May 30, 1994
In this fiendishly plotted combination of courtroom drama and police procedural, Connelly's LAPD detective Hieronymous ``Harry'' Bosch, introduced in the Edgar-winning The Black Echo , is up against the law as well as his superiors. The widow of Norman Church, a serial killer identified as the Dollmaker, whom Bosch shot to death four years earlier, is suing Bosch on the grounds that he violated her husband's civil rights. Strong but not conclusive evidence linked Church to the serial murders and the case was closed, although Bosch was demoted for not following proper procedures. Here, just before the trial targeting Bosch as a reckless cowboy who shot the wrong man gets underway, the body of perhaps another Dollmaker victim is unearthed from the concrete floor of a burnt-out pool hall. Is the real Dollmaker still alive, or is a copycat killer on the loose? Connelly deftly parcels out clues and possibilities while juggling subtle and detailed courtroom scenes with no-nonsense police investigations that turn up new evidence about the original case. A Pulitzer Prize-winning crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times , he adroitly laces the plot with twists and turns based on details drawn from Bosch's previous adventures. The results of this care show on every page, all to the reader's benefit.