Harry Bosch (The Drop, 2011, etc.) returns to yet another cold case—one that was taken out of his hand 20 years ago when it was still red hot.
Assigned to an emergency rotation in South-Central LA during the Rodney King riots, Harry’s sent out to an alley off Crenshaw Boulevard, where National Guard troops have found a body. The victim turns out to be Copenhagen journalist Anneke Jespersen, executed by a bullet to the head. With the city in the throes of a violent crisis, there’s no time to work this case or any other, and the death gets tossed into the deep freeze till it’s defrosted 20 years later by the LAPD’s Open-Unsolved Unit. Now, however, some remarkable developments are waiting to be discovered. The Beretta handgun used in the crime has been traced to long-imprisoned gangbanger Rufus Coleman, whose brief off-the-record statement allows Harry to link the gun to at least two other murders in the intervening years. If the search for information about the weapon, mostly carried out by Harry’s long-suffering partner David Chu, seems almost too easy, the questions that stymied Harry back in 1992—what brought a Danish reporter to America, to riot-torn LA and to the alley where she met her death, and why was she killed?—prove just as hard to answer, especially since Harry’s new boss, Lt. Cliff O’Toole, makes it clear that on the 20th anniversary of the LAPD’s darkest hour, he doesn’t want the only case from that sorry chapter cleared to be the one that involved a white woman. Harry naturally meets O’Toole’s opposition by raising the stakes.
The resulting tension lifts this sturdy but uninspired procedural above most of its competition, though nowhere close to the top of Connelly’s own storied output.