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The Drop (A Harry Bosch Novel (15)) Hardcover – November 28, 2011
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"Each of his books is so much more than the sum of its parts....Connelly writes true-to-life fiction about true crime. What makes his crme stories ring true is that they're never really over."―Janet Maslin, New York Times
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Detective Harry Bosch is working in the Open-Unsolved Unit with partner Adam Chu. They are given a strange case from a 1989 murder where the recovered DNA points to a killer who was just eight years old at the time. The second case is current and involves a male body that didn’t survive a fall from a downtown hotel’s seventh floor. The victim turns out to be the son of Councilman Irvin Irving, a former LAPD official who detests Bosch but thinks he’ll handle the case in a totally professional manner. This assignment comes from the highest offices of LAPD, something Bosch refers to as “high jingo,” political influence demanding police action.
A wink now to Michael Connelly for the book’s double-meaning title. Bosch is facing mandatory retirement within four years under the LAPD’s DROP program and one cause of young Irving’s death is postulated as the killer “dropping” him from the hotel’s veranda.
Bosch and Chu have their hands full pursuing leads in both investigations. Bosch is not helped much by Chu’s many mistakes and personal activities, events that cause Harry to seriously consider having him transferred to another department. Bosch is also trying hard to be a good father to teenage daughter Maddie since her mother’s death in Hong Kong several years before. She’s a smart girl and trustworthy, someone Harry describes to a friend as being “thirteen going on thirty.”
Bosch and Chu work the cases relentlessly, conducting interviews, checking out forensic data, digging up historic data from prior years, and getting help from one of Harry’s earlier partners, Kiz Rider, who is working in the police chief’s office. The book is a fine police procedural with plenty of interesting characters on the periphery of these terrible crimes. The tension ratchets up nicely to give the reader a satisfying and exciting end.
Both cases hold plenty of surprises for the reader. The plot is exceptionally tricky and clever. There’s a bit of romance in store for Bosch too — as well as lots of moral ambiguity to challenge his most cherished values.
Bosch’s teenage daughter Maddie wants to become a cop like him is and is learning all about guns. Maddie is wise beyond her years, and her interactions with Bosch make pleasant reading. A nice rest from murder and city politics.
The Drop is one of the best books in a very strong series.
Kiz Rider, between echo park and this, she is starting to be annoying. Before she was shot in Echo park she was a little pain and I definitely could not stand her in this.
Detective Chu, just a sad weakling that Harry got stuck with, where is Jerry Edgar when you need him?
Bosch, however, seems to change little through this story. His strengths remain his strengths and his weaknesses remain his blind spots. Perhaps he has been around long enough as a character that he has little room to change. Or maybe Connelly doesn't intend for him to. Instead we end up with inconsistencies. A love interest who is appalled by Bosches unrequited antipathy toward a particularly loathesome criminal changes her mind despite no apparent change in circumstances or motivation. Also, the ending, while exciting and satisfying is rather contrived and improbable. All in all, however, this is a great interesting, fast paced, and all around good read.
Top international reviews
It's very rare that I award 5 stars but with Bosch books I can do no less. I'm already looking forward to the next one.
As Harry and his partner pursue answers to both cases, political conspiracies, a new love interest and silent killers are unearthed leading to a chilling climax for Harry and his young partner.
Certainly a gripping as far as the Bosch novels go, my only criticism (which has grown from novel 1) is the often formal language structure that Connelly uses such as 'Thank You' instead of 'thanks' between 'established' friend characters and often referencing character's names in a spoken sentence when the characters in the scene have already been established, but that is just myself being a bit picky.
The Drop features two main plots with two cases getting equal time. The first is a cold case hit. Harry is handed a case with a new DNA match. The murder and a rape of a young women has gone unsolved for years but now the Open Unsolved Unit have made a DNA match and a suspect has been named. The DNA matches a convicted rapist however in a twist the suspect would have been just eight years old at the time of the crime. Harry is brought in to take over the case and to find out if the lab has made a mistake and if not to find out how an eight year old can leave DNA on the victim of a rape and murder.
