In The Drop, Michael Connelly’s fifteenth Harry Bosch novel, Harry is working in the Open-Unsolved Unit – that is, the cold-case department of the Hollywood Robbery and Homicide Division. He and his new partner David Chu are a floating team – assigned to any case where they are needed. The case they get at the start of the novel is a 22-year old rape and murder, where new DNA in the system has matched with a sample taken at the scene of the crime. The only catch is that the match is to a man who would have been just eight years old at the time.
Harry and David are just about to get started on this when Harry’s old nemesis, Councilman Irvin Irving, pulls some strings to get him assigned to investigate the death of his son George, found after what looks like a 7-storey fall from a hotel balcony. Was George pushed or did he jump? Why was the councilman so keen to get Harry reassigned? These questions weigh on Harry, who, as a seasoned cop, knows that he is entering deep and muddy waters indeed, the world of political plays and ulterior motives.
Investigating George Irving’s death leads Harry into the murky world of political lobbying and influence. For George Irving was a fixer – with his father on the city council, he could ensure his clients got approvals, incentives and deals that were not available to anyone else. Further, Harry uncovers some shady deals with other police units and a taxi franchisee with a history who happens to have a grudge against the Irving family. It’s a case of almost too much motive – but nothing seems to quite fit, so Harry has his work cut out.
Harry, whose motto is Everybody counts or nobody counts, cannot simply just leave the cold case alone. As well, his partner David is much more comfortable when his cases are nice and cold, so the interplay between these cops, while certainly predictable, is entertaining. They follow the evidence to a home for sex offenders where Clayton Pell, the now-30-year-old suspect, lives. Harry must follow threads deeply buried in Clayton’s memory to uncover just how his DNA happened to be on the body of the murdered girl 22 years ago.
Harry Bosch is known for dedication and persistence, and this novel does not disappoint. There are all the standard procedural elements, and liberal helpings of LAPD jargon. For those who know Harry Bosch, it is like sitting down with an old friend. For those new to Harry Bosch, this novel will definitely encourage you to follow his own past trail and see what it was that made him like he is today.
Available now: Allen & Unwin RRP$32.99