The Drop Review
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This year was a big one for author Michael Connelly. This spring, he saw his smooth-talking defense attorney, Mickey Haller, make his first appearance on the big screen in The Lincoln Lawyer. Just a couple of weeks later, he released his clever new Mickey Haller novel, The Fifth Witness. Now, after focusing on Haller for a while, Connelly closes out the year with his beloved LAPD detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch in The Drop, Connelly’s first Bosch-only crime thriller since 2009’s 9 Dragons.

As the novel opens, Bosch races into work at the LAPD’s Open-Unsolved Unit one Monday morning, hoping to pick up a new case. He’s greeted with both good news and bad news. The good news: he’s handed not one new case but two. The bad news: his request for a DROP—Deferred Retirement Option Plan—has been only partially accepted, giving him just over three years until he’ll be forced to retire.

The first of Bosch’s new cases is the 1989 rape and murder of a young woman named Lily Price. New DNA evidence points to convicted sex offender Clayton Pell. The problem: Pell was just eight years old at the time of Price’s murder.

The second case is much more political—and, thus, it’s top priority. Councilman Irvin Irving’s son, George, fell to his death from the balcony of his hotel room at the infamous Chateau Marmont—and, despite years of bad blood between them, Irving wants Bosch to handle the investigation.

It isn’t easy trying to come up with new superlatives for each new Michael Connelly crime thriller. While other authors tend to have good releases and bad releases, Connelly stays pretty consistent, steadily cranking out one captivating thriller after another—and The Drop is no exception.

Connelly effortlessly juggles two completely unrelated—yet equally intriguing—cases. The Irving case is politically-charged, offering a glimpse of the choice that investigators are sometimes forced to make between doing their best work and doing what will make their superiors happy. It’s a tangled web of wheeling and dealing—involving shady politicians, relentless journalists, and maybe even a crooked cop or two—which only makes it all the more fascinating.

The cold case, meanwhile, shows a completely different investigative style, as Bosch and his partner, David Chu, rehash details from a decades-old crime—without the luxury of being able to examine a body or interview the witnesses. Though it doesn’t take long for Bosch to put the pieces together, the case eventually blows up into something completely unexpected—while, at the same time, adding a new (though rather underdeveloped) twist to Bosch’s personal life.

Together, the two separate cases make one captivating Harry Bosch adventure. It may not have the same sense of urgency as other crime thrillers, but—with its entertaining blend of old and new, of politics and procedure—The Drop is one that armchair detectives won’t want to miss.

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