Sharleen Jonsson's Reviews > The Drop

The Drop by Michael Connelly
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's review
May 31, 2012

really liked it

The clock is ticking for LAPD detective Harry Bosch: He's retirement age but, through the Deferred Retirement Option Program—the DROP—he's been awarded a couple more years to solve cases.

The main case in the book, the one he's been told is top priority, involves the apparent suicide of the son of a councilman. This councilman and Bosch have "issues" but for some reason the guy wants Bosch on the case. The question of why is seemingly put on the back burner as Bosch goes to work investigating the death, but it stayed on my mind throughout because I knew a skilled writer like Connelly would not introduce it without a good payoff at the end. Here, Connelly did not disappoint.

The other case Bosch is working on—the one he'd make his priority if he could—involves a cold case. A DNA test of blood on an old victim matches a known predator, but there's a problem: The guy who appears guilty was only eight years old at the time of the crime. As Bosch tries to solve this mystery, he's forced to question his feelings about sexual predators.

Everything comes together at the end, of course. Along the way Bosch encounters a love interest, though this lacks spark. When it comes to female characters, Connelly can slip into cliché; for example, the wife of the councilman's son is "stunningly beautiful" and "aging as gracefully as a fine wine." The book entertains because of the pace and the tension. Connelly excels at tight plotting.

But the reason I read him is his use of setting – he makes the gritty underside of LA so real I can feel the smog at the back of my throat. While the master of the LA novel will always be, for me, Raymond Chandler, Connelly is the next best thing.

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