Sunday, December 13, 2009

9 DRAGONS by Michael Connelly (2009)

I picked up Connelly's most recent novel at IFOA where I heard him read on a night that Ian Rankin hosted. Both are masters of the crime fiction genre.

In 9 DRAGONS, Detective Harry Bosch is sent to investigate a homicide at Fortune Liquors, a small shop in a seedy section of south L.A. There he discovers John Li has been shot to death at close range, three times in the chest. Having met Li several years before, Bosch feels a connection and vows to his family that he will find his killer.

As he closes in on a suspect, a triad gang member who had been collecting protection payments from Li, Bosch receives an upsetting text video from his daughter's phone. Madeleine lives in Hong Kong with her mother and it appears that she has been abducted and Harry is being threatened from afar to drop his case in L.A.

Over the next 72 hours, Harry is on the chase of his life to find his daughter before she is trafficked out of Hong Kong and her organs are sold on the black market. Before they are reunited, Harry and his ex-wife's new love (and former triad member) Sun Yee find themselves in the seediest districts in Kowloon where there is real danger at every turn. There are 9 corpses that accumulate--the 9 dragons of the title.

Fans of Connelly will be amused by the appearance of Mickey Haller as Bosch's defense attorney when the Hong Kong police follow Bosch back to L.A. and try to pin the slaughter on him.

9 DRAGONS zooms along at a breakneck pace. I read its 374 pages in one gulp.

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