“A Darkness More Than Night”
Review by Gerti
I have read more Michael Connelly books than I can count, but this one is special, because he brings both of my favorite characters into it. The first book I ever read of his had as its protagonist former FBI detective Terrell “Terry” McCaleb, who got a heart transplant from a woman killed in a convenience store robbery. Her sister, Graciela Rivers, eventually marries McCaleb after he solves that murder for her, and the pair now have a child of their own, a little girl, and live on Catalina Island. McCaleb is now supposedly retired, but a former colleague asks him to help with a murder investigation, and against his wife’s wishes, he does.
McCaleb of course finds clues other investigators have missed, and hits upon the paintings of Hieronymous Bosch as the motif for the New Year’s Eve killing of a low-life named Eddie Gunn. Ironically, there is a famous homicide detective who also has the name Bosch, who is very familiar to Connelly fans, and is a friend of McCaleb, Instead of thinking that his buddy is being set up, as I did reading the book, McCaleb begins to suspect Bosch of the horrific crime. Bosch is in the middle of testifying for the prosecution in the trial of a powerful Hollywood producer, but once again, McCaleb fails to see that makes Bosch a prime target for a set-up.
The book twists and turns around these two powerful male characters, McCaleb and Bosch, both brilliant but not infallible investigators. It is a delight to see them work, and delightful to see how Connelly differentiates between two of his more popular protagonists. Eventually, McCaleb sees the connection between the two cases, and puts himself in danger, as the real killer of Eddie Gunn comes a-calling. Bosch saves his life, and in turn is able to guarantee that the puppet master behind the murder of Gunn also goes to prison for life.
Kirkus Reviews says of this book, “Bosch fan or McCaleb fan, you can’t lose with the chilling tour-de-force,” and I wholeheartedly agree. It was wonderful to see those two heroes working together, even though they are sometimes at odds. If only Mickey Haller had been the defense attorney for the producer, all three of Connelly’s greatest characters could have appeared together, but I guess Connelly didn’t want him to lose the case. This book is very good, but probably a lot more fun to read for those who have read enough Connelly to know both of these leading men.