Little, Brown and Company/Hachette Book Group, $28.00, 388 pages, ISBN 978-0-316-22588-5
It’s no secret that Michael Connelly is widely considered to be one of the finest crime writers working in America today. With twenty-seven novels and sixty million copies sold worldwide he could arguably be called one of the top ten best-ever mystery and thriller authors in the world because, as my friend Dwight—a retired CSPD detective—said, “Connelly just gets it.” “Gets what,” I asked. “Cops,” he replied, adding after a moment, “cops and criminals both.” Probably needless to say it, but Dwight, like me is a big fan of Connelly and his charismatic, lonely and brilliant Los Angeles Police Department Detective named Harry Bosch.
In his latest, entitled The Crossing, Bosch has been forced to retire from the LAPD after thirty years of service. He’s tinkering with an old Harley-Davidson motorcycle when his half-brother, a man named Mickey Haller, aka the Lincoln Lawyer, asks him to lunch. Although they have the same father, Bosch and Haller haven’t been close, partly because they didn’t know about each other, and partly because they’ve been on opposite sides of the law. Bosch catches and jails criminals, while Haller defends them. Now, Haller has a client who’s charged with the violent murder of a woman who is a prominent LA County Official and her husband’s a deputy sheriff. Haller thinks his client—a reformed gang banger—is being framed and asks Bosch to investigate. Bosch refuses. He has no intention of going to the dark side, or, working on behalf of criminals after a career of catching them. Haller persists, promising to abide by whatever Bosch uncovers—good or bad—and agreeing to turn over any evidence of guilt to the prosecutor’s office. With secret help from his old LAPD partner, Bosch starts work. The more he uncovers, the more his investigation leads Harry inside the police department . . . where he realizes that the killer he’s searching for has also been searching for him. The suspense builds with every chapter and the dramatic tension is so thick, it bleeds off of the page as Connelly once again demonstrates that not only does he get it, he’s keeping it and he’s putting it to work in each new work of fiction. All of Connelly’s books are fresh, original and stand on their own merit. Nothing is formulaic or rubber-stamped. As a reader, I appreciate that. I can open a new Michael Connelly novel, knowing in advance that it’ll be a fresh new story, pitch-perfect in tone and crammed full of accurate details, language and interesting characters. In all of his books, the newest is the best one so far. The Crossing is no exception. You’ll love it whether you’re a new reader, or an old fan who’s read all of the three million or so words Connelly’s written thus far, because, “He just gets it.”