Harry Bosch, the LAPD detective who insists, “I don’t want to be famous. I just want to work cases,” gets his wish times two.
Assigned to the Open-Unsolved Squad, Bosch catches a cold case with an impossible twist. Now that the lab can analyze DNA evidence from the 1989 rape and murder of Ohio student Lily Price, it’s linked conclusively to Clayton Pell, a known predator whose long history of sex crimes has already landed him in prison. Pell would be perfect as the killer if only he hadn’t been eight when the victim was slain. Before Bosch can start looking beyond the physical evidence for an explanation, he’s pulled out of past crimes and into the present by an old enemy. City Councilman Irvin Irving, the ex–deputy chief whom Bosch played a supporting role in bouncing from the LAPD years ago, demands that Bosch take charge of the investigation into his son George’s fatal plunge from his seventh-story room at the Chateau Marmont. It looks like suicide, but the Councilman claims it’s murder, and he doesn’t want it swept under the rug, even if it takes the hated Bosch to ferret out the truth. Hamstrung between two utterly unrelated cases, Bosch tries to work them both, with predictably unhappy results: scheduling conflicts, treacherous leaks to the media, trouble with his bosses and even his old partner, Lt. Kizmin Rider. Even so, it’s not long before he’s worked out pretty convincing explanations for both crimes and can begin the slow, patient process of winding them up before a pair of nasty surprises gives both of them a bitter edge.
Not by a long shot Bosch’s finest hour, but a welcome return to form after the helter-skelter 9 Dragons (2009).