  Cliff

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