Best 1992 Adventures (6)
June 15, 2020
One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1992 adventure novels.
Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch crime adventure The Black Echo.
In the first of many appearances, LAPD homicide detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch investigates the apparent overdose of a fellow “tunnel rat” — that is, a Vietnam War vet in whose company Bosch once spelunked Vietcong tunnel-mazes, their fanciful nickname for which gives this book its title. This is a neo-noir, written in a sometimes tiresome staccato style; its context seems like a contemporary updating of James Ellroy’s L.A. Quartet series, though to be fair, Connelly was a crime reporter for the LA Times when writing this. Despite its reliance on cliches — the Vietnam vet with PTSD, the maverick good cop in a corrupt department, the vengeful Internal Affairs duo, the female FBI agent love interest — it’s a fun thriller. Bosch struggles with his traumatic past experiences, outmaneuvers Internal Affairs, disobeys his superiors’ directives, and seeks justice for the victims of crimes that the FBI doesn’t want him involved in. Turns out that the whole thing is connected to a bank heist… and that the burglars were after more than just money. Phew!
Fun facts: Winner of an Edgar Award for Best First Novel, The Black Echo has been followed by 20 more Bosch books, not to mention several books featuring LA defense attorney Mickey Haller (e.g., The Lincoln Lawyer), who is Bosch’s half-brother. The third season of the Amazon TV series Bosch, starring Titus Welliver, is loosely based on The Black Echo.
JOSH GLENN’S *BEST ADVENTURES* LISTS: BEST 250 ADVENTURES OF THE 20TH CENTURY | 100 BEST OUGHTS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST RADIUM AGE (PROTO-)SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TEENS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TWENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST THIRTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST GOLDEN AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FORTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FIFTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SIXTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST NEW WAVE SCI FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SEVENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST EIGHTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST DIAMOND AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST NINETIES ADVENTURES (in progress) | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | NOTES ON 21st-CENTURY ADVENTURES.