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Holdyourteddytight

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*** SPOILER ALERT - Don't continue to read if you haven't yet read VOID MOON ***

The subject of female characters in Michael Connelly’s books could be greatly expanded upon, but here is what I would like to say.

I like that there are many strong female characters in Mr Connelly's books, often working in equal partnership with the hero of the story, measuring themselves up equally to male characters, or prevailing in the end.

See for example the wonderful pairing of Jack McEvoy and Rachel Walling in The Scarecrow, and the struggle of Cassie Black, who ends her story in Void Moon by performing perhaps the only honourable act of her whole life. She gives up her own flesh and blood and demonstrates through this selfless act even greater strength than throughout the rest of the book, and greater strength than all the male characters in it put together. I also like that these very strong women are never portrayed as clichéd b**l-breakers, like it would be so easy to do with someone like Mickey Haller’s ex, Maggie McPherson. It’s as if Mr Connelly is saying, hah, you think women are weak? Look at these!

I also appreciate that he manages to cast, not through rose-tinted spectacles, a non-judgemental and sympathetic eye on prostitutes (and on other so-called low-life characters, mostly judged and hanged in society’s mind before they are even tried), and opens our own eyes to the hidden poignancy of their lives. The Last Coyote, when Harry Bosch looks for his mother’s killer, is a perfect and very moving illustration of that. You can’t but love and respect Harry’s mother, regardless of her profession, for doing her best to look after her son, and it is with deep sadness in the end that you consider what could have been.

I have seen it argued, though I am not sure why, that Mr Connelly explores his male characters more in depth than his female ones. Perhaps. He writes about what he knows best after all. However, putting oneself in the shoes of the opposite sex is difficult, and no-one can accuse Mr Connelly of not having a positively good go at it.

I thank him for all that.


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