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The Drop    by Michael Connelly order for
by Michael Connelly
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

LAPD Homicide Detective Hieronymus 'Harry' Bosch returns in fine fettle in The Drop, the seventeenth episode in this excellent series. Though Michael Connelly writes an overlapping series about Harry's half brother, Lincoln Lawyer Mickey Haller, and it's also a very good one, I have to admit that I prefer Harry.

At this stage in his career, Harry is working in the Open-Unsolved Unit (investigating 'unsolved murders going back fifty years in Los Angeles'), with forced retirement looming. His teen daughter Maddie lives with him, and their relationship - their banter and especially her interest in police work - adds to the story's interest. Harry's junior partner, David Chu, resents Harry's keeping him out of the loop on cases they supposedly are working together. Harry being Harry, he keeps on doing it.

Harry and Chu catch two unusual cases. In the first, DNA evidence from a rape/murder in 1989 matches that of a convicted rapist. Quick solution? Not so. Clayton Pell, currently on parole, was only eight years old in 1989. Tainted evidence or something else? Harry's investigation leads him into an awkward relationship with Dr. Hannah Stone, who works at Pell's half way house and, as always with Harry's women, has her own demons. In her case, it is coming to terms with her own son's conviction of a serious crime.

Oddly, Harry's old nemesis, Councilman Irvin Irving, 'Scourge of the LAPD in general and one Detective Harry Bosch in particular', demands Bosch as lead detective in the investigation into his son's apparent suicide. George Irving fell or jumped from a balcony at the Chateau Marmont. But, though Harry follows clues, he does not follow orders and put the Pell case on the back burner for this highly political one. This gets him into trouble, nothing new for our Harry.

Naturally Bosch solves both cases. His obsession with 'Everybody counts or nobody counts' and meticulous police work tracks down a serial killer who murdered thirty-seven people. However, 'High jingo' damages Harry's relationship with his ex-partner Kiz Rider, now a lieutenant in the Office of the Chief of Police.

It's always a delight to watch Harry Bosch work and see the world through his stubborn, clear-seeing eyes. I look forward to whatever cases he tackles next and to getting to know his daughter Maddie better.

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