Eight weeks have passed since my last inventory. During that time, bouts of illness slowed me down. Julian Assange was removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The much-anticipated Mueller report was released, with many redacted pages. I reviewed Us and Hotel Mumbai, and I finished parts of five books. I tried reading more, from an account of the Australian outback to A Clockwork Orange. I found them both rather challenging and couldn’t get past the first two dozen pages. In chronological order, here is my Easter reading list:
- The Last Coyote (Connelly). The fourth book in the Bosch series is as stellar as any other. Coyote takes a more personal tack, as Bosch is suspended from the force and opens his heart out to the company shrink. Away from his day job, he then discovers that he has some unfinished business and takes it upon himself to find out the mystery behind his mother’s passing. He tries to confront the shadows from the past in his quest to find answers. He searches records, crashes a party, and even heads to Florida in a bid to uncover the wall of silence. In effect, he unmasks decades of corruption, cover-ups, and missing files. For Bosch fans out there, this is like the origin story. I know that Black Echo’s the first book, where we get introduced to the Detective and the tunnels underneath LA. In order to grasp the mind of Harry, his childhood, his drive to wear the uniform, this Genesis backstory is a godsend.
- Small Great Things. I’ve already mentioned this book in a prior post. This was my first ever Jodi Picoult read. She writes more descriptively than Connelly and, as hitherto revealed, used lesser dialogue in this work. The story is a captivating tale of injustice, racism, and family. Published in 2016, Small Great was released in a time of heated racial tension. The novel is also very well-researched, a hallmark of Picoult’s work. I decided to give Jodi a go after consuming two thirds of Connelly’s Harry Bosch book series. Far from being disappointed, I asked myself why I didn’t do so sooner.
- The Mamba Mentality (Kobe Bryant). Basically, a picture book, we are given a unique insight into one of basketball’s greatest minds. With five championships, a flurry of MVP’s, and countless other accolades, Bryant has established himself into a hoops demigod. After twenty ground-breaking seasons in the league, Kobe unpacks his vast knowledge of the game. He takes us behind the scenes on his greatest battles, his legendary fortitude, his most fearsome opponents, and the teammates, coaches, and critics who made him strive to be the best. While not as captivating as Bosch, the coffee table book is a welcome change.
- The Black Ice (Connelly). Initially reticent to start on another Connelly, I made up my mind after reading twenty pages of A Clockwork Orange. The latter might as well have been written in Hieroglyphics; it sure wasn’t for me. Back to Bosch, and here we have an old book written over two decades ago, yet its relevance still persists. An LA cop is murdered; rumour has it that he crossed over to the dark side. Before being silenced, the detective was working on a new designer drug, which was the new craze. Harry tries to piece together the loose ends in the case, refusing to let command hinder him from his mission. He meets the widow and she intrigue him.
He decides to cross the border, knowing full well that the answers were there. There he gets more value for his dollars, even going bullfighting. He is warned to trust no one. He unravels a web of deceit involving Mexican police and American companies. A twist will surprise you right at the end, and in typical Connelly fashion, it’s a grand slam! It’s funny that Bosch has to go all the way to Mexico uncover the truth. Later on, Bosch would go to Vegas, Florida, Hong Kong, the Salton Sea, to name a few. The change in scenery adds new life to the chase.
- The Pact (Picoult). I’ve been hearing lots of good things regarding this book, so I decided to give it a try. The title alludes to the suicide pact between Chris and Emily, the two star-crossed lovers at the heart of the novel. From the beginning, we bear witness to Emily’s demise, which one local detective believes was at the hands of Chris Harte. The book alternates between an idealist past and an unbelievable present. The Pact reminds me a bit of Romeo and Juliet, with their fate sealed. The main difference between the two is that the Hartes and the Golds are the best of friends, which makes it unsurprising that Chris and Emily are soulmates. Meanwhile, the Montagues and the Capulets are mortal enemies.
I liked how the main character was named Chris, paving the way for my empathy. The way it was written, the flashbacks and flash-forwards, was quite entertaining. From their childhood to adolescence, school to home, this was as much about true love as it was about true neighbours. The nagging question was: how far would you go for true love? Would you be prepared to hide the truth, to dance with the truth, all just to prove your devotion to someone? While the love story was indeed captivating, the trial of Chris Harte for allegedly murdering his girlfriend was almost as riveting.
I would’ve finished more texts had it not been for the hiccups. I look forward to sharing my post-Easter inventory further down the track.