Picks and Pans Review: Echo Park

updated 11/13/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/13/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST

By Michael Connelly

For 13 years Marie Gesto's murder has haunted Det. Harry Bosch. Then, out of the blue, serial killer Raynard Waits confesses to the crime as part of a plea deal. Bosch, working in the L.A.P.D.'s Open-Unsolved Unit, doesn't believe him for a second, and when Waits escapes he gives chase, all the while trying to prove that the confession was a setup to save a rich man's hide.

Connelly's measured prose moves the plot along quickly in protagonist Bosch's 12th appearance. The story does lapse into implausibility when murderer Waits turns into a superthug who, even while chained and unarmed, can instantly mastermind an escape. But Echo Park recovers quickly, delivering all the punch of a compelling, suspenseful thriller.

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