College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Liberal Arts Matters

Because Ideas Matter...

The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences presents

Recommended Readings

The -Black -Box The Black Box

by Michael Connelly, Little, Brown 2012

Reviewed by Larry Riggs

This new entry in Connelly's Harry Bosch series follows the always productive formula: Bosch's unwavering commitment to the principle that every homicide victim matters carries him beyond usual police procedures and into conflict with the bureaucratic politics of the LAPD. As in the previous book in the series, Bosch is on special retirement-transition status, and he is working cold cases. Here, he is assigned to look into a twenty-year-old murder that occurred during the 1992 Rodney King riots in LA, and on which he was, originally, the investigating detective. In the chaos of the riots, Bosch had to move quickly on to the next homicide, and this murder of a Danish photo-journalist was handed off to a riot-crimes task force and never solved. Bosch finds that new ballistics technology has turned a bit of physical evidence into a real lead, and he searches for the "black box": the fact at the heart of the case that will reveal its coherence. The search for this key evidence leads him back into the riots and, beyond, into the First Gulf War and the power structure in California's Central Valley. Refusing to yield to pressures from above and from his own personal life, Bosch goes on "vacation" in order to investigate more freely. Like all lonely renegade cop heroes of fiction, Bosch uses his harsh, extra-constitutional methods only against the truly guilty, so his devastating victory over the murderer is satisfying. A very good read.

- Larry Riggs is Professor of French at Butler University.