Trigger warning: Child rape and pedophilia.
So this was a pretty cool Bosch book. We have Harry trying to work two cases with his new partner David Chu who readers met in “Nine Dragons”. And Bosch acting like a jerk again (that’s becoming a theme). If you expect to get any back and forth with Bosch and his daughter Maddie in this one, you will be sad. Seriously, at this point Maddie is practically a pet that Bosch refers to but doesn’t seem to know what to do with (Connelly does not either).
Bosch is called in to investigate when former Captain Irving (and current nemesis of Bosch) son dies. It appears that it is an open and closed suicide. However, Irving wants Bosch to investigate. Even though the two men don’t like each other, Irving knows that Bosch will be up front about what happened, no matter what the cost is.
Bosch has also gotten DNA back in a young woman’s rape and murder from 1989. The DNA matches a convicted rapist. It seems like an open and shut case until Bosch and Chu realize that the man whose DNA it matches would have been 8 years old when the rape occurred. This honestly was the most fascinating case. I was surprised at the twists and turns that Connelly throws out and when we finally realize what happened and who was behind the 1989 murder your skin crawls. There was also a couple of graphic scenes with a man who was molested as a kid and…yeah the imagery that Connelly inspires made me want to take a few showers.
We have Bosch with another love interest in this one. She is not that interesting. I think at first I liked the character since we have Bosch attracted to someone whose job would go against the grain of his. But in the end, her whole story seemed unfinished. We find out why she took the job she did and why she is so adamant about finding the underlining reason why some men rape and molest when they come from what others would consider good homes.
We continue the parade of Bosch is better than his partners in this one. I liked Chu in “Nine Dragons”. Mainly because we got to see Bosch realize that for once he may not be as smart as someone else and heck he needed to apologize about all of the assumptions he kept making about him. But in this one of course Connelly paints Chu in a negative light and Bosch acts like some spurned lover the whole time. Men are exhausting. And I honestly hate how Bosch cuts Chu out of one of the investigations. He claims he is doing it for him, but I didn’t get that sense at all. He wants Chu to be the computer guy why he investigates and interrogates everyone. I can see why J. Edgar and Kiz got tired of his crap after a while.
As I said above, don’t expect to get much out of Maddie living with Bosch in this one. She’s barely in the story. I wanted to see if Bosch was continuing her therapy after the death of Eleanor Wish in the last standalone book, but I guess not? Who knows.
We have Kiz in this one and once again I hated what Connelly did with the character. At this point, everyone in the LAPD is a bad person but Bosch. There’s never any shades of gray with anyone.
There are other secondary characters that I definitely felt for in this one.
The writing was fast paced in this one since we had Bosch investigating two separate murders from beginning to end. Honestly Bosch’s final confrontation with Irving was a bit of a boring scene to me. I know that Bosch is all “het” up about it, but I really shrugged. Since Irving has done his best to come after the LAPD since being part of the City Council, I don’t get what Connelly was trying to say what was behind the motivations of others in this book. It definitely seems like something shady was going on based on Irving’s son’s job and what the man’s own wife said about him.
This book didn’t have a typical noir feel to it. It just felt a little paint by the numbers at times. I liked it, but I think splitting Bosch’s focus in this one was why it felt a little off to me. I wish we had the Irving investigation as it’s own separate book in a different book or something. Connelly does combine them together quite well, but you definitely know you are reading about two separate cases. Thank goodness that Connelly does not try to combine them by some ridiculous coincidence though.
The ending once again lives Bosch standing alone and one wonders what his future is going to bring since he has made even more enemies at this point.