I live in Bristol UK literary fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run
There are very few events in my reading history that beat the thrill of delving into a new Michael Connelly/Harry Bosch novel. Harry may well be into his mid 60's now but he still has that hunger, that old coyote weariness about him, that first made him a grade one detective some 30 years ago. He's now older, definitely wiser his skills very much in demand by an undermanned LAPD.
At the start of "Two Kinds of Truth" Harry is doing what he does best, searching through cold case files in a "drunk tank" somewhere in San Fernando. His suspicions are aroused when detectives arrive to confront him about an investigation many years old. With the advance in forensic medicine the investigation that led to the conviction of Preston Borders, in the trial of Danielle Skyler, is now in danger of collapse. This follows the discovery of semen, belonging to a rapist Lucas John Olmer, since deseased, on some of the victims clothing. So the reality is that Borders could be freed and a wrongful arrest case brought against Harry, the ramifications of this are immense as Bosch's 30 year workload could now be open to scrutiny. Our hero is furious but has little time to dwell on his feelings and the rights or wrongs of an old case, as the Los Angeles County once again needs his skill when a double murder occurs at a downtown pharmacy "La Farmacia Familia". In spectacular fashion he arrives, he is a happy man once again as he is now one of the lead detectives on a "live" case. The author so vividly portrays the innermost thoughts and workings of this great detective, and has me the reader cheering when once again Harry is back!! I realize that not only will Bosch solve this case but he will be accompanied by you and me dear reader riding as shotgun, and that is something we cannot miss!
In the background the historic cold case proceeds and meanwhile Bosch's present assignment sees him becoming involved in the processing and handling of illegal prescriptions involving large quantities of drugs. In the course of this operation we once again meet Harry's old partner Jerry Edgar and it is wonderful to witness the "sparring" that still exists between them. Edgar never felt that Bosch truly trusted him and he now feels a little exhilarated that he is supplying vital information to his ex partner..."Bosch asked the question, jumping at the opportunity to show some expertise to the man who had always doubted him"... Connelly has always painted Bosch as a loner and even though he got results and solved cases he was always viewed as a maverick playing by his own set of rules.
The drug scam is quite simple; enlist the poor and desperate in society with a deep and entrenched drug habit. Then with the help of a bogus doctor authorize illegal prescriptions which are "cashed" in at the Farmacia. Bosch estimates that this is an industry worth more than thirteen million per year. To infiltrate this operation our hero has elected to go undercover, something new in a Connelly novel and adding an extra lair of anticipation and excitement! By going undercover Bosch puts himself in grave danger and all his colleagues and friends begin calling and leaving messages on his cell phone. I have a gripe with Bosch and his two sided standards. He loves dearly his daughter Maddie who is now a student and he implores her to be careful especially at night when she collects her car from a dismal concrete car park adjacent to her college. Yet here he is a 68 year old man about to board a small plane in the company of two Russian thugs...and he notices on takeoff that the back door is wedged open.....and they are about to fly over the sea! He is in mortal danger, what will I the reader do if the unthinkable happens? and more importantly what will young Maddie feel that the one stable person in her life her father who she loves dearly...is no more??..."His life and his world had once again clobbered his daughter. If he vowed to make those who did this pay, didn't that include himself?"....."There was no one in the world Bosch trusted more than his daughter. He told her everything, more detail than he had even told the collective in the mobile command post. He felt the details would mean more to her, and at the same time, he knew he was telling her about the dark side of the world. It was a place she had to know about, he believed no matter where she went with her life.".....
I love Michael Connelly. I love the way he has brought the life of H Bosch into my home over many years. His stories are to me about life, love, relationships, the good and bad that happens, and the evil that is prevalent all around us, the choices that we make, the decisions we take and the consequences we must reap. I love the frailties on display through Harry and the bond that exists between him and his daughter the wonderful Maddie and I fear for Harry, I worry what will happen to her if ever the unthinkable were to occur to her father...."People lie, the president lies, corporations lie and cheat.....The world is ugly and not many people are willing to stand up to it anymore"...
So the two story threads are brought to a very fitting conclusion amidst a highly charged courtroom drama involving Bosch's colourful half brother, Los Angeles based attorney Mickey Haller. Yet amongst all this elation Harry is a restless soul, a man who never seems at ease with himself, a nonconformist with a really big heart. I admire the guy, I applaud the way he unearthed $10,000 from his "end of the world emergency fund" to save the drug soul of Elizabeth Clayton, a dope addict he whose life went out of control when her daughter Daisy was killed. Connelly's stories about a Los Angeles detective are as fresh today as when the first book was published some 25 years ago. Harry Bosch may well be in the autumn of his life but he but he still retains magnetism and human qualities that we all recognise. I look forward to his next outing with great anticipation and would like to thank Orion and the good people of netgalley for a gratis copy in return for an honest review and that is what I have written.