This book feels pretty fragmented to me. I think Connelly missed a great chance to showcase both Bosch and Haller in this one. Instead we primarily follow Bosch around as he acts like he is being tortured to investigate a case for Haller. And we weirdly have POV’s showing the killers in this one so you don’t have any kind of surprise when Bosch eventually finds out what is going on. I really hate mystery books that do this since you as a reader are just waiting for the protagonist to catch a clue about what is happening. I hope this is not a new thing that Connelly is going to include in the Bosch series.
I feel like I am missing a book between this and “The Burning Room.” We have a Bosch who is officially retired again, but is also suing the LAPD since he believes he was set up to lose the money that was owed to him when he came back under the Deferred Retirement Option Plan that the LAPD started. Bosch’s half brother, Mickey Haller (The Lincoln Lawyer) has taken up Bosch’s case and believes that in the end that he will get Bosch a great settlement. Bosch though is at loose ends and has no idea what to do with himself.
Haller then meets with Bosch and asks him to take a case investigating for him. Haller believes his client is innocent and that he is being set up by the police. Bosch of course doesn’t believe this, because the LAPD is always on the side of truth and justice (honestly this whole thing throughout the book with Bosch not wanting to work for a defense attorney was a crock to me) and refuses to officially investigate, but will take a look at what Haller has.
I totally just lowered this book another star because I found my ire rising just typing. Look, I don’t know who this Bosch is that Connelly is now writing. But look at how many cases Bosch was involved with that involved the LAPD doing something not sanctioned and or criminal? It doesn’t ring true at all with him being reluctant to investigate. He is supposed to be the one that cares about making sure the truth is found. Heck, that was the main premise behind “The Drop” was that Bosch was brought in by his main nemesis in the series (Irving) to look into Irving’s son’s death. Irving doesn’t like Bosch, but does not believe he would be used by the police in order to make Irving look bad. To me, Bosch’s reluctance to take this case up investigating for Haller does not ring true. And also reading pages and pages of Bosch studying the case, looking at photos, and a murder book do not a good book make. This book was boring from beginning to end even with what was going on.
We have appearances by characters that long-term readers should know by now: Maddie, Lucia Soto, and a woman that was investigating Bosch in “The Black Box” and his love interest from the last book too. Maddie still sucks so it was not awesome reading about her. She acts like Bosch is a serial killer or worse because he is investigating a case for the defense. Which of course begs the question of how Maddie treats her cousin (Haller’s daughter) when no one is around.
The writing was not as clean in this one. I honestly think the whole book just dragged. I did get my interest peaked a bit with Haller. But Connelly has me wondering what his deal is. Haller sounds like a creep who drinks and hits on women who are interested in him. I never got that impression from the movie (The Lincoln Lawyer). My plan was to read the Mickey Haller series and the books that showcase him and Bosch together after I got caught up on the Bosch series. Now I am kind of reluctant to even do that.
I have to say though that the ending for Connelly I guess was happy. We have Bosch interested in another woman, his daughter actually proud of him and not acting like a brat, and Bosch content that he did something that ended up being the right thing. I don’t get a sense of anything from Haller with this one unfortunately.