Monday, September 7, 2015

The Drop! Top Favorite Author, Michael Connelly Presents Two Cases for Harry Bosch--A Fantastic Duet of Deceit!

Everybody counts or nobody counts...

"I want you to tell me wht happened to my son, Detective Bosch. I want the truth and I think I can trust you to give it to me."
"No matter how it falls?"
"No matter how it falls."
Bosch nodded. "I can do that." He started to get up when Irving continued. "You said once that everybody counts or nobody counts. I remember that. This would put that to the test. Does the son of your enemy count? Will you give your best effort for him? Will you be relentless for him?"
Bosch stared at him. Everybody counts or nobody counts. It was his code as a man. But it was never spoken. It was only followed. He was sure he had never said it to Irving...
As expected, Chu was full of questions while they were driving out of downtown on the 101 freeway. They had been partnered for nearly two years and by now Bosch was more than used to the manifestation of Chu's insecurities in a nonstop verbal outpouring of questions, comments and observations. He usually spoke about one thing while his real concern was some thing else. Sometimes Bosch took it easy on him and told him what he wanted to know. Sometimes he let things play out till they became excruciating to his young partner. 
"Harry, what the hell is going on? We got one case this morning and now they say we have another?"
"The LAPD is a paramilitary organization, Chu. That means when someone of higher rank tells you to do something, you do it. The order came down from the chief and we're following it. That's what going on. We'll eventually get back to the cold hit. But for now we have a live one and it's the priority.
"Sounds like bullshit politics."
"High jingo."
"What's that?"
"The confluence of police and politics. We are investigating the death of Councilman Irvin Irving's son. You know about Irving, right?
"Yeah, he was a deputy chief when I came on. Then he quit and ran for the council."
"Well, he didn't voluntarily quit. He was forced out and run for the council so he could seek his revenge on the department. Pure and simple, he lives for one thing--putting the boot to the LAPD. You should also know that back in the day, he had a particular dislike for me. We had a few collisions, you could say."
"Then why would he want you on his son's case?"
"We'll be finding that out pretty soon..."

"Harry, I need your best work on this. I don't care about your history. Put it aside. We can't have the councilman go off and say we laid down on this."
Bosch was silent for a moment as he thought about what else to ask.
"Chief, where is the councilman?"
"We've got him down in the lobby."
"Did he go into the room?"
"He insisted. I let him look around without touching anything and then we walked him out."
"You shouldn't have done that, Marty..."

The Drop

By Michael Connelly

Bosch is now 61, working with Cold Cases, when he's called personally into an active case--investigating the death of a councilman's son...who just happens to have been somebody with whom Harry has had problems in the past. Irvin Irving's son had died as a result of falling from a hotel window. Was it suicide, an accident, or was he murdered? Strangely enough, Irving wants Bosch on the case, forgetting the bad feelings between them, because Irving believes Bosch has the integrity to see the case through and come up with the right answers...

Of course, Irving is right and Bosch does find the answer, but...

Be prepared to hear a continuous reference to the words "High Jingo." Is Harry running a straight-forward case...or is he being played... or even betrayed? One thing he knows is that the current chief of police had probably made some deal with Irving in order to have Bosch on the case...the problem was that at this point he had no idea what the bargain included, confident, though, that he'd figure it out before long.   

Actually, both of the cases were assigned specifically to Bosch, and Chu, the first one, a cold case, was explained by the lieutenant, noting that there was something wrong about the case and it had to be kept confidential until they discovered what exactly happened... Because it went back to the discovery of DNA of one Clayton S. Pell, who had just been released from prison. Bosch immediately saw this guy guilty, given