Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Crossing by Michael Connelly

First Sentence:  Ellis and Long were four car lengths behind the motorcycle on Ventura Boulevard
      
Currently on unpaid suspension, Harry Bosch has little to do except work to restore his vintage motorcycle.  Mickey Heller wants to change that by having Bosch unofficially investigate a murder case where Heller is convinced his client is innocent.  Bosch reluctantly agrees, taking the case further into finding the real killer…very much at his own peril.
      
Although the prologue is certainly dramatic, it doesn’t seem to provide a sense of connection to where the story may be going.  All it takes is a few more pages for the penny to drop, the connection be made, and an early sense of danger established.
      
There is nothing better than a good courtroom scene to captures a reader’s interest and Connelly writes them very well.  Bosch and Heller are very interesting characters.  In addition to being half-brothers, they are opposite sides of the legal coin with Bosch representing the often necessary skepticism of law enforcement, and Heller representing the always-necessary belief in legal defense—“…it must be hard to be like that.”  “Like what?”  “Not believing in rehabilitation and redemption that people can change.  With you it’s ‘once a con always a con.’”
      
Connelly provides very enlightening, and distressing, information on how police prepare the murder book for review discovery by attorneys, as well as how Bosch works through the book and pieces the case together.  One issue I do have, however, is that Connelly tends to substitute map directions for sense of place.  It may be interesting to those who know the area well, but others don’t really need to know on to what street he turned.  It would be better to have had a feel of the environment; how did the air feel/smell, what was the day like, was the street tree lined and fragrant, or barren and dusty; etc.  As far as food, this is a real “cops” book of beers and burgers; no gourmet here, although that does define the character. 
      
It is nice to see a bit of Bosch’s home life with his daughter, and Connelly does a very good job of providing the background to their relationship.  He does the same with another character, and that is to be appreciated.  Although it was significant toward moving the plot forward, Bosch makes a TSTL (too-stupid-to-live) mistake, which seemed completely out of character for him.  A bit lazy, that., although one could argue that everyone makes dumb mistakes.   Still, one expects better of Connelly.
      
The Crossing” has a good sense of danger which builds, a well-done resolution, and no significant loose ends.

THE CROSSING (Pol/Legal Proc-Bosch/Heller-Los Angeles, CA-Contemp) - Good
Connelly, Michael – 20th Bosch/6th Heller
Little Brown and Company – Nov 2015 

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