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Michael Connelly wins the RBA Award for his novel ‘The Black Box’

The American crime fiction writer won the sixth RBA Prize worth €125,000 for his work ‘The Black Box’. The novel, which was the winner out of 217 entries, revolves around an unsolved murder that took place during the Los Angeles Riots 20 years ago. The main character uncovers that the murder was premeditated after finding a bullet linked to the crime and seeks the ‘black box’ needed to solve the case.

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07 September 2012 12:02 AM

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ACN / David Tuxworth

Barcelona (ACN). \u2013 The Barcelona-based multimedia publishing company RBA has awarded the American author Michael Connelly (Philadelphia, 1956) its prize for his crime novel \u2018The Black Box\u2019, which was entered into the competition under the pseudonym Jack Mc Evoy. The novel, which was the winner out of 217 entries, tells the story of Harry Bosch who investigates in 2012 the killing of a young female photographer during the Los Angeles Riots, a murder case that has been unsolved for 20 years. The author will collect the RBA Prize, worth \u20AC125,000, this Thursday evening. The writer explained that \u201Calthough it is not a political analysis, the novel reflects current times\u201D and asks if \u201Cthis could be repeated today\u201D.


For over twenty years Michael Connelly has brought to life the main character of his last book, Harry Bosch, a Los Angeles police detective. Now with his twenty fifth novel, \u2018The Black Box\u2019, the American writer has won the sixth edition of the RBA Prize.

Set in the present, \u2018The Black Box\u2019 follows Bosch as he solves a murder from twenty years ago, when a young Danish female photographer was killed during the Los Angeles Riots. Using the latest ballistics technology, the detective links a bullet found in a recent case to the unsolved murder and uncovers that the killing was not a random act of violence but premeditated and something more personal. Bosch therefore tries to find the \u2018black box\u2019, a piece of evidence that will be able to decrypt the case.

The author himself worked as a journalist at the time and needed two decades \u201Cto filter\u201D what he experienced back then and make it the subject of his novel which he has hinted at four times in his previous books.

Beyond the plot, the author has a more reflective thought on the novel, \u201CWhat I wonder is that after 20 years have we managed to learn anything or is it going to be repeated?\u201D Without wanting to comment on the US presidential race, Connelly believes that \u201Cexplosive violence\u201D provoked by the social and economic situation at the time could be repeated \u201Canywhere in the world\u201D.

The author works hard to make sure that Harry \u201Cis never the same in any one book\u201D. He announced that in this latest novel the detective tries to pass on what he think is his \u201Cmission\u201D to his daughter: to eliminate evil.

An award for a \u201Cjob well done\u201D

The writer said that it was \u201Can honour\u201D to be awarded the RBA Prize and believes the detective genre is \u201Cneither celebrated nor understood\u201D by critics in his country, even if the readers appreciate it. \u201CWhen I write, I do my best to connect with the readers around me, but connecting with readers from 9,000 kilometres away is a dream\u201D he said.

Although he has won many awards throughout his career, Connelly says that normally he doesn\u2019t enter his novels into contests, and even less in the US. However his publisher suggested that this is the novel to enter into the competition. So he agreed and feels \u201Cproud\u201D of the novel, considering it a \u201Cjob well done\u201D.

Michael Connelly worked as a journalist until his fourth novel when he abandoned the profession to devote his time entirely to writing. He has sold 55 million copies worldwide and his novels have been translated into 39 languages. The writer was awarded the Premi Pepe Carvalho award by the BCNegra in 2009.

The judges, Soledad Puértolas, Lorenzo Silva, Antonio Lozano, Paco Camarasa and Anik Lapointe, unanimously selected \u2018The Black box\u2019 as the winner out of 217 entries. In previous editions, Francisco González Ledesma, Andrea Camilleri, Philip Kerr, Harlan Coben and Patricia Cornwell won the award.

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  • Michael Connelly in Barcelona to collect the RBA Prize (by M. Amengual)