Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Drop by Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch # 16)

*Genre* Mystery
*Rating* 3 1/2


"Everybody counts, or Nobody Counts” – Harry Bosch Moto

LAPD Detective Harry Bosch and his partner David Chu are given two separate but equally important cases to solve in The Drop (Harry Bosch #16). Bosch also learns that the department has given him an extension of thirty nine months before his mandatory retirement under the Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP). For the first time in a long while, Harry is seriously considering taking retirement to spend more time with his daughter who is now living with him full time.

The first case is from a hit on DNA match from a 1989. It is a rape and murder case that is traced back to a man (Clayton Pell) who is currently being rehabilitated for pedophilia. Bosch and Chu’s evidence suggests that Pell was only 8 years old at the time of the murder. All roads lead to a serial killer who preyed on boys and girls of all ages including Clayton Pell.

Bosch’s main case ends up being one with political overtones or high jingo, as Bosch likes to call cases that mix politics and police together at the same time. It appears that the son of a Harry’s old nemesis Irvin Irving, who was once Deputy Chief of Police and now a council member with some sway among his colleagues, has seemingly committed suicide.

Naturally, Irving believes that his son was murdered and demands that Bosch look into the circumstances surrounding his son’s death. He truly believes that the LAPD, former and current cops, are the root of the problem and caused his son’s death. Forget the part where they, Irving and Bosch, have no kind words to say about the other or that Irving has tried hard to get Bosch fired from the department. Forget about the part where the Chief of police himself, a so called friend of Harry's, tells Bosch to take the case above anything else including the Unsolved Case from 1989. Forget even the part where his son asked for favors from different people in order to undermine companies who he was bidding on city contracts for. 

What you will remember is that Harry is put into a situation where one way or the other he ends up being the bad guy if he solves the case or doesn't to the expectations of both Irving and the Department. Harry ends up being betrayed by both his current and former partners. Kiz Rider who works for the Office of the Chief of Police as Lieutenant wants a way to get rid of Irving once and for-all and believes that Harry is just the person to bring that about. At one point, I really liked Kiz and felt sorry for her a little bit after she was shot while being Harry’s partner. After this book, I like Harry Bosch, have no further use for her. 

His relationship with Dr. Hannah Stone, a psychologist working in the rehab program that Pell's involved with, is brief and most likely an end game at this point. I loved Harry’s interaction with Maddy his 15 year old daughter who wants to become a police officer like her father. I even appreciated Harry's thinking about turning in his badge so that he can spend more time with her before she goes off to college, and perhaps, the police academy. 

While the Drop isn't the best novel in the series, it's a step in the right direction. We truly do see that Connelly knows the inside and outs of Police procedures and exploits them to his favor. One can only hope that if and when this series ends, Connelly allows Harry to walk away with his head held high and no regrets.

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