Saturday, January 13, 2018

Retired LAPD Detective Harry Bosch Pursues Justice for the Victim of an Unsolved Murder

The ninth Harry Bosch novel is unique in a couple of ways. To begin with, Harry is no longer a cop. He has abruptly resigned from the LAPD and is now a private citizen again. Secondly, while virtually all of the other novels in the series are told from the third-person point-of-view, this story is narrated in the first person by Harry himself.

Harry has been off the job for several months by the time the book opens. He has gone through the motions of getting a license as a P.I., but he's not actively pursuing it as a career. Mostly, he's just sleeping late and wondering what to do with himself. He finally decides to get busy by digging into an old, unsolved case that has haunted him for years.

While still a homicide detective, Bosch had been called to the scene of the murder of a young woman named Angella Benton. Benton had been violated before being killed, and in death, she was found lying on the floor with her hands outstretched, as if in prayer. Bosh discovered that the victim was a production assistant for a movie studio, and only a few days after Benton's murder, a brazen gang stole $2 million from a movie set belonging to the studio where Benton worked. The police brass quickly jumped to the conclusion that the young woman's murder was linked to the robbery. Thus the homicide investigation was taken away from Bosch, rolled into the investigation of the robbery, and assigned to other detectives. But neither case was ever solved.

Bosch has never forgotten the image of Benton's body lying on the floor and thus decides to investigate the case on his own in the hope of providing some justice, however belated, for the young victim. He's at an obvious disadvantage, though. Without a badge and the power of the city behind him, the investigation will be much more difficult, if not impossible. But then the task becomes infinitely harder when the Powers That Be in the police department discover that Bosch is nosing around the case and order him to stand down for reasons they will not explain.

Those who've read this series know that Bosch was never very fond of authority while employed by the LAPD and that he often disregarded orders and went his own way in search of the truth. In this case, of course, Harry will will persist in his investigation and soon finds himself in very serious trouble and in very grave danger.

This is a very good entry in the series, and it's especially fun to watch Harry work from outside of the system rather than from within. The book, which was published in 2003, also raises some very troubling questions about civil liberties in the post 9/11 era, and is critically important in other ways to the development of the main character. Lost Light should appeal to anyone who enjoys crime fiction, and no fan of the Harry Bosch series will want to miss it.

No comments:

Post a Comment