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Yet another outstanding novel in the Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly.
on 7 February 2018
Once again Michael Connelly has produced an intelligent, thought-provoking story featuring the veteran homicide police detective, Harry Bosch. While one can read this book as a stand-alone story, one will enjoy it even more if one has read the ten earlier books featuring Harry Bosch.
This story opens with Harry Bosch returning to the Los Angeles police force following a three year spell as a private investigator. However, he is assigned to the 'Open - Unsolved' unit - a small team of seasoned police officers who take a second look at unsolved crimes of the past. Also on the team is former colleague Kizmin Rider. In addition, Harry is soon reacquainted with a number of other former colleagues, including his nemesis, Irving Irving.
The first case that Harry is given concerns the murder of a biracial 16 year old, Rebecca Verloren. Now, seventeen years later, thanks to advances in technology, a DNA match links an illiterate white supremacist with this old case. However, Bosch discovers that while the 'murder book' of the crime still exists, the box containing other physical supporting evidence collected at the time has disappeared. Could this new DNA connection be the break that brings this case to closure?
While this is a traditional police procedural story where you follow Harry Bosch and his colleagues as they conduct their investigation, and experience through them the highs and lows of a number of different 'avenues of investigation', I think the real strength and impact of this novel lies in how Michael Connelly skilfully, and devastatingly, portrays the impact that a long-standing unsolved murder has on family, friends, and others involved in such cases (the 'ripples' as Harry refers to them). In this novel there is far less emphasis on Bosch's personal life and a greater focus on his personality - particularly his dogged determination to seek justice, closure and to 'speak for the dead'. For me, this is the most poignant of the Harry Bosch novels I have read to date.