Review: Michael Connelly mystery The Crossing (Harry Bosch)

Written by Michael Connelly

For a guy who bends the rules from time to time, Detective Harry Bosch can be fairly judgmental about other people’s transgressions. In his defense he doesn’t do it for money or personal advancement or the love of beautiful women—Harry craves justice. He’s a good man in a very naughty world. “Everybody counts or nobody counts.” Now one of his shoot- from- the-hip decisions has backfired, and the LAPD has forced him into retirement. Harry is suing for reinstatement and trying to fill his days by restoring a motorcycle when defense lawyer Mickey Haller asks him to help prove the innocence of one of his clients, Da’Quaan Foster, a former gang banger who now makes his living as an artist. In spite of rock solid DNA evidence Mickey believes his client didn’t do the crime.

Harry likes and respects Mickey personally but he can’t imagine going to the dark side, working with a man whose face appears in advertisements on buses with the legend—“Reasonable Doubt for a Reasonable Fee. Call the Lincoln Lawyer.” He says no. Not a chance. But Mickey, whose motto and mantra is “Everyone deserves a fair trial” offers Harry a deal If he finds evidence against Da’Quaan, it will be shared with the DA. “Wide open discovery.” And Mickey has an unexpected ally—Harry’s unforgiving conscience. Because if Da’Quaan is innocent that means a killer is running free, one ruthless and clever enough to frame someone for murder. Hunting instincts aroused he agrees to look into the case. Quietly. He is not yet ready to make the crossing.

As his devoted readers know, Connelly doesn’t spend a lot of words on description unless it’s on a murder book or the scene of a crime. When I started to write this I realized the brief physical description of his hero had been superseded in my mind by Connelly’s own person, familiar from his appearances at the writer’s poker game in the tv show Castle. Finally I went back to The Black Echo where the detective with eyes so dark brown they appeared black made his debut. Connelly saves his descriptions for where they count, taking us painstaking page by page through the murder book, the investigating cops’ written reports they must share with the prosecution. A while ago my friend B.B., herself a successful writer, called to say thanks for my recommendation of Connelly’s The Gods of Guilt (and to have dinner). She thought it was the best mystery she’d read in some time. Earlier this week I called to see if she’d read The Crossing. She said yes and that she was such a Connelly fan she was surprised I’d even asked. “When I read him I feel like I’m in good hands.”

If you haven’t read Michael Connelly before and find his list of more than 25 books daunting, you might want to start with The Brass Verdict, the first book when Harry and Mickey work on the same case, but it’s all good—the author never lets you down.

NOTE: All the Connelly titles are listed on the Magpie Recommends.

Michael Connelly
The Crossing (Harry Bosch)
Little Brown and Company
November 3, 2015
400 pages

Sandra Jordan

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