Author: Michael Connelly
Detective Harry Bosch moves through this time bomb novel like a blast of dragon fire. Once totally invincible, Bosch now has a 12 year old daughter living in Hong Kong with her mother. This novel is the first in a long series where we see Bosch in a vulnerable light.
Murder begins at The Fortune Liquor Store where Mi Li, the elderly owner, has been found with three bullets through his chest. Mi Li has swallowed one of the bullet casings before he dies, knowing that this will help find who murdered him. The murder pertains to Bosch in a personal way: he has carried a matchbook from Mr. Li’s store for many years. The matchbook states “Happy is the Man who finds refuge in himself.” Bosch thinks that he has found this refuge, but things are about to change.
Knowing Mr. Li, Harry swears to the Li family that he will find the murderer. Trying to solve the case with his lackluster partner, Detective Ferras, Bosch runs head into the Chinese triads – extortion rings that have held sway in China for 3,000 years. As Bosch pursues the Li murder, he receives a video – of is daughter Maddie tied to a chair with a man assaulting her. Simultaneously, he receives a phone call telling him to back off of the Li murder. Assuming the Li murder is tied to the Triad and his daughter’s abduction, Bosch takes a Triad member, Bo-Ling into custody, but the charges don’t stand and Bo-Ling is let go.
The next day, Harry flies to Hong Kong, where Maddie lives with her mother and her boyfriend, Sun Lee.
As the novel combusts and implodes, sparks fly both outward and inward. Bosch, a man who has never relied on or trusted anyone, needs the help of Detective Chu, his counterpoint at Asian Gang Units in L.A., and in Hong Kong, he has to rely on Sun Lee, his wife’s lover. Like “24 Hours”, the clock ticking brings Maddie closer and closer to her death. He and Sun Lee know that she is being sold for her organs. Eleanor, his wife, is shot and dies.
The race to find Maddie and get her out of Hong Kong runs parallel to Mr. Li’s murder investigation in L.A.
In its final chapters, “9 Dragons” moves agonizingly and quickly, to the real truth behind the murder. Bosch, who has found and returned to L.A. with Maddie, is pulled up abruptly with a demonic ending. What an avalanche of a book, scoring on all levels, “9 Dragons” blows fire from every page. A must read! I loved doing this book review.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Book Review by Broad “A” – Ava
9 Dragons can be purchased at Amazon.com for $15.47 or at booksellers nationwide for $27.99.
Thank you to the Hachette Book Group for providing our 9 Dragons book review copy as well as copies to give away.
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