Monday, November 2, 2015

book review: The Crossing by Michael Connelly

The backstory: Michael Connelly is my favorite mystery writer. Last year, I read all twenty-seven of his novels. I was thrilled to finally have a new one to read.

The basics: The Crossing features both of Connelly's long-running main characters: now retired LAPD detective Harry Bosch and his half-brother, criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller. When Haller's client is charged with the brutal murder of a woman, he suspects a set-up and manages to convince Bosch to solve the case as he would if he were still a homicide detective.

My thoughts: The titular crossing is meaningful on two levels. First, it comes from a piece of dialogue between Bosch and Haller:
"What's the biggest problem with the prosecution's case?" 
"Right now?" 
"Based on what you read." 
Bosch took a drink while he thought of an answer and composed it properly. "The crossing." 
"Motive and opportunity."
The crossing in this novel is particularly important and intriguing because it's so mysterious. It also signifies Bosch's crossing over to what he, and most of law enforcement, sees as the dark side: working for the defense. This struggle continues throughout the book, and it serves as an interesting source of tension between Bosch and Haller. It reinforces the central tensions of both men: working for the greater good, while not always being good, and in very different ways. All while seeing things with vastly different lenses.  

If you haven't already read these series, I wouldn't start with this one because you're missing so much backstory. Could it be read as a standalone? Yes, the mystery is that good. But the layers of intrigue between these two characters wouldn't be as meaningful. If you have the time, start with The Black Echo.

Favorite passage: "You know, she had this theory," he said quietly. "She always said that the motivation for all murders could be dialed back to shame." "Just shame, that's it?" Maddie asked. "Yeah, just shame. People covering up shame and finding any kind of way to do it. I don't know, I think it was pretty smart."

The verdict: The Crossing is classic Connelly. It's a brilliant police procedural filled with clues. It's a fascinating exploration of Bosch and his continued struggles with life, work, and fatherhood. As much as I loved the mystery, I was proud to figure out the last piece of the puzzle before Bosch. I also appreciated the camaraderie and struggles, professionally and personally, with Bosch and Haller. They're a fascinating pair, and I love seeing them together, even as I'm always glad when Bosch is the primary character.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Length: 400 pages
Publication date: November 3, 2015 
Source: publisher

Convinced? Treat yourself! Buy The Crossing from Amazon (Kindle edition.)

Want more? Visit Michael Connelly's website, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter.

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