Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Drop by Michael Connelly

         Harry Bosch #15

          This is the latest in Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch series. Harry is a detective in LA’s cold case squad.  One morning he is brought into the boss’s office and given a case that could be a real hot potato.  A nineteen-year-old girl was raped and murdered nearly two decades earlier. A retest of the DNA in the case has come up with a match – a man who has done time for another sex offense. The kicker is that at the time of the young girl’s murder, this sex offender was eight years old. Has the evidence been mishandled? Was there an error at the lab? This case could blow up in the department’s face.

          As Harry and his partner begin the careful investigation of the case in light of the confusing DNA results, they get thrown another curve. They are asked to take over a hot case, one with lots of “high jingo” or administrative and political interest. A man has landed in the parking lot of a hotel.  The question is whether he jumped himself or was helped over the railing of his seventh floor room. The man is the son of a city councilman, one who has long had it in for Harry Bosch.  But Harry believes that everybody counts or nobody counts and the councilman knows Harry will not let the case rest till the truth has been uncovered.

          As Harry and his partner begin the even more delicate investigation of the councilman’s son’s death, it begins to look like a murder to get revenge on the councilman.  Then it starts to look more like a suicide that was helped along by the son’s despondence over his father’s corruption. Harry’s final decision is suicide. And the councilman, who is facing reelection within weeks, is furious.  He is also adamant that he is not corrupt.  He gives Harry a photocopy of a phone message that he claims proves his innocence.  Harry says it is not enough to prove anything, but pockets the paper anyway.

          And then Harry returns the dead girl, whose reinvestigation was so rudely interrupted by the high jingo suicide case.

          Harry carefully follows the leads, determining that the DNA of the eight-year-old is not on the murdered girl’s body because he was involved in her death, but because he was another of the perpetrator’s victims. With the help of a predator, a monster is arrested. And, before all is said and done, Harry chooses to foil a plot to murder the murderer.  Because, everybody counts or nobody counts.

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