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THE DROP


By Michael Connelly

Little, Brown & Company, 2011 ($27.99)
ISBN-13: 978-0316069410

Reviewed by Rick McMahan

I am a die-hard Harry Bosch mystery fan, and like all other Michael Connelly fans I look forward to each new Bosch book with anticipation. And for me, I have a small part that dreads them. Why? Because Connelly decided to age Bosch in real time, year for year, so with each book and passing of time, Harry's aging. Before long, Harry will be too old to carry on the mission beating in his heart. He'll be too old to hunt killers. Like other Harry Bosch fans, I can see the descending arc of this series on the horizon and coming fast. And I dread that day. Until then though, I'm going to look forward to each new Bosch book with great anticipation, and it was with great anticipation that I started THE DROP.

Harry's back working in the LAPD Open-Unsolved unit, the LAPD's "cold case squad." As Harry explains at the start of the story, a lot of the Open Unsolved cases are solved when DNA evidence from a cold case is matched against a modern offender's sample, and that's exactly how this novel starts off. Except, in typical Connelly fashion, there's a curveball with the match — there is a match with a current sex offender for the more than two decades old sexual murder, but the problem is that the offender would have only been 8 years old at the time. Harry and his partner are assigned to figure out how an eight-year-old's DNA was found on a murdered woman — was the then kid part of the crime or was there a screw-up when the DNA evidence from the case was submitted to the lab. If the cops or the lab cross-contaminated DNA evidence from one case with another, the repercussions could be devastating — countless cases could be lost because of the mistake. Killers could be set free.

It would be enough for Harry and his partner to be handed this sensitive investigation, but as the author Michael Connelly has pointed out in several interviews about THE DROP, in real life cops don't have the luxury of investigating one case, they have several cases and have to work all of them. So, no sooner have they been handed the "cold DNA hit" than Harry receives a call from the Chief of Police's office. Harry's old nemesis Irvin Irving, former Assistant Chief of Police and now Councilman has personally requested Bosch investigate the death of Irving's son. It appears that the Councilman's son plummeted to his death from a window in the Chateau Marmont hotel. Irving wants Bosch to investigate his son's death. Even though Irving despises Bosch, he also knows that Harry's a man on a mission when it comes to finding killers, and Harry's nemesis knows that there is no one better and more honest to investigate his own son's demise.

THE DROP is another classic Harry Bosch novel, and I'm sure all of Connelly's fans will love this one.

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