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Review: The Drop, by Michael Connelly 2011

HERB JOHNSON – GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR
This is not Connelly’s most recent book, but since all his novels are written in pretty much the same style and with the same level of professional competence, this is as good a place to start as any.
Connelly has two main heroes — Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller. They are half-brothers and each get their own book, unless they happen to run into each other, which they do from time to time.
Harry has this one to himself and it’s just about all he can do to make it through; even then there’s some question as to whether or not things turned out the way he figured they should. And Harry has definite ideas on how things should go. He may be flawed, some might even say he is a troubled soul, but he has integrity. He has his standards and he follows his own path.
In The Drop, his main problem is what is known in police work as “high jingo,” which refers to political skullduggery within the department. Harry just wants to find out if the guy on the sidewalk jumped or was pushed from the 79th floor balcony. But all the bureaucrats above him are more interested in using the situation to get the upper hand on a councilman Irvin Irving, who is the victim’s father and a pain in the neck as far the police department is concerned.
There’s a lot of high jingo and not much in the way of happy ending, but Bosch does manage to maintain his integrity and, in his spare time, solve a cold case that results in the arrest of a serial killer.
Harry’s half-brother Mickey does show up briefly in Nine Dragons (2009) when he is called in to defend Harry against two cops from Hong Kong who want to arrest him for the murder of a rather large number of people in that city.
Harry actually did it, but he had good reason. He was simply trying to rescue his daughter from some people he thought belonged to one of the Chinese triads but turned out to be ordinary evil people who were going to sell her organs for big money.
This book is more of an action-packed thriller than The Drop, and has a lot more shooting. People die, and not all of them are the bad guys.
One more thing. John Grisham’s latest novel, Gray Mountain, is concerned almost entirely with a comprehensive examination of all that is wrong with the coal industry. Strip mining is bad and Grisham takes 368 pages to tell us why. Something unexpected happens about half-way through, but that’s about it.
The rest is all about strip mining and black lung disease and the young lawyer who we all know is going to strike a blow for justice three pages from the end.

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