Jungle
Nine Dragons

Nine Dragons

Release Date: 
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Grade:
C+
# of Pages: 
384

Harry Bosch finds himself investigating what at first glance appears to be a simple liquor store robbing/homicide to help out another department. But from the moment Bosch walks in on the crime scene he feels that there is something more going on. As the evidence is laid out in front of him he begins to dig a little deeper and discovers that in fact this case is more than simply a robbing gone wrong. The clues lead him into a world he doesn’t understand, the world of Chinese triads. To him they appear to be nothing more than gangs that look to shakedown and demand payments from hardworking Chinese; but finds out that many look at them as an ancient tradition that is a blessing.

Without the full help of his partner still fearful after having been shot and having to bring in a new agent to help him understand the culture and the language Bosch tries to plunge forward. He fights with his instincts to trust no one and is disappointed as the case looks like it may hit a dead-end. That is until he gets a video sent to him on his phone, one that shows his daughter is in danger. His choice is to let the case drop or lose his daughter. Bosch unable to admit defeat sets off for the other side of the world to save his child and keep the case moving.

Maybe it is because I have never read a book in the Harry Bosch series before; but I found his personality at times to be very off-putting. It wasn’t because he is abrasive, I can handle abrasive and I was fine with his inability to fully trust and his desire to always get the bad guy in the end. What I didn’t care for was he refused to even for one second understand that other races and cultures do things differently; and that because they do things differently doesn’t make them wrong. Not everything is a right or wrong situation. Even when he was in China his detest for the way the government and society works just came off racist at times. Same with the way he treated not only the witnesses in the case but his partner Chu that was there to interpret & fill in about the culture. It was a very fine lined they was walked between it being him unwilling to change versus racism, so it will depend on how you read into it or take something that was said if you will be able to ignore this or not.

As for the rest of the book it started off simply enough a detective crime novel. Then right when I was getting use to how things work with Bosch it turns into “Taken” the book but set in China. This jump did something to the story. It changed the pace, created a whole new plot and made the story feel almost like it should have been two books instead of one. Then we he returned back to the U.S. the original storyline continued on but it felt slow, boring, and lacking any purpose since the bulk of the reason behind the tale had already come full circle.

I enjoyed the hard hitting footwork that Bosch pours into the case and when it came to his daughter what he was willing to sacrifice and do in order to get her back. It was also interesting to learn about the triads and even China. I had wish that there was some more action going on; but what I did get wasn’t that bad. Bosch took his time as he read the situation, went through his options, played out which way would be the best, and then acted. A veteran detective knowing just where to bend the rules, the loopholes he could use, and where to push. But by adding in the danger his daughter was in it brought out a more spontaneous side, one that made him thinking faster, not always playing the whole scenario out before acting. Because of these things I am inclined to go back and check out some of the other books that involved Bosch.

The twist by the end was not horrible; but it just furthers how really this should have been two books instead of one. But if that was the case then the portion taking place in the U.S. would have not been strong enough to stand on its own. There may also be a shocking event or two that take place as well and I will not spoil those for you. But I will say how quickly they were handled, how rapidly they were dismissed that some fans may be disappointed. My guess is after this many Bosch books out there that this one will probably not be the strongest out there, if it was then I would be wondering how they were still publishing them.
 

Pandora
Review by Pandora
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