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Chasing the Dime


Chasing the Dime

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There's a joke that's been going around for a while now, involving
a golfing foursome, each member of which is subtly attempting to
outdo the other with displays of their acquisitions of advanced
communication technology. One shows off a cellphone implanted into
his hand; another demonstrates a cellphone surgically inserted into
his mouth and inner ear. As each is in turn demonstrating these
marvels, a third member falls to the green, screaming and writhing
in pain. He, you see, has a fax coming in.

While the fax example is a bit over the top, we're not that far
away from the cellphone implants. And other things as well. How
about computers the size of a postage stamp, or smaller? Microchips
are about as small as we are able to build them. But what...what if
we didn't have to build them? What if we could grow them? And grow
them really, really small?

Henry Pierce in Michael Connelly's CHASING THE DIME is involved in
the pursuit of such a dream. And he's about to realize it with
Proteus, which is his entry into the race to build the first
molecular computer. His drive to attain his goal has cost him a
relationship but he is (almost) too caught up in his quest to care.
Pierce has an investor with more money than God lined up for a
presentation in a few days, and he has reason to believe the guy is
hooked. If Pierce can land him, Proteus will become a

His attention, however, becomes diverted when he starts receiving
calls for a woman named Lilly. Lilly, it seems, is an escort, and
an extremely popular one. Pierce's new number is posted on her
website, and he suddenly finds himself the beneficiary of unwanted
popularity. Most people would call the telephone company, get
another number, and forget about it. But there is something about
Lilly that pushes some of Pierce's buttons --- the ones that are
hardwired to a tragic event in his past. Rather than simply
changing his number, Pierce tries to find Lilly, who rapidly
becomes a possible key to his redemption for an act of omission
from which he has never been able to recover.

Pierce, however, is way out of his element here. Respected in his
field, his reputation and knowledge mean nothing in a world of vice
where inquiries are not welcome and solutions to problems are
simple and brutal. Pierce soon finds himself caught between the
police and a shadowy underworld that does not welcome his
intrusion. He comes to realize that he is being set up
for...something. But why? And by whom?

CHASING THE DIME is obviously not a Bosch novel, although Connelly
very deftly hooks it into Bosch's past and, more importantly, into
the Los Angeles mythos which he has been methodically constructing
for over a decade now. While Pierce's diversion from his work ---
his goal --- is not entirely convincing, it's not much of a stretch
either. Connelly is so skilled a craftsman that any suspension of
disbelief the reader might require --- and some is required to
accept that Pierce would get sidetracked before his investor
meeting --- will readily kick in. While Connelly's Bosch fans may
be initially disappointed that this is not a Harry Bosch novel,
they will ultimately be pleased with what they find within.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 21, 2011

Chasing the Dime
by Michael Connelly

  • Publication Date: November 30, -0001
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown
  • ISBN-10: 0316153915
  • ISBN-13: 9780316153911