Book Reviews

Book Review: The Drop by Michael Connelly

What happens when DNA from an old case points to a possible killer? You’d think that would be a cut-and-dried case of eventual justice for the victim. However, the problem is that while the DNA points to a known sex offender, he would have been just 8 years old at the time of the murder.

Enter Harry Bosch, a veteran LAPD detective working in the Open-Unsolved Unit. He gets the case and must figure out the pieces of the puzzle. If it’s a problem with the crime lab, it could shed doubt on every case the department has solved over many years. At the same time, the son of the police chief is found dead outside of Chateau Marmot of an apparent suicide. However, the chief is buying it. Despite the fact that he and Bosch have rubbed each other the wrong way in the past, he wants Bosch to investigate it, despite the work he is doing on the open-unsolved case.

Bosch has never done well navigating the internal politics of his job. He is committed to the cause of justice and lets the chips fall where they may. His mantra is “everybody counts or nobody counts.” That’s put to the test here as he’s embroiled in politics all around, and the Chief is pressing him to focus on what happened to his son.

In addition, Harry now has his teenage daughter, Maddie, living with him. They are navigating unfamiliar territory together, but it’s also a concern Harry has now when he’s uncovering some pretty dark stuff about what’s going on and has to fear the repercussions.

The Drop kept me glued to my seat, turning the virtual pages on my Kindle. I think I read it over two nights. The two mysteries are difficult to solve and it seems that every revelation also creates a new obstacle for Bosch. His partner, Detective Chu, also grates on him although Harry does try to create a better relationship there. One of the fellow officers he’s previously been partnered with, Kiz Rider, is now working in the Chief’s office and also is a source of information and frustration for Harry. As everything becomes clearer, it seems like there’s no one he’s trusted in the past that he can still rely on now.

The Drop is a good bit of suspense without getting bogged down in the technical aspects of the forensic investigation. Yes, many of the conclusions based on evidence have to be explained, but it’s done in such a way that I didn’t want to skip it. All of it makes for an entertaining read.

I love the character of Harry Bosch, with all of his faults. He’s not a smart-aleck detective that we’re supposed to heap accolades on because he stands up to authority (or perceived authority). Instead, he’s dedicated to his work and if that rubs people the wrong way, he makes no apologies. Occasionally he does set out to tick people off (Chief Irvin Irving has been the usual victim of this tendency) but most of the time people get angry with him because he’s right.

I think you could pick up the series here, but why would you want to? I love this character and all of the stories Connelly has given us so far with him. I highly recommend reading this one.

5 replies »

  1. Thanks for this. My to be son in law is a great Michael Connolly fan, and is a collector of the novels in hardcover. as I find them here and there I am going to try to read them before I hand them over. So far i have read one, which I really enjoyed too.