The Burning Room: Michael Connelly

Posted: November 11, 2015 in Book Awards, review, USA

BoschRecently I did not finish a book sent to me for review, something that I have never done in the past. The book set in an unnamed Northern Italian city was violent and involved corrupt police and conflicts within the ‘Ndrangheta. After about 100 pages I decided that life was too short at my age to waste it on a book containing not one sympathetic character. A little sad and depressed with winter closing in, I turned to one of those authors who I know will provide me with a great crime fiction story, Michael Connelly. 

I have read the MickeyHaller stories but I prefer the police procedural investigations featuring Detective Harry Bosch.

The Burning Room is a great example of how to make the hard graft of real police work interesting for the reader. Harry now working cold cases is drawn into two investigations, because his new partner the young inexperienced Lucia Soto is trying to solve the deaths by arson of nine children in a day centre fire in which she was one of those children who were lucky to be saved.

The main case involves the shooting by a sniper of a Maraichi musician, Orlando Merced. Merced has lived paralysed with the bullet inside him for ten years. Now he has died and the bullet is recovered at an autopsy that states that Merced died as a result of the shooting, even ten years on from the actual shooting it is a murder case. Both investigations are complex with a lot of forensics, ballistics and travelling to interview characters about events in the almost forgotten past.

Latino gangs, white supremacists, police politics and political corruption as well as the private life of a great detective, Harry Bosch, in the twilight of his long career make this an excellent read. 

Bosch got out his notebook to write the name down. “You won’t be able to talk to him,” Walling said.

“He died twelve years ago. Killed himself after being indicted for tax evasion. He knew he was going to go away. That’s how we got most of these guys-they stopped paying taxes.”    


  1. Margot Kinberg says:

    I couldn’t agree more, Norman, about not wasting time with a book that doesn’t draw you in. Why do it? Michael Connelly is consistently one of those ‘go to’ authors who virtually never disappoints, so I’m glad you had this one to turn to now. Glad, too, of course, that you enjoyed it.

  2. Bill Selnes says:

    Norman: Cringed when I heard about the incomplete. I find it hard to read when all are bad. I did enjoy The Burning Room. Connelly is so good at coming up with fascinating plots.

  3. Norman Price says:

    Margot and Bill I have a list of old reliables who I turn to in difficult circumstances. I am suffering with tooth troubles [no laughing or quoting physician heal thyself I would if I could] and a chest infection.
    Michael Connelly, Reginald Hill and Agatha are always easy good reads, as is Deon Meyer. I am reading Icarus at the moment and it is very good.
    It is the dampness of a West Country winter which is the problem. I remember in Helsinki the hotel receptionist commenting “Devon that is where it feels colder at +10 than it does here in Finland at minus 20.
    Roll on the spring.

  4. […] Burning Room has been reviewed at Crime Scraps Review (Norman) and at Mysteries and More from Saskatchewan […]

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