Thursday, September 1, 2016

Nine Dragons at 9:00 a.m. on September 9

Michael Connelly is an amazing prolific author of crime fiction, and his novel 9 Dragons is the featured selection for Ashe Friends of the Library’s Read Around the Clock Book Club.  When researching this author, I was impressed by the volume of books he has published and his large following of fans.  

9 Dragons (2009) is the 14th book in Connelly’s Harry Bosch, LAPD crime investigator series.  Connelly writes another series featuring Mickey Haller, an LA defense attorney.  In fact, Harry and Mickey are half-brothers! Many may be familiar with Mickey Haller, portrayed by Matthew McConaughey in a movie based on Connelly’s book, The Lincoln Lawyer.  Michael Connelly also has an Amazon Prime video series, Bosch, that complements his novels featuring Harry Bosch, homicide detective. You may have heard it said that “the book is always better than the movie,” and I would agree.  Although some writers have concerns that a movie doesn’t necessarily reflect the book they wrote, I also feel that having a film made from a book is a good thing, as it will attract new readers! 

The character Harry Bosch is a big Jazz music lover, so Michael Connelly was inspired to release a few CDs that feature music from his books. And as you may have guessed Connelly is a Jazz fan himself. Included in the playlist for Bosch/Connelly's jazz are songs by: Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, Art Pepper, and the sexy sound of John Coltrane’s saxophone (Soul Eyes).

It is the deft combination of police procedural and taut psychological suspense that separates Bosch from other fictional crime detectives.    In the Bosch series, Harry is introduced as a devilish bachelor, but later finds out about a daughter he never knew existed.  In 9 Dragons Harry’s daughter Maddie goes missing in Hong Kong, and his local investigation of a murdered Chinese liquor store owner becomes global.  LAPD assigns Harry to investigate crime involving Asian gangs and things get crazier the more clues he uncovers.  Harry Bosch sort of reminds me of Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry persona.  One thing I learned that won’t spoil the story for those who wish to read this book, was a popular Chinese myth believing that the dragon has nine dragon sons.  

While promoting 9 Dragons, Connelly held a special contest for his fans and gave away 9 personally inscribed and signed copies of 9 Dragons to the nine people who wrote the best 9-word sentence about Harry Bosch. One winning entry written by Glenn Kraemer stated, “Bosch is the cop I want investigating my murder.”

A discussion about Michael Connelly’s book, or ANY book that has a number nine in the title will take place at 9:00 a.m. on September 9 in the library.  As always dress is casual, but you are welcome to come “dressed to the nines.” 

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