Friday, 28 June 2013

The Drop, Michael Connelly

A Harry Bosch story, the eleventh in the series, and one that continues the tone of the rest of the set. It's very different from the Mickey Haller novels but fans of Michael Connelly will like it.

Bosch is a detective, retired but brought back on a limited contract to work on cold cases. He's had a great deal of success in solving crimes but been far less successful in climbing the career ladder. Being kind, I'd call him a driven loner who lacks empathy. Being unkind, I'd say he was surly and arrogant. Be that as it may, there's a well-crafted book here.

This is a tale of two deaths. One is a cold case, involving a rape/murder. DNA on preserved evidence shows a suspect - but he was eight years old at the time of the murder. The second death is a suicide, apparently. Investigation shows there's more than meets the eye.

Bosch being Bosch, there are personal complications: the second death is that of the son of a powerful local politician - one who hates our hero (the feeling is mutual). There's a brief romantic interlude with the therapist of the rape/murder suspect, there's a daughter at home. There's also the Byzantine politics of the Police Department itself: all get in the way of the driven Bosch.

I said "well-crafted"; perhaps I should have said "solid". This is a competent book but with few surprises. It has the tone of a very good writer producing something to fill a contract. Connelly won't be ashamed of it but neither will he be boasting much about it.

Should you read it? If you're a Bosch fan, yes. If you're new to the character, read a few of the earlier stories first.


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