Setting: Los Angeles, USA.
Story: The irascible and unique detective Harry Bosch is working on cold cases, as he heads towards his second retirement, thanks to DROP; the Deferred Retirement Option Plan. One morning he gets a strange DNA hit for a murder rape case. How could an 8 year old have been involved? Then, he is told to take responsibility for the anything but cold case of a city councilman’s son found dead on a hotel pavement. Did he fall, or was he pushed? (Did he drop, or was he, er, dropped?) Harry is on the cases.
Good Stuff: Connelly knows his backdrop, and his police politics well. It’s all on show here. The unravelling of the cold case is convincing, and is solid story telling. The shocking disclosures in the cold case retain their effect, and the author builds in a good twist or two to show he can deliver when he wants to. As usual, Bosch is a powerful character and well worth reading about. The love interest and his home life are handled with style and class. (Although I fear we are heading for daughter of Bosch as a future series…)
Not So Good Stuff: The potential suicide or murder case is less convincing. I thought the councilman’s posturing bordered on caricature, and the whole investigation just did not work to involve me. It was almost as if the author had this storyline which he was obliged to use, but did not really believe in. Or it may be that I have read too many of his books. I love Michael Connelly, and have read all his published fiction output, but this was the most disappointing of his books. I expect an improvement once this is out of his system. (Simpson’s Law of Authors: Every great author has at least one bad boook in him. Or her.)