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Wednesday, June 1st, 2005


The Closers (Harry Bosch)

by Michael Connelly

Bosch is Back

A review by Anna Godbersen

Detective Harry Bosch is back from retirement in the The Closers, Michael Connelly's latest police wonk thriller. Bosch, school of hard knocks graduate, hero of The Narrows and other Connelly efforts, has been reclaimed by the LAPD and assigned to the cold case squad. With him is former partner Kiz Rider; they effortlessly return to finishing each other's jokes and splitting their cheap Chinese take-out. They are the closers, "the guys they bring in in the bottom of the ninth inning to win or lose the game," except that this particular game is homicide. Bosch and Rider's first case is the seventeen-year-old murder of a then sixteen-year-old valley girl named Becky Verloren, whose mixed-race parentage seems to have been overlooked by the original, inadequate investigation. The Verloren case soon reveals itself as much more complicated than it seems, and Bosch is planting wiretaps and going undercover as a tattooed white supremacist. He also finds himself navigating the world of high jingo, where the corrupt involvement of other cops threatens to overwhelm the actual investigation. This is a changed LAPD, but it is still the LAPD, rife with cover-ups and racial tension.

Bosch, after two years of retirement, finds himself rusty in certain areas; his lack of finesse with the cell phone more than once threatens to blow his cover. But he proves his detective skills are still sharp, pursuing the Verloren case with a dogged, moral purpose. Connelly, too, is at the top of his game, and the latest installment of the Bosch saga comes with thrills, twists to spare, and a deeply satisfying conclusion.

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