Let me start with what meets the eye, the cover of the book, Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly. It looks smart with a very inviting blue that seemingly dominates the rest of the pages even. Nine Dragons pretends to be a typical police procedure, but it is anything but typical. It is full of sharp twists and fizzy surprises. Connelly's narrative is like the burrow in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland with small yet intriguing beginnings, weaving words into a web of pure mystery. Nine Dragons is a cut-to-the-chase thriller that can mean only business.

A quest

Nine Dragons quintessentially gyrates around the murder of a Chinese shop owner, with Harry Bosch donning the role of the investigator with finesse, without leaking the mystery, one can mention that this introduction with the murder furthers Harry Bosch into the Chinese underworld or the popularly well known, Triads. Triads are sadistic, powerful Chinese gangs with enough foliage to cover the world.

Adding to this is a kidnapped daughter, an expensive revenge and real nasty perfidy, superficial appearances aplenty and amidst all this, what lies beneath is a perilous, murky truth. Harry Bosch twists and turns between being a father and the tough guy, trying to find his daughter, trying to save his own blood. Nine dragons reeks of blood and doles out enormous amounts of suspense, greatly maintained, perfect as a filler for some action and adventure on a lazy Sunday afternoon, perhaps!

Connelly's USP is his passion and art of writing crime-fiction. Through his novels; he has carefully chartered the evolution of the police departments like the LAPD.

His characters are as human and emotional as you and I, the situations he creates are not of fantasy books vanity, believable on any given day, terrific and tactful goes with it. Connelly takes well earned leverage to involve numerous threads and weaves them together to create a terrific story. He has done a great job detailing the methodical, investigative processes, including some remarkable and fascinating aspects of forensic science. The language he uses is languid, with apt tone and expression; he compresses profundity in a a few words.

Nine Dragons is a book that you would want to carry with you, everywhere right till you finish it, I can even take the liberty to say that it might have after-effects. 370 pages of a gripping and smoky mystery that is a huge round of applause or maybe even two!

It's definitely one of the most gripping crime-fictions that I have read in recent times and is rightfully worth a read.

Vishnupriya is a IIIrd Year BA Journalism student , Madras Christian College .

Title: NINE DRAGONS

Author: Michael Connelly

Publisher: Hatchette, India

Price: Rs. 595

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