Summary and book reviews of Echo Park by Michael Connelly

Echo Park

by Michael Connelly

Echo Park by Michael Connelly
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2006, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2007, 464 pages

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Book Summary

More than a decade ago, Harry Bosch worked on the case of Marie Gesto, a twenty-two-year-old who went missing but was never found. Now, with the Gesto file still on his desk, Bosch gets a call from the District Attorney: A serial killer has confessed. Did Harry miss a key clue? Or is something more going on here?

In 1993 Marie Gesto disappeared after walking out of a supermarket. Harry Bosch worked the case but couldn't crack it, and the twenty-two-year-old was never found. Now, more than a decade later, with the Gesto file still on his desk, Bosch gets a call from the District Attorney.

A man accused of two heinous murders is willing to come clean about several others, including the killing of Marie Gesto. Taking the confession of the man he has sought-and hated-for thirteen years is bad enough. Discovering that he missed a clue back in 1993 that could have stopped nine other murders may just be the straw that breaks Harry Bosch.

Excerpt
Echo Park

THE CALL CAME IN while Harry Bosch and his partner, Kiz Rider, were sitting at their desks in the Open-Unsolved Unit, finishing the paperwork on the Matarese filing. The day before, they had spent six hours in a room with Victor Matarese discussing the 1996 murder of a prostitute named Charisse Witherspoon. DNA that had been extracted from semen found in the victim’s throat and stored for ten years had been matched to Matarese. It was a cold hit. His DNA profile had been banked by the DOJ in 2002 after a forcible rape conviction. It had taken another four years before Bosch and Rider came along and reopened the Witherspoon case, pulled the DNA and sent it to the state lab on a blind run.

It was a case initially made in the lab. But because Charisse Witherspoon had been an active prostitute the DNA match was not an automatic slam dunk. The DNA could have come from someone who was with her before her killer turned up and hit her repeatedly on the head with a ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. "It was the clothes that got to Bosch. The way they were folded so neatly. Did she do that? Or had it been the one who took her from this world?" Why do you think LAPD Detective Harry Bosch is obsessed with certain unsolved cases, like Marie Gesto's in Echo Park? Why would some cases haunt him more than others?

  2. "They ought to strap him down, put the juice in him and send him down the hole to where he belongs." Bosch was initially appalled that Assistant DA Rick O'Shea would make a deal with Raynard Waits, giving him life in prison over the death penalty. Bosch believed that Waits should die for what he did. Do you believe it is worth negotiating with a serial killer in order to close more murder cases and provide answers to the ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews

The Washington Post - Kevin Allman

That sense of uncertainty and dread, combined with Bosch's going from middle age to the precipice of old age, informs every page of this novel.

The New York Times Sunday Book Review - Marilyn Stasio

Connelly gets everything else right too, layering his fast-moving narrative with problem-solving details; using sound principles of psychology to give life to his characters; setting scenes to convey the fabled aura of local landmarks like Beachwood Canyon and the High Tower Apartments; and, all in all, delivering terrific bang for the buck.

The Washington Post - Kevin Allman

Echo Park is simple, straightforward writing that plumbs beneath the deceptive surface of a deceptively surfacey city, and Connelly's chronicles of Bosch -- like the detective himself -- are aging like a fine Scotch.

Publishers Weekly

Smooth prose and plausible characters even the secondary figures elevate this several notches above the standard cop vs. serial-killer thriller.

Library Journal

Connelly offers strong action writing and exciting plot twists, coupled with more development of Bosch's character and his internal conflicts. Another excellent and riveting entry in the longstanding series by one of mystery fiction's best writers.

Reader Reviews

Daniel Bakree

Great Book!
This is a well-written and exciting novel that leaves the reader hungry for me. A must read book.

Lynn

I love Harry Bosch
Michael Connelly never lets me down when he writes a Harry Bosch book. Every page contains something interesting about this character. Oh, and the mystery is a great one, too. A really page turner and I was caught by surprise by the ending.

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