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23 October 2015

Michael Connelly: The Crossing

Bloodhound Bosch at his best
A Harry Bosch book is always worth waiting for and again Michael Connelly has not disappointed. Although Bosch is getting a bit long in the tooth, this one featured Bloodhound Bosch at the top of his form.

Harry Bosch left the LAPD again before they could fire him over a minor infraction and has hired his lawyer half-brother, Mickey Haller to sue the department for his departure. His recent personal relationship with a female journalist has ended, his daughter Maddie has become increasingly remote as she goes through her adolescent years and prepares for college, and his days are just filled with plans to restore an old Harley-Davidson motorbike.

Then Mickey turns Bosch's world upside down by asking him to work on one of his cases where he is convinced that a person he is defending in a murder case is innocent and has been set up. This would mean "crossing" the line and working for the defence and not the prosecution - a fundamental change to the way that Bosch has lived during his long career. However, soon Bosch finds that working the change is really no different because in both cases he is still trying to uncover the real truth.

Bosch starts working the Murder Book supplied to the defense during Discovery - "All the answers are in the Murder Book...we just don't see them." Soon Bosch starts to see some things that the investigators missed which lead him to inadequate testing and possible evidence that was overlooked and uncovers a complex plot of blackmail, murder, more murders and corruption. His task is made harder because he no longer a cop.

While Mickey Haller features in this book it really is only a cameo role with Bosch calling the shots. They have very different aims; Haller wants to get the accused man off, and Bosch wants to find the truth.

Although this is around #16 in the Harry Bosch series the story is still fresh and challenging, showing that Michael Connelly is still the very best writer of US police procedurals. This was very much a story about Bosch himself and his principles. I would have liked to have a bit more of a back-story about Bosch's personal life (more about Maddy and possible future personal relationships) but that may have to wait for the next book.

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