Having read all of Michael Connelly's back catalogue I, like many other reviewers, am often suprised at the variation in quality of his work. "The Drop" is one of his most dark offerings and I feel that we are beginning to see the end for Harry Bosch.
In this novel we have two cases that Harry is working on with his partner in the Open unsolved unit, Detective Chu. The first is the "Did he jump or was he pushed" death of former Deputy Chief Irvin Irving's son. The second is the murder case of a girl many years ago which has just had a cold hit of DNA analysis turned up on it and leads the two of them to a seriously evil killer.
Connelly writes with a certain amount of resignation in this novel. I can feel Harry Bosch's frustration with his job, the politics ("High Jingo" as it is named in the book)and his increasing conflict about being there for his daughter as she grows into a woman.
Regular Connelly fans wont be disappointed with "the drop", its certainly leagues above "the scarecrow" and "nine dragons" for quality of narrative and execution, but it is still not as enthralling as his earlier work. Both Bosch and Connelly seem to be getting weary with the world they exist in and I would stab a guess that the new generation are waiting in the wings to take over the lead in the future novels.
I have always considered the Harry Bosch series to be the best of this authors work, it is becoming quite noticeable now though that Harry's story may be in for a grand exit shortly. Characters only have so far to go before they run out of steam, I for one will miss him when he rides off into the sunset.