In the second case Councillor Irvin, one of Harry's long term enemies and a long term thorn in the side of the LAPD, has asked for Harry personally to be the lead investigator into the death of his son. The Councillors son has checked into a high class hotel and is found dead on the pavement outside. All the signs point to suicide but Irvin uses Harry's belief that "everyone counts or no one counts" to demand that Harry find out exactly what happened to his son in that hotel room. The case is as political as it is challenging. Pressure is placed on Harry from Irvin, from his partner and from the chief of police. Harry however will not be swayed or pressured from getting the truth.
The relationship between Harry and his young daughter is also at the centre of this book. Harry is constantly thinking about her and the few scenes that the two are in together are wonderfully written and provide an extra layer to the Harry Bosch character
Once again Connelly has written a fantastic story and a great novel. The two cases are both very, very well written and the moving from case to case keeps the book moving at a fantastic pace and the phrase page turner may have been invented for this book! I could not put it down. Without giving away too much Connelly also produces one of the most shocking and fantastic endings in the whole series.
All in all this is a wonderful book. I would recommend it to any fans of either Michael Connelly or the crime genre in general.
I found this book very emotional and in a lot of ways I found the plot was incidental to the travails of Harry Bosch, a single father bringing up a teenager whose mother was killed. Mix that with high jingo (politicians using him to jockey for position) and you feel the oppression and worry, his need to control his environment and to a certain extent his inability to do so. However, it is not as downbeat as I make out as there is a strong sense of not optimism or joie de vivre but more a need to keep his own morality and carry on - a decent man determined to plough his own furrow as best he can within a paramilitary organisation.
I don't want to give away too much but the book also raises the nature vs nurture argument with no firm conclusion but much food for thought. I can also see why the politicians do what they do but as their thought processes and priorities are so far removed from mine it is one more thing for me to mull over - why does the "greater good" always involve chicanery and some advantage to the manipulator? Does the end justify the means?
As a crime-solver Harry is top notch - picking up on "tells" when interviewing, not being side-tracked by corrupt officials. No-one gets one over on Harry. Don't you just love him ... but wait. To say I was shocked when he rang someone and they said (from his voice) they pictured him looking like Lieutenant Columbo!!! Mac and all. Nooooooooooo! Talk about stunned. I have visions of George Clooney, Harrison Ford, or even Matt Damon. Please Mr. Connolly, don't ruin my daydreams in any future books. No more references to Columbo.
The book is unputdownable, thanks to the sheer pace of the storytelling, and the cleverness with which Connelly ratchets up the pace at vital moments. His characters - not just the ever-combustible Bosch but all the supporting cast as well - are utterly believable and make the story plausible and engaging. Combining an in depth knowledge of police work and the legal processes that support it with the wider political landscape in which the LAPD operates, Connelly creates a compelling and believable world that offers so much more than most police procedurals in similair vein. The finale - fast, brutal and shocking in equal measure, is a fitting conclusion to one of the very finest crime novels I have read in some time. Brilliantly crafted.
Connelly runs 2 cases in tandem and what seems like one result in one current case becomes different while the second cold case ends in a surprise of violence and action.
The routine police procedures are never less than excellently handled and there is even a link, quite tentative, to the Lincoln Lawyer series.
Read it if you are reading in order or read it out of order, it's a great read.
Don't let me put you off.
I have read every one of Connelly's books and have never been disappointed. He expects his readers to 'pay attention' and follow the various plot-lines. His books need to be read within a fairly short time span otherwise (if you are like me...!!) the subtleties can be 'lost' and a measure of back-page turning is required to get back on track! Harry Bosch is a marvellous character and I'm so glad he has been given a five year extension to his Police Service contract. Don't spoil things by trying to work out his age....!
Nonetheless, a good read..not a gripping one but satisfactory.
I must admit having seen Titus Welliver play Harry in the series it’s him I’m imagining delivering the lines, and the silences !