Nine Dragons starts with the murder of a Chinese shopkeeper in LA. Evidence connected to the murder makes LAPD Detective Harry Bosch suspect that triads were involved. Triads are vicious, powerful Chinese gangs, whose tentacles are everywhere, so Bosch turns to LAPD’s Asian Gangs Unit for background information on triad activity in LA, and an ethnic-Chinese detective from the AGU is assigned to help out with the case. There is some immediate friction between the Chinese detective and Bosch, so when mysterious events threaten to derail the murder investigation, it’s easy for Bosch to suspect that there’s a leak somewhere in the LAPD, probably within the AGU itself.
But all that is put on the backburner when someone from Bosch’s own family is kidnapped in Hong Kong, apparently by the same triad implicated in the shopkeeper’s murder. The kidnappers’ message is clear: BACK OFF! And that’s when things really get interesting.
This is a twist with an Asain flair all the way from California to Hong Kong and back. 9 Dragons is definitely one of the best books Connelly has written to-date and the best book in the Harry Bosch series. Beyond the exciting story in 9 Dragons, Connelly has surpassed himself in dimensionalizing the emotional development of his Harry Bosch character; particularly in regards to his feelings for, and relationship with, his daughter. I really enjoyed his intelligent up to date story writing. He uses the latest technology like: state-of-the-art electrostatic enhancement which is where latent fingerprints reacting with brass form a microscopic chemical reaction, they then run a twenty-five-hundred-volt charge through the casing, dust it with carbon and presto, you see it. He uses background information.
The plot is strong, as tension increases and keeps the reader hooked. I especially liked the long action sequences and the characters, which are impossible to figure out until the very end of the book. The mystery component is essential to any thriller, and I thought that Connelly certainly delivered. Overall, I found this book a highly enjoyable read, with a creative plot and a strong ending.
I highly recommend this book.
Thanks Hachett and Valerie for this opportunity to review such a good book.
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