Friday, June 1, 2018

Another Great Harry Bosch Novel from Michael Connelly

I concluded long ago that Michael Connelly is incapable of writing a bad book, and Two Kinds of Truth demonstrates once again that no one writes better police procedurals than he. Connelly has now written some thirty novels, most of which feature his main protagonist, Harry Bosch. For most of his career, Bosch worked as a homicide detective in the L.A.P.D. He was a gifted investigator, dedicated to his mission. But he often found himself at odds with his bosses for one reason or another, and after almost forty years of service, he left the department under less than amicable circumstances.

Now in his middle sixties, Harry is working part-time for the tiny San Fernando P.D., specializing in cold cases. But when two pharmacists are brutally murdered in their small, independent farmacia, Harry is pressed into service. Given that he has far more experience than anyone else on the force, he is asked to take charge of the investigation.

At virtually the same moment, two L.A.P.D. detectives, one of them a former partner of Harry's, show up and tell him that one of his old cases is being reopened. Thirty years earlier, Bosch investigated the murder of a young woman who had been sexually assaulted and strangled. Harry found evidence in the killer's home that linked him solidly to the crime and that evidence and Harry's testimony sent the perpetrator away for life.

Now, though, the killer is claiming that Harry planted the evidence and framed him. Much more important, re-examination of the physical evidence in the case has turned up a DNA sample showing that the woman's assailant was actually a man who had been convicted of a similar crime and who has recently died. The man Harry put behind bars is now demanding his release and intends to sue everyone in sight for false imprisonment. The police and prosecutors are content to take the new evidence at face value and will not contest the man's release. 

Bosch must handle both of these very difficult challenges simultaneously, and his livelihood, his reputation and even his very life will wind up on the line. The pharmacy murders pull back a curtain on the opioid crisis that is having such catastrophic effects on the country and which involve some very dangerous characters. The challenge from the imprisoned killer is a personal affront to Bosch and takes on the characteristics of a locked-room murder mystery. Both cases are exciting and compelling and as Bosh weaves back and forth between the two, the reader can only race along beside him, anxiously awaiting the resolution of both. Once you've started this book, putting it down is not really an option.

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