The basics: Harry Bosch has just learned he has 39 months left before being forced to retire again. Eager for a new case to throw himself into, he gets two in one morning. First, a cold hit on a 1989 rape and murder matches a then eight-year-old; is it a crime lab mistake or could this sex offender really have started so young? Then, the police chief asks Harry to look into the alleged suicide of Irvin Irving's son at the Chateau Marmont.
My thoughts: The Drop features two mysteries, and both were intriguing. Bosch juggles them well, and it never felt like one was the main storyline. This equality, however, led to a somewhat unsatisfying pacing and climax. Both storylines were set in the past and present. It was interesting to see Irving appear again, and his history with Bosch is a key part of the storyline. In quite a different way, the cold case storyline was more deeply set in the present. Connelly used a clever technique to frame the nature vs. nurture debate of 'where does evil come from?' The questions of morality and fault echo throughout both storylines well.
The verdict: With each mystery having its own revelations and climaxes, the last portion of the novel in particular had an odd flow. While both storylines received satisfying resolutions, both were simpler than Connelly's resolutions typically are. Both were good, but this novel was not greater than the sum of its parts. The Drop is a solid mystery, but when judged against the rest of Connelly's backlist, it wasn't quite as strongly executed.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Length: 401 pages
Publication date: November 28, 2011
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