Three years ago, Harry Bosch abruptly walked away from his job as an L. A. Homicide detective, largely because he couldn't take the politics and the cynicism of the department any longer. He tried being a P.I., but without his gun and his badge, he felt "out of balance." And so now he's back, taking advantage of an opportunity allowed by a new department program that would allow ex-cops like himself to return. He's reunited with his old partner, Kiz Rider, and is assigned to the Open/Unsolved Unit. They are to be "The Closers," resolving cold cases that, for one reason or another, haven't ever been cleared.
On his first day back, Harry and Kiz are handed the case of a sixteen-year-old girl who was taken from her house seventeen years ago and shot to death. The initial investigation went nowhere, but DNA evidence from the murder weapon has now been linked to an ex-con named Roland Mackey. Mackey is now a tow-truck driver and has long had associates in white supremacy groups. The victim, Becky Verloren, was the daughter of a white mother and a black father. Is it possible that her race was the reason for her murder?
As often happens, Becky's death had catastrophic effects for her parents. Her father, a restaurateur, left home soon after her murder and disappeared into the city's homeless population. Her mother has remained in the house from which Becky was taken and has preserved the girl's room as a shrine, leaving it exactly as it was on the night her daughter disappeared. Harry is determined to give them the justice that has eluded them for so long.
The DNA evidence gives Harry and Kiz a good head start on finally solving the murder. But Harry knows that the DNA alone will never be enough to convict Mackey of the crime, and as the two detectives dig deeper into the case, it's apparent that the original investigation may have been compromised by some of the same forces that earlier drove Harry to retire.
This is a very good book with an interesting plot and a very heavy dose of police procedure. It's good to have Harry back in harness; he just wasn't the same character apart from his mission as a homicide detective. Harry, being Harry, will still make waves and ruffle a lot of feathers, but that's what readers have come to expect and this book should appeal to any fan of the series.