To Go: 94
1. Best Friends Forever — Jennifer Weiner
2. The Very Picture of You — Isabel Wolff
3. First Impressions — Nora Roberts
4. Blithe Images — Nora Roberts
5. Beauty Plus Pity — Kevin Chong
6. The Drop — Michael Connelly
Harry Bosch is facing the end of the line. He’s been put on the DROP — the Deferred Retirement Option Plan — and given three years before he must retire from the LAPD. Seeing the end of the mission coming, Bosch wants cases more fiercely than ever, and in one morning he gets two.
First, DNA from a 1989 rape and murder matches that of a twenty-nine-year-old convicted rapist. Was he involved in the crime when he was only eight, 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 by the chief of police himself to a death scene fraught with internal politics. The son of Councilman Irvin Irving jumped or was dropped from a window at the glamorous Chateau Marmont. Irving, Harry’s longtime nemesis, now demands that no one but Bosch handle the investigation.
Relentlessly pursuing both cases, which are interwoven like the double helix of a DNA strand, Bosch makes two chilling discoveries: a sadistic killer operating unknown in the city for more than two decades, and a political conspiracy going back into the dark history of the police department.
That description was huge, so here’s where the review starts.
Usually I’m more of a Lincoln Lawyer kind of girl, and I do enjoy the emerging Jack McEvoy series, but when I was in the bookstore the new Michael Connelly book was too enticing to resist — even if it was a Harry Bosch novel, a series that I’ve not read any of yet. So I kind of started backwards.
Regardless, it was pretty easy to get into and the fact that I didn’t know most of the supporting characters didn’t detract from my enjoyment. Also, as an indication of my enjoyment level: I finished an almost 400-page novel in about a day. So it was pretty fantastic.
The cases themselves were really interesting and well-executed, and it was cool to get into a cop’s mindset and world instead of a lawyer’s or a journalist’s. The internal politics that dictate police loyalties (also known as ‘high jingo’ — is that a real thing?), and the way a case was conducted (read as: how an officer could let his emotions versus the law dictate his response to evil people), were both really interesting and enlightening secondary plots. (For a straight cop, Bosch isn’t afraid to play dirty.)
I don’t think this was Connelly’s best work; it had all the right elements — two very intricate mysteries, and plenty of shock value — but it didn’t pop, sparkle, and buzz electric (if you understand this Big Bang Theory reference I will give you a cookie). It was exciting, in one respect, to have the cases solved, yet Bosch had come to the respective conclusions about 50 pages beforehand, so it was a little anticlimactic. And the conclusion, while very much jiving with Michael Connelly’s style (the protagonist solves the case but realizes he missed one crucial element), fizzled rather than banged.
On a final note, I will say that the book description is slightly off; I was led to believe that the DNA case and the suicide were intertwined, but they weren’t. I’m guessing now that it was supposed to mean that Bosch was pursuing them at the same time, but it was poorly conveyed.
Next book: Currently unsure. This is now the Official Party Line.
Administrative note: I’ve got several comments sitting unanswered on my posts, and I’m sorry for not getting back to everyone faster. I alternate between being ridiculously busy and stupid lazy, so that’s why I haven’t responded yet. But I hope you all know that I love you for commenting and that I will provide feedback for your feedback in due course.
(Oh, in other fun news I was interviewed for the Ryersonian today, regarding this blog and the challenge. I mean, I don’t want to say I’m internet famous or anything, but if you inferred that yourself it might not be incorrect… ;D)