Harry Bosch, balancing a new pair of gigs in greater LA, tackles two cases, one of them official, one he struggles to keep as private as can be.
Now that he’s settled the lawsuit he brought against the LAPD for having forced him into retirement, Harry (The Crossing, 2015, etc.) is working as an unsalaried, part-time reservist for the San Fernando Police Department while keeping his license as a private investigator. Just as the San Fernando force is decimated by the layoffs that made Harry such an attractive hire, it’s confronted with a serious menace: the Screen Cutter, a serial rapist with a bizarre penchant for assaulting women during the most fertile days of their menstrual cycles. Ordinarily Harry would jump at the chance to join officers Bella Lourdes and Danny Sisto in tracking down the Screen Cutter, and he does offer one or two promising suggestions. But he’s much more intent on the private job he’s taken for 85-year-old engineering czar Whitney Vance, who wants him to find Vibiana Duarte, the Mexican girl he impregnated when he was a USC student, and her child, who’d be well past middle age by now—and also wants him to keep his inquiries absolutely secret. Harry’s admirably dogged sleuthing soon reveals what became of Vibiana and her child, but his discovery is less interesting and challenging than his attempts to report back to his client, who doesn’t answer his private phone even as everyone around Harry is demanding information about the case he doesn’t feel he can share.
Grade-A Connelly. The dark forces arrayed against the hero turn out to be disappointingly toothless, but everything else clicks in this latest chapter of a compulsively good cop’s odyssey through the City of Angels and its outlying neighborhoods and less angelic spirits.