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Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Drop by Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch #17)

The Drop (Harry Bosch, #17)The Drop by Michael Connelly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb:  Harry Bosch has been given three years before he must retire from the LAPD, and he wants cases more fiercely than ever. In one morning, he gets two. DNA from a 1989 rape and murder matches a 29-year-old convicted rapist. Was he an eight-year-old killer or has something gone terribly wrong in the new Regional Crime Lab? The latter possibility could compromise all of the lab's DNA cases currently in court. Then Bosch and his partner are called to a death scene fraught with internal politics. Councilman Irvin Irving's son jumped or was pushed from a window at the Chateau Marmont. Irving, Bosch's longtime nemesis, has demanded that Harry handle the investigation. Relentlessly pursuing both cases, Bosch makes two chilling discoveries: a killer operating unknown in the city for as many as three decades, and a political conspiracy that goes back into the dark history of the police department.

Read as an audio book. 3.5 stars

I enjoyed this installment with some caveats. I suppose it was too much to hope for, what with Bosch having a new partner with 10 years of detective experience, that Bosch would be less of an ass. For myself, I think that is the biggest detraction, and thus a star deduction, with this series. And perhaps it's the narrators interpretation coming though - very often how a book is read can dictate the reception of the book.

But, yes. I've commented on this in earlier Bosch books, how demeaning Bosch treats his partner(s), co-workers, the people he's calling for information, pretty much anyone he interacts with. Just because a person doesn't "have the same calling" or looks at the world differently, doesn't mean they are morally bankrupt or inexperienced.

Okay, got that off my chest (again).

As I noted, I did enjoy this book. I liked the duality of the mysteries, one current, one cold case. I liked the direction the suicide/murder investigation took, the realization that a person isn't always right, that things are not always what they seem. What I didn't care for was the assumption that Bosch has to always be right. Through the 17 books, we've seen him solve numerous mysteries. But the reader only hears through Bosch about the case(s) he doesn't solve, and from what I can recall, he then goes on to solve those cold cases too.

The cold case mystery had an appreciative twist at the end. The ongoing discussion between Hannah and Bosch about being sympathetic to sexual predators, the question of evil being nature or nurtured, and two people working to right wrongs (and is one method better than the other?) thought provoking.

I didn't like Bosch's attitude toward Kiz toward the end, when she noted that the Chief's office is what allows the boots on the ground and the detectives and forensics and basically the whole LAPD to do their job without interference from - or at least less interference from - political elements. Bosch scoffed at her suggestion of such a buffer, when it is a point of fact. And after nearly 30 years on the force, he should know that.

Ultimately a very good dual mystery of one cold case with a great twist and one murder/suicide question. Recommended if you've been reading earlier installments. Not the best as a standalone.

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