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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Closers by Michael Connelly

The Closers (Harry Bosch) The Closers by Michael Connelly

My review

Rating: 3 of 5 stars

In this addition to the Harry Bosch series, Harry is called out of a 3 year retirement to work with his former partner, Kizmin Rider on the newly formed Open-Unsolved Squad of LAPD. The case assigned to Bosch and Rider concerns the murder of a teenager who'd been carried from her bedroom during the night and murdered not far from her home. The murder had originally been staged as a suicide, but even after that conclusion was ruled out, there never was a firm suspect or solution to the case.

17 years later, with the inclusion of DNA as routine evidence in murder investigations, this cold case could be reopened since there had been tissue and blood left on the inside of the gun by whomever had fired it. That evidence did not belong to the victim. So Bosch and Rider begin from scratch to construct from bits and pieces of information who murdered the teenaged girl.

What I particularly liked about The Closers was the focus on what homicide detectives use to help solve the cases they are given. The attention to detail, the imagination of various scenarios to answer what appear to be unanswerable questions, and the trust a detective needs to have his his or her own instincts to move forward when the case appears to have come to a standstill. In this regard, Kizmin was certainly, as her name implies, the "rider" along for whatever clues Bosch flushes out of this case. Not only is she there to watch Bosch's brilliance at work, but she's also there to provide him with the encouragement and support he needs when some of his plans in solving the crime lead to unexpected results. In other words, Kizmin, for most of the book, is Bosch's straight man -- or, as Connelly tells it, a black, lesbian, intelligent cop. Irritated as Rider can become with Bosch, she always lets him off the hook for his blunders and gazes in awe when he succeeds. Sometimes I wonder how she doesn't gag, but that's just me.

I like the Bosch series. Harry is the kind of detective you'd want working your case if you either were or knew the victim. Yeah, occasionally he blunders, but his conscience never lets him off the hook for mistakes he makes. He believes he is there to speak for the victim and to provide that victim with the justice (s)he deserves. I like that. It's obvious that Connelly knows his stuff when he writes these novels because the plotting is so realistic as the case unfolds.

And then there are those endings. No one writes endings to mysteries like Michael Connelly does. Sometimes they are unrealistic, sometimes they are thrillers down to the last page, and sometimes, after all the smoke has cleared, they could break your heart. That's why I keep on reading whatever Connelly writes. I think he's THAT good.

View all my reviews.

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