four-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
57-Mar-Apr-2012
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0

A-The-DropFormer Los Angeles Times crime reporter Michael Connelly returns with the 18th installment in his best-selling Harry Bosch series. He is also the author of the Mickey Haller series and the Jack McEvoy series as well as stand-alone novels and short story collections. Reviewed in the series: Nine Dragons (3.5 of 5 Stars Jan/Feb 2010), The Brass Verdict (4 of 5 Stars Jan/Feb 2009), The Overlook (3.5 of 5 Stars Sept/Oct 2008).

The Story: A drop of blood from the unsolved 1989 rape and murder of college student Lily Price is linked by DNA analysis to repeat sex offender Clayton Pell. The problem? Pell was only eight years old when the crime was committed. Just as Los Angeles homicide detective Harry Bosch begins to sift through the evidence, his longtime nemesis, Councilman Irvin Irving, insists that Bosch investigate the high-profile death of his son, who checked into a posh hotel and promptly fell from a window. Irving is convinced he was murdered. Bosch must catch not one but two killers, and the secrets he uncovers will shake him--and possibly the LAPD--to the core.
Little, Brown. 388 pages. $27.99. ISBN: 9780316069410

Boston Globe 4 of 5 Stars"In The Drop, Connelly displays a sure-footed, suspense-fueled, noir novel that will keep readers turning pages into the darkest hours. ... Connelly shows us exactly how an investigation works, from A to Z, taking readers absorbingly inside crime scene investigations, witness interviews, house searches, stakeouts, and much more." Chuck Leddy

New York Times 4 of 5 Stars"The Drop is one of those Harry Bosch books that starts with a bang and stays strong all the way through. ... Once it picks up full momentum, this book hurtles toward a dramatic search, a big switcheroo, a frame-up, a betrayal and a case of mistaken identity--the neat tricks familiar from many of Mr. Connelly's other stories." Janet Maslin

St. Petersburg Times 4 of 5 Stars"Connelly revs up a speedy dual plot as Bosch juggles the two cases, but he also devotes a good bit of The Drop to the detective's evolving relationship with his 15-year-old daughter, who came to live with him several books back after her mother's death. ... Unlike some series characters, Bosch has continued to evolve over the course of 18 books, and developing his role as a father is one way Connelly has kept him fresh." Colette Bancroft

Globe and Mail (Canada) 4 of 5 Stars"Of course, the disdain is mutual and watching the oppositional Bosch push back against ... bullying politico [Irvin Irving] is one of The Drop's many treats. Among the other treats in this complex web are Connelly's ability to construct seamless links between plot strands while springing the occasional plot twist on us, and Bosch's developing relationship with Maddie, who is showing distinct signs of the sort of inquisitive and probing mind a good cop needs." Martin Levin

USA Today 3.5 of 5 Stars"Be forewarned, however, that The Drop starts out slowly, almost as if the scene is just another ho-hum morning at the squad room a few days after the end of the last case. ... Connelly's talent is summoning underlying suspense from undramatic police procedure. So while the narrative will never put you to sleep, neither will it keep you up." Don Oldenburg

Critical Summary

The Drop is a page-turning police procedural worthy of both Bosch and Connelly. Some readers may agree with USA Today that the story gets off to a slow start, but the plot soon hurtles through LA as Connelly, the genre's "undisputed master" (Boston Globe), wrings as much suspense from Bosch's analytical detective work--reading files, inspecting crime scenes, interviewing witnesses, and staking out suspects--as possible. Bosch's antagonistic dance with Irving, his guided tour of the shadowy underworld of political power brokers, and his developing relationship with his daughter Maddie are just a few of the pleasures that await readers in The Drop. A brilliant storyteller, Connelly is at the top of his game in his latest novel.