Wednesday, June 22, 2016

What we're reading: Hieronymus Bosch

No, not the painter, the fictional homicide detective in Michael Connelly's long-running series!

The new Harry Bosch novel (#20) is called The Crossing, and the title is significant in several ways, all of which facilitate the story. In the last Bosch novel, Harry was about to be pushed out of the LAPD by his captain, who wasn't a fan and found a way to get rid of him, so he took preemptive measures by retiring first, but then turned around and hired his lawyer half-brother, Mickey Haller, to sue the department. He is, therefore, already a bit persona non grata with his former colleagues, and now things are about to get worse.

His brother, Mickey (the Lincoln Lawyer), wants Harry to "cross the aisle," so to speak, and work for the defense by assisting Mickey to prove that his client is not guilty of a horrific murder of which he is accused. Harry knows that anyone on the force who works for the defense will draw ire, disgust, and disavowment from his fellow officers, so he initially turns Mickey down flat--working for the defense would go against every one of his basic principles. But his curiosity about the case leads him to look into it just a little bit, and he finds himself agreeing that there's something hinky about it.

This is where the second meaning of the title comes into play, as Harry looks for the "crossing point," that time and place where the path of the victim crosses the path of the murderer. In Mickey's client's case, Harry can't find one, which is odd. The oddity sucks Harry further into the investigation until he finally has to admit that he's fully on board with helping Mickey--but only because he knows that if Haller's client didn't do it, then someone else did. Harry's not okay with that person still being out on the street.

There is yet a third meaning for crossing, but to explain it would be a major spoiler, so I won't go into it. But it's a great story made even better by the nuances of Connelly's thinking, his plotting, his language, great action scenes, and the finessing of the meaning of the title! A solid, intriguing offering in the history of this series.

Editor's note: This one is popular and hard to find, even though we have five copies at BPL; but we also offer it as an e-book and an audio book, as well as in large print format.

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