The Drop by Michael Connelly

December 26, 2011

Plot summary (from the publisher): Harry Bosch has been given three years before he must retire from the LAPD, and he wants cases more fiercely than ever. In one morning, he gets two.

DNA from a 1989 rape and murder matches a 29-year-old convicted rapist. Was he an eight-year-old killer or has something gone terribly wrong in the new Regional Crime Lab? The latter possibility could compromise all of the lab’s DNA cases currently in court.

Then Bosch and his partner are called to a death scene fraught with internal politics. Councilman Irvin Irving’s son jumped or was pushed from a window at the Chateau Marmont. Irving, Bosch’s longtime nemesis, has demanded that Harry handle the investigation.

Relentlessly pursuing both cases, Bosch makes two chilling discoveries: a killer operating unknown in the city for as many as three decades, and a political conspiracy that goes back into the dark history of the police department.

Warning: Spoilers below!

Liked:

  • I thought the Irving case was built up in a pretty suspenseful way. I was anxious to learn if the death was indeed suicide or if it was a murder that had something to do with the father’s political dealings.
  • I can’t believe Maddie is already 15 years old and helps Bosch with some aspects of his cases! I guess that’s to be expected, though. I can’t imagine Bosch’s daughter being a girly girl who would be Google searching prom dresses 2012 on her laptop instead of reviewing surveillance video with her dad. Oh, and the fact that she knows how to handle guns and now enters shooting competitions is pretty cool, too. I wonder if Connelly is planning to retire Harry and “continue” the series with Maddie in the lead role instead. That would be awesome!
  • The twist about Chill being a serial killer with 37 victims to his name was grisly, but good. I certainly wasn’t expecting that at all.
  • I really liked the way Chill was caught. He managed to escape detection all those years, but was ultimately undone by a single drop of blood that belonged to an ex-girlfriend’s child. The way Bosch and Chu went from Clayton Pell’s bloodstain to catching a killer was probably my favorite part of the entire book.

Disliked:

  • I can’t stand Harry Bosch as a character anymore. I am just so sick and tired of his imperious, lone wolf ways that I have to start skimming whenever he interacts with his partner. Yeah, Chu was totally wrong to go to the LA Times with inside information, but would he have done so if Bosch had been treating him as an equal? If I were in Chu’s shoes and had a partner giving me orders ALL THE TIME without telling me the reason behind the tasks, I would get pissed and want to act out too. Harry has seniority and all that, but that doesn’t give him license to act like an asshole 24/7.
  • I couldn’t keep up with all the changes of heart Bosch went through at the end of the book. First he wanted to use his influence with Kiz to get Chu transferred. Then he wanted to quit because he had been played and couldn’t see Irving’s death as the suicide it was. Soon after, he wanted to give Chu a second chance. And then immediately after that, instead of retiring for good he decided to ask for a full five years on his DROP (Deferred Retirement Option Plan). WTF???
  • The relationship stuff with the doctor was boring and unnecessary.
  • I just don’t enjoy the political angle that Connelly loves to insert in a lot of his books. Sure, in real life politics plays a huge part in what goes on within a big city police department. But I couldn’t care less about the fictional LAPD police chief, his assistant Kiz Rider, or councilman Irvin Irving. The stuff they’re trying to do to each other is tiresome and uninteresting to this average reader.

Rating:

My love-hate with Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch series continues with The Drop. The book definitely had some positives that made it an entertaining read, but the bad points are ones that have become quite a trend with this author’s work recently and are becoming increasingly irritating with every installment. I’ll probably continue to read Connelly out of habit; however, he’s not a must-buy-on-release-day writer for me anymore. I give this book 3 stars out of 5.

2 Responses to “The Drop by Michael Connelly”

  1. I scrolled right past the spoilers! Have not read it as yet, thanks for what you had to say, Elaine also mentioned it on The Book Report, http://www.bookreportradio.com if you want to have a listen, I really enjoy the show, its really great to listen to.

  2. I totally agree with you on the whole relationship issue and the lone wolf thing, it’s annoying, especially since he would probably get on with his cases much faster (and a lot of time without putting himself or others in danger) if he just talked to his partners. He would listen to his daughters opinion on a case but every other cop is like a stupid person getting in the way. He’s too old to be playing cowboy.

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