Published by Little, Brown and Company on May 16th 2005
Source: Borrowed: ebook
He walked away from the job three years ago. But Harry Bosch cannot resist the call to join the elite Open/Unsolved Unit. His mission: solve murders whose investigations were flawed, stalled, or abandoned to L.A.'s tides of crime. With some people openly rooting for his failure, Harry catches the case of a teenager dragged off to her death on Oat Mountain, and traces the DNA on the murder weapon to a small-time criminal. But something bigger and darker beckons, and Harry must battle to fit all the pieces together. Shaking cages and rattling ghosts, he will push the rules to the limit--and expose the kind of truth that shatters lives, ends careers, and keeps the dead whispering in the night...
So this was the last Harry Bosch book I read this past weekend. We have Harry reunited with Kiz and now they are both working in the Open/Unsolved Unit in the LAPD (think Cold Case). Kiz pulled some strings and got Harry back with her and now the former partners are teaming up to figure out who was behind the murder of a young 17 year old girl in 1988. This book has a little bit of everything. You have Harry finally happy again because he is doing what he does best, closing cases. He has Kiz back by his side. He is now a father to a young girl (and by the way I am so confused by what her age is) and finally has another boss that he respects. You have Irving hanging around like a dark cloud (book Irving sucks by the way) and you get to once again see the dark side of the LAPD back in the 80s. With an ending that once again surprised me, you have to wonder how Connelly plans on topping this in book #12.
We once again get Harry’s first person POV throughout this book. Excited and a little bit nervous, Bosch meets the new Chief of Police and pretty much gets a mission to go out and help silence those out there who have been murdered and their killers have never been found. It can read a bit hoky, but I actually found myself feeling moved by it. And you get that same feeling throughout the book. Bosch is pushed throughout to figure out who murdered 17 year old Rebecca (Becky) Verloren. You get to see the effect that her murder has on her two parents, both who seemed stuck and have no way forward without the daughter they loved. I get a sense that throughout the book Bosch is haunted that something can happen to his daughter Maddie, and it scares him a bit that he would end up as broken as the two parents are in the book.
Secondary characters once again get a chance to shine throughout. I also think that Connelly may be setting up future tensions between Harry and a lot of people though.
For example, Harry’s partner Kiz is definitely playing some political level games. I do wonder if this will end up affecting her and Harry’s relationship. We do get some glimpses of J. Edgar. However, he is still in Hollywood, left behind by both his former partners. I don’t know if Harry is picking up on J. Edgar’s resentment, or is he seeing something that is not there. Irving is back and has become the real life boogeyman in this series at this point. The man has done a lot of questionable and terrible things. I always felt like he had a reluctant admiration of Bosch. However, we find out that is not the case. Irving has been pushed out by the new Chief, and is just waiting for Bosch to screw up per usual, so he (Irving) can swoop in and take down the new Chief. So besides Harry trying to find out who Becky Verloren’s killer is, you have added pressure that if he makes one wrong room it can cost him and Kiz their jobs along with the Chief.
I felt haunted by Becky Verloren throughout this book. I really hope that the tv series considers turning this book into one of their upcoming seasons. There was so much going on here, but honestly Becky was the heart. Her parents are both devastated that the daughter they thought they knew apparently was in love and at one point pregnant. They can’t imagine who would have killer her since everyone loved her. Even Becky’s closet friends have no idea what she was up to and with who. I got a sense of a young girl who believed in true love until she realized that love was tainted. And when we find out who killer her and why I felt sadness for this fictional character. This is one of the reasons why I had to stop watching Cold Case. I usually turned into a blubbery mess when the victim would come back and smile happily at Lily, because her finding out who killed them had helped set them free.
The plot really kind of meanders just a bit though here and there. Even though Bosch and Kiz have DNA tying a man to Beck’s death, they have to work backwards to see if anyone knew him and how he came to be connected to Becky. This brings up white supremacy in LA in the 80s (seriously with real world events cropping up while I read a book from years ago) and how an earlier LAPD unit could have ties to this whole thing. It does work, but as I said goes a bit circular at times. The aspect of race is brought up again and again in this book as well. Due to Becky’s parents being an interracial couple in the 80s, Bosch and Kiz have to wonder if that could be the reason why Becky was targeted and murdered.
The writing is typical Connelly. I thought that he did a good job per usual with Bosch’s voice. I thought the flow towards the end got a little uneven. Not too bad though, just a bit. I think it was because I had to go back and re-read a few things since I was all, wait, did I get that right or am I missing something a few times.
I am going to start calling out Connelly though for the bad guy(s) always coming to a bad end when Bosch investigates though. It’s starting to become a thing in this series.