The Overlook Reading Guide
Print these questions and use them to lead a discussion about The Overlook. Spoiler Warning!! This guide does address the entire book.
1. “Everybody counts or nobody counts.”
At the beginning of The Overlook, we discover that Detective Harry Bosch is now in Homicide Special, a part of the prestigious Robbery Homicide Division within the LAPD. Harry had been working open-unsolved cases in the last two books, The Closers and Echo Park. Given his motto, that everybody counts or nobody counts, does it really matter what division Harry is in?
2. “They were still feeling their way.”
In The Overlook, Harry is working with a new partner, Iggy Ferras. This was their first case together and it did not go smoothly. Do you think Harry is a good partner for a young detective to have? Do you believe that Iggy will stick it out with Harry?
3. “Harry, I told you. Call me Iggy. Everybody does.”
Harry didn’t want to call his new partner by his nickname because he didn’t think the name matched the weight of the assignment and mission. What do you make of Harry’s reasoning? Did you notice when he finally called him Iggy?
4. “I had you checked out.”
Before working with him, FBI Agent Jack Brenner made a few calls about Harry Bosch. What do you think Rachel Walling would say about Harry if asked? What would his former partner, Jerry Edgar, say? Or Kizmin Rider? Or the Chief of Police? Or Irvin Irving? Or Eleanor Wish?
5. “I’d rather be kicked to the curb right now than be a mushroom for the Feds.”
Harry kept some secrets from the FBI investigators in order to stay involved in the case. Did Harry’s attitude about working with the FBI help or hinder the solving of this case?
6. “It’s going to be Federal pandemonium.”
In The Overlook, the FBI believed that dangerous radioactive material was in the hands of terrorists who would use it against the city of Los Angeles—all based on the information and evidence provided by Alicia Kent. And Captain Hadley, of the Office of Homeland Security, stormed the home of a suspected terrorist sympathizer and killed him based on evidence that had been planted at the scene. Do you believe that the current climate of fear of terrorism in our country could be manipulated in this way by criminals?
7. “The cesium was just a red herring.”
The killers almost got away with the perfect crime. They assumed that the threat of a terrorist act would easily overwhelm the truth—that this murder was a classic case of a spouse killing a spouse over sex and money. Do you believe the killers would have successfully gotten away with the murder if the cesium had never been found in the Dumpster by Digoberto Gonzalves?
8. “I don’t understand why you are making the moves you are making.”
Harry Bosch’s relationship with FBI Agent Rachel Walling is strained at the beginning of The Overlook because of the incidents that occurred in Echo Park. She doesn’t seem to trust him to do the right thing. He had to work hard to earn her trust back. Where does their relationship stand at the end of this book?
9. “Are you okay?” she finally asked.
Bosch almost laughed. “I don’t know,” he said. “Ask me in about ten years.” Harry Bosch was exposed to radiation on this case and was having some physical problems at the end of the book. What are your predictions for Harry’s health in the future?