FICTION

The Burning Room

Little, Brown. Nov. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780316225939. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316225922. F
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OrangeReviewStarOrlando Merced is finally dead from the bullet that struck him in the spine and paralyzed him a decade ago as he played with his band in Los Angeles's Mariachi Plaza, and the LAPD's Open-Unsolved Unit has caught the case. Such investigations are rarely straightforward, but soon detectives Harry Bosch and his new partner, "Lucky" Lucy Soto, discover that the victim had ties to a mayoral hopeful, putting a political spin on their probe. Bosch has never had patience for political machinations, interoffice or otherwise, and he must juggle this complication along with an inexperienced and untested partner. Bosch finds himself in shark-filled waters with a murder case that turns out to be about much more. His love for the job and for the City of Angels, warts and all, and his fierce sense of justice are among the many things that make this series great.
VERDICT Connelly's (The Gods of Guilt) exceptional gift for crafting an intricate and fascinating procedural hasn't faded a bit. Our protagonist remains, after 19 books, one of the most intriguing creations in crime fiction, even as he faces his impending retirement. A humdinger of an ending will have readers anxiously awaiting the next book. [See Prepub Alert, 5/12/14.]

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