Harry Bosch is working in the Open-Unsolved Unit, where cases dating back up to 50 years are re-examined whenever new evidence warrants such action.
When a DNA hit comes back giving the name of a possible suspect to an unsolved rape-murder of a young girl more than 20 years ago, it appears to be a slam-dunk at first glance. However, a closer look at the evidence shows that, although Clayton Pell, the person identified, is a convicted rapist and seems to fit the crime quite well, something has to be wrong. At the time of the crime, Pell was only eight years old, which makes it unlikely if not impossible, that he committed the crime.
Bosch and his partner David Chu have only started trying to figure out how the DNA evidence could point to a juvenile when they are handed a second case.
They are to investigate the death of a man who fell from a hotel window. This should be a straight-forward investigation were it not for the fact that Bosch was asked to conduct it by his long-time nemesis Irvin Irving. It was council man Irving’s son who fell to his death and Irving insists that he only trusts Bosch to conduct a fair investigation.
Bosch knows that this second investigation is more about politics than about policing and can’t understand why a man who has spend years trying to undermine him now wants him to investigate his son’s death. But because “everybody counts or nobody counts” he takes on the case and gives it his best.
Facing both a serial killer who may have gone undetected for over 30 years on the one case and a political mine-field where it is unclear who is manipulating who on the other, Harry finds himself questioning his wish to stay in the police force for as long as he possibly can.
This is Michael Connelly at his best. While I enjoy all of his books, I have to admit that Harry Bosch is my favourite character of his. Bosch’s integrity equals his disregard for rules and politics and his “lone wolf” approach to investigations is as understandable as it is infuriating. The mysteries in this book are as well plotted as any in Connelly’s books, with twists and turns that leave the reader guessing and solutions that are both credible and infuriating. Connelly doesn’t give the reader an idealised version of police work. He shows us a harsh reality where the best intentions won’t always lead to the right outcomes through a character who is well aware of the faults in the system but still prepared to give it the best he’s got.
Connelly is steering Harry Bosch towards a retirement date in the not too distant future, and this reader will be shedding a few tears when the moment comes for her favourite detective to hand in his badge.