By Michael Connelly
Little, Brown and Company - October 2002
Reviewed by Jeff
Michael Connelly's newest book, Chasing The Dime, has a hard time getting started, but it finishes with a flourish.
Henry Pierce is a scientist working on a project that could potentially bring his company billions of dollars. He has just broken up with his girlfriend and in moving to a new apartment, he begins to receive phone calls meant for a prostitute. His curiosity leads him to try and track down the missing woman whom the calls are for and he becomes obsessed with finding her when he realizes that she may have been killed. This opening setup takes some time to get going and some of the details of Pierce's laboratory work seem unnecessary and a little overbearing.
Still, Connelly does a good job of creating the character of Pierce, balancing the logical, reasonable side that is consistent with his scientist personality, against his irrational need to locate the woman. There is, of course, a hidden reason as to why Pierce feels compelled to find her, but most seasoned readers will be able to figure that out early in the story. Figuring it out, though, doesn't diminish the tension.
The supporting characters are creatively written, particularly the police detective who targets Pierce as the main suspect in the girl's disappearance and, not coincidentally, this is where the book picks up momentum. The plot is well-constructed and the final hundred pages do a superior job of wrapping up the story, solving the mystery and bringing the book to a surprising and satisfying end.
Connelly doesn't break
new ground here and the story lacks some of the cultural resonance that
several of his Harry Bosch novels have brought to the table, but he has
still written a well-crafted and thoroughly enjoyable tale.
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