Angels Flight: A Novel Summary & Study Guide

Michael Connelly
This Study Guide consists of approximately 46 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Angels Flight.
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Angels Flight: A Novel Summary & Study Guide Description

Angels Flight: A Novel Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Angels Flight: A Novel by Michael Connelly.

Angels Flight is a novel by writer Michael Connelly. Harry Bosch is called in to investigate the death of Howard Elias, a prominent Los Angeles attorney who has made a career of suing the Los Angeles Police Department in the aftermath of the Rodney King case. Harry faces numerous obstacles in his investigation, including leaks to the press from his own department. Harry is a good cop who refuses to allow anything to interfere with his determination to find Elias' killer. Angels Flight is a snapshot of modern race relations in Los Angeles that is both sobering and cautiously optimistic.

Harry Bosch gets a call requesting he and his team to take on a new murder case despite the fact that they are not on call this weekend. When Harry and his team arrive they find that one of the murder victims is Howard Elias, a lawyer who has made a career out of suing the Los Angeles Police Department. Because Elias is about to begin a trial against several members of the Robbery Homicide Division, it is necessary for the case to be assigned to another precinct, which is why Harry and his team are called in. Deputy Chief Irvin Irving tells Harry that he is to lead the investigation with a team that will include his own partners and several detectives from the Internal Affairs Division.

While not happy with the team he has been assigned, Harry immediately gets to work. Harry notices several discrepancies between the crime scene and the report the responding officers made. The biggest discrepancy is the order in which the three shots Elias suffered were fired. Harry also doubts that the murder was the result of a robbery gone wrong as responding officers hypothesized due to Elias' missing wallet. After reviewing the crime scene, Harry takes one of the IAD officers and goes to notify the family. While the notification does not go well due to the family's assumption that a cop killed Elias in retaliation for his many lawsuits, Harry does learn that Elias has an apartment near Angels Flight, which is where he was most likely headed that night.

Harry goes to the apartment to take a look before he has a search warrant. Harry finds a phone book that has Carla Entrenkin's number in it. Carla Entrenkin is the civilian inspector general whose job is to oversee the police department. Harry also finds a message from Entrenkin on Elias' answering machine. Harry cannot take these items because of the lack of a warrant, but intends to send his team back with a search warrant to get them later that night. Harry then returns to Angels Flight to talk to the train worker who found the bodies. Harry learns that Elias often rode Angels Flight late at night and that it was something many people might have known about him.

Harry and his team move on to Elias' office. From one of his detectives, Harry learns that items he was going to go back for have disappeared from Elias' apartment. Harry believes Chastain, one of the IAD detectives, took the items and confronts him, but Chastain denies the theft. In Elias' office, Harry and his partner, Kizmin Rider, find a picture from a web page that Elias appeared to have received as part of an anonymous letter. Harry and Rider investigate the web page but cannot find a connection between it and anything else in Elias' office. Before Harry can investigate further, Carla Entrenkin arrives and tells Harry she has been assigned to go through the files and protect anything that might contain information on an open case against the Los Angeles Police Department. Harry and his team are forced to leave.

Harry must continue his investigation, again searching Elias' apartment. Later, Harry attends a press conference where he learns the FBI has been asked to join the investigation. Harry is offended that he was not told about this decision, but is happy when he discovers that the FBI agent assigned to the case is an old friend. Harry gives his friend control over the case in exchange for his right to explore the Stacey Kincaid murder without impediment. The Stacey Kincaid murder case is central to the case Elias was working on at the time of his death. Harry believes Elias discovered who really killed Stacey and intended to reveal the person's identity in court. Harry believes if he finds out who that person is, he might find his killer.

Frankie Sheehan, Harry's ex-partner, was the lead detective on the Stacey Kincaid case. Sheehan had no leads until fingerprints came back on some school books in Stacey's room. One of the prints belonged to a man named Michael Harris. Sheehan took Harris in and began a long interrogation, hoping to get a confession and find the girl. However, Harris denied any knowledge of Stacey's whereabouts. Under stress, Sheehan lost his temper and put a plastic bag over Harris' head. Later, Sheehan's partners abused Harris in dark, horrendous ways. After Stacey's body was found near Harris' apartment, Harris was tried for the murder but was acquitted in court. On the Monday after his murder, Elias was scheduled to go to court against Sheehan, his partners, and the Los Angeles Police Department in a civil trial because of the abuses Harris suffered in custody.

Harry learns that Harris' fingerprints got on Stacey's books in an innocent coincidence and that Harris was most likely innocent of the crime. Rider discovers that the web page they found in Elias' office is a secret portal to a pedophilia website that contains pictures of Stacey being abused by an unknown man. Harry and his team soon realize that Stacey was being abused by her stepfather. Harry meets with Stacey's mother and discovers that she was the one sending Elias secret notes tipping him off to the possibility that her husband killed Stacey. Harry also learns that Stacey's mother forced a confession out of her husband moments before she killed him.

While Harry is investigating Stacey Kincaid's murder, the FBI bring in a suspect. Frankie Sheehan once made threats against Elias and based on these, the FBI bring him in for questioning. Harry convinces the FBI to let Sheehan go until forensic tests can be run on his gun. Harry takes Sheehan to his home. Unfortunately, Harry leaves Sheehan alone for a few hours only to return home to find him dead. At first it appears to be a suicide, but Harry later comes to believe that Sheehan was murdered, especially when forensics on his gun appears to prove Sheehan killed Elias. Harry does not believe it.

Harry speaks to Sheehan's commander, as well as a few other witnesses and gathers enough evidence to make Harry believe Elias had a mole in the police department and was planning to reveal this mole in open court. Harry believes this mole killed Elias to keep him from ruining his career. Harry also discovers that this mole switched the bullets taken from Elias with bullets from a shooting case Sheehan was involved in many years before. Harry makes an arrest, taking John Chastain into custody for the murder of Elias. However, before they can make it to the police department, Harry accidentally drives into the middle of a riot. Chastain is pulled from Harry's car and murdered by the rioters he incited with Elias' murder.

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