My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Detective Harry Bosch is contemplating retirement – again. The Deferred Retirement Option Plan (The DROP) gives him another 39 months. He enjoys his work with LA’s Open-Unsolved unit, working on cases that went cold up to 50 years ago. Currently he’s trying to solve the 1989 murder of a young woman. But perhaps, he thinks, he’s losing his edge. Besides, there’s Maddie, his teenaged daughter, to think of, and wouldn’t it be great to be able to spend more time with her? So Harry, who’s a dedicated curmudgeon anyhow, is thoroughly put out when city Councilman Irving, a nemesis, insists that he handle the investigation of another drop, the apparent suicide of Irving’s adult son George, who jumped/was pushed/fell from a 7th story balcony at a ritzy hotel.
Part of the fun of reading a Bosch novel is getting the insider’s perspective on police investigations. The lingo: the late George Irving is a “splat”, and the political shenanigans involving the councilman and the police muckety-mucks are “high jingo”. But it’s Harry’s motto, “Everybody counts or nobody counts”, that puts him to the test this go around, as he’s forced to examine his own philosophy while trying to bring justice (read “fairness”, to Harry) to the lowest of the low, sexual predators. As he becomes romantically involved with a social worker, Hannah, who has an incarcerated son of her own, what used to be easy decisions now hit home, and hard. He also must deal with the stinging backlash that results from his exceedingly peremptory treatment of his young partner, David Cho.
Will Harry retire? Will his relationship with Hannah survive? Will his daughter become a police officer? Ostensibly, the next few sequels will tell all.
Three stars because of the slowness with which this plot develops.