Review

PUBLICATION DATE: NOVEMBER 1, 2011

W

hen George Irving, the son of powerful City Councilman Irvin Irving, is found dead, it looks to be an open and shut tragic suicide.  However, Irving is not willing to accept this verdict without a thorough investigation and since he asks for LAPD’s best detective, that’s exactly who he gets—Detective Harry Bosch.  But there’s a history between the two men and it’s not good.

Investigating George’s death is not Harry’s only case though.  The same day he is hand-picked to investigate George’s apparent suicide, he is also chosen to look into an odd DNA result from an Open-Unsolved murder case.  With two open cases and political pressure to focus on Councilman Irving’s son, will Bosch stand by his motto that everyone counts or no one does?

I was introduced to Michael Connelly through The Reversal, which featured both Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch.  I really enjoyed both of these lead character’s personalities and went on to read two more Mickey Haller books.  The Drop is my first book that features Harry as the lead character and I have to say it took some time for me to warm up to him.  He comes across as a bit grumpy, serious, and well, all around unfriendly and unforgiving.  However, by the time the book ended, I came to appreciate his integrity and that is what ultimately pulls this book together.

There is little doubt that taking on George’s death is going to cause political issues for Harry.  In fact, I am somewhat surprise more didn’t rear their ugly heads.  Unfortunately, Harry doesn’t get much sympathy from me when he is willing to give priority to the cold case.  I completely realize this is in 100% keeping with Harry’s personality that everyone counts and no one should be given a higher priority based on status.  I agree with his perspective.  However, from every book, movie, and TV show I’ve watched, the prevailing philosophy seems to be the more time that elapses the harder a crime is to solve.  I cannot at all wrap my mind around Harry chasing down the cold case leads over 20 years old instead of focusing on George’s death.  At first it feels like Harry being a petulant child, emphatically expressing that no one will tell him how to do his job.

I’m not going to beat up on Harry too much more, but I don’t care for how he treated Hannah or his partner.  He redeems himself a little towards the end, but really he is quite a jerk to both of them.

Like I said early though, it’s Harry’s stubbornness and focus on justice that ultimately makes this a good book.  I love the moral dilemmas and dialog between the different characters.  There’s some good food for thought concerning sexual predators and what sculpts their behavior.  Additionally, Connelly does a nice job of humanizing the victims of violent crimes even when the result is a deeply scarred criminal.  The Drop superbly walked the fine line between understanding and condoning the actions of violent offenders.  At the same time it offers some good twists and turns, which keeps the routine of crime solving from feeling predictable.

I really did enjoy this book.  It did take some time to warm up to Harry’s character, but by the time The Drop ended, I was ready to read another book featuring him.  There is a bit of an open ending to this one, so I do suspect I’ll have that opportunity to see what happens next in his life.  Despite his somewhat arrogant and abrasive personality, Harry is definitely one of the good, crime fighting guys.