TRUNK MUSIC by MICHAEL CONNOLLY (1997, Orion, 440pp) ∗∗∗½
Blurb: Harry Bosch is back in Homicide after disciplinary leave. But his first case proves to be one of the most difficult. In the wooded hills overlooking the Hollywood Bowl, he opens the trunk of a white Rolls-Royce and finds a corpse. It looks like a simple case of Trunk Music – a Mafia hit, the victim shot in his own vehicle – but the victim is movie producer Tony Aliso, and the Mafia weren’t the only ones after him. Bosch finds himself up against the FBI – and back in the arms of a beautiful ex-felon. It’s starting to look like Harry’s first case back in Homicide is in danger of being his last . . .
The fifth novel in Michael Connolly’s Harry Bosch series has been reprinted following the successful recent TV adaptation by Amazon. The only other Connolly novel I have read was the later Lost Light (the 9th in a series currently totalling 18 titles) published in 2003 in which Bosch, having retired from LAPD, was a private investigator. Trunk Music sees Bosch returning to his LAPD detective post following a suspension and once again he is at odds with various law enforcement entities as he unravels the murder of a low-rent Hollywood film producer. the case introduces elements of Bosch’s past with his former lover Eleanor Wish making a re-appearance having been a key character in the series debut The Black Echo (1992). The plot carries a number of red herrings, tons of confrontational macho dialogue and a protracted finale. It’s all very enjoyable on its own terms and will no doubt satisfy fans of the series, but it does feel a little like a product of the Hollywood machine the series often derides.