Intro : Michael Connelly is a New York Times bestseller of the Harry Bosch and Lincoln Lawyer series. Both the characters have been adapted for TV and film. This is a review of the 20th book in the Harry Bosch series.
Synopsis : Harry Bosch has retired from the LAPD and is suing his former employers through Mickey Haller, Lincoln Lawyer and his half-brother. Although feeling better about leaving the job he had for decades, he’s sucked back in when Haller asks him to investigate a case for him where his client, Da’Quan Foster, has been arrested on charges of raping and brutally murdering a woman. As the investigation goes deeper, Harry becomes the target himself.
Review : For books and films that rely on an individual recruiting/requesting the hero’s services, we have an old cliché. The hero refuses the offer initially, and then, after a bit of deliberation, accepts it. This has been played time and time again. Same happens here too.
Bosch has been a homicide detective all his life who has looked at defence attorneys and their investigators as being on “the dark side.” So for him to make the crossing is like breaking a vow, not to say lowering himself in the eyes of his former colleagues. But we know Bosch will do it all the same. And he does.
The novel also derives its name from the particular point where the murder victim, Lexi Parks, crossed paths with the killer. Bosch has a gut feeling that if he can find that crossing, he’d solve the crime. The problem is that Parks was a public official and there’s no way of determining through interviews and hundreds of hours of CCTV footage where that crossing might have happened.
This was my first Connelly novel so I have had no prior experience of how good/bad his books are. As far as the detective work is concerned, the book is top-notch. But somehow, somewhere, it failed to engage me at the level where I’d have been blown over. A lot of the plot beats felt clichéd to me despite the characters and the author doing their best to prevent that from happening.
Bosch is concerned with getting the truth out because he believes that if Foster is innocent, it means the real killer is roaming free somewhere. Haller, on the other hand, is only concerned with getting his client freed, truth be damned. Bosch and his high school-graduating daughter Maddie have terrible misunderstandings whenever they talk. He is also struggling with his love life. The focus of the book is on Bosch’s work so the parts of the novel about his private life seem rushed and perfunctory. Maybe the author had fans of the series in mind but for new readers, things aren’t that great.
I could almost visualise the book as being shown on a theatre screen, as a film. The author has also made clever references to real-life events that give a new dimension to the story. First he talks about an actor and ex-governor of the state who was accused of nepotism. Later in the book, he tells us about Matthew McConaughey playing Haller in a film. Now I have watched The Lincoln Lawyer but I didn’t know that it was based on this author’s work. That hat-tip was smart work. I struggled to visualise McConaughey as Haller though, with the age and dialogues of the character on page.
Verdict : The Crossing is works well as a depiction of detective work but falls way short as a whodunnit.
Genre : Thriller, Mystery, Crime, Fiction, Detective
Rating : 3/5
Have you read The Crossing ? Share your views and thoughts on the book (and the review) in the comments section.
Thanks for reading.