About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Friday, June 7, 2019

A Protest On Connelly's Use of Vigilante Justice

I ended my review of Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly, my last post, by referring to my disappointment in the ending involving vigilante justice.

Reading about the LAPD being vigilantes and Ballard and Bosch deliberately breaking the law, let alone the rules of police conduct, left me discouraged.  Connelly, a great writer, is resorting to investigations being solved by misconduct not skilled investigations. Such an approach supports a view that justice in America is meted out by the police investigating, judging and punishing those persons they determine are guilty.

Integrity is rare enough in the world.

The means justifies the ends inevitably leads to vigilante justice and disrespect for the Rule of Law.

Apparently I am a minority of one in the reviewing world at having regret over Connelly having Bosch and Ballard disregarding procedure and the laws of the land. Threatening torture to gain confessions is popular in crime fiction but erases the lines between bad guys and good guys.

We do not need trials if the police can mete out punishment for those they find guilty.

Centuries of hard won rules of proper conduct are at risk.

Maybe there are police officers we can rely on to only break the rules with regard to evil men and women.

Bosch would say to trust him. What about the thousands of L.A. police officers who do not get every case right? Who sometimes focus on the wrong person? Should police get to unilaterally decide punishment? What happens when the police engage in misconduct?

Harry’s signature phrase of “everybody counts or nobody counts” means respect for all victims of murder whether good or bad people. It is not always a popular creed. I wish he had the same regard for the laws of America.

Connelly resorted to an easy conventional solution of police misconduct for the greater good. Such an ending is a waste of his talent. I despair when intelligent sleuths cease using skill and resort to violence and illegal actions.
Connelly, Michael – (2000) - Void Moon; (2001) - A Darkness More than Night; (2001) - The Concrete Blonde (Third best fiction of 2001); (2002) - Blood Work (The Best);  (2002) - City of Bones; (2003) - Lost Light; (2004) - The Narrows; (2005) - The Closers (Tied for 3rd best fiction of 2005); (2005) - The Lincoln Lawyer; (2007) - Echo Park; (2007) - The Overlook; (2008) - The Brass Verdict; (2009) – The Scarecrow; (2009) – Nine Dragons; (2011) - The Reversal; (2011) - The Fifth Witness; (2012) - The Drop; (2012) - Black Echo; (2012) - Harry Bosch: The First 20 Years; (2012) - The Black Box; (2014) - The Gods of Guilt; (2014) - The Bloody Flag Move is Sleazy and Unethical; (2015) - The Burning Room; (2015) - Everybody Counts or Nobody Counts; (2016) - The Crossing; (2016) - Lawyers and Police Shifting Sides; (2017) - The Wrong Side of Goodbye and A Famous Holograph Will; (2017) - Bosch - T.V. - Season One and Titus Welliver as Harry Bosch; (2018) - Two Kinds of Truth; (2019) - Dark Sacred Night; Hardcover


  1. You're not a minority of one, Bill. I don't like vigilante activity, either, especially among the police. And, as you say, if there is that vigilantism here, it's especially disappointing coming from a writer like Connelly, who is very talented, and could do better with his characters and plots (in fact, he has). There may be plenty of things wrong with the laws as they are, but vigilantism isn't the answer to fixing those things.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. Vigilantism turns justice into a personal judgment. I appreciate your support against vigilantism.

  2. Thanks for this post Bill, I like the way you present your very convincing argument.

    1. Moira: Thanks for the comment. It is easier to present an argument when you believe in it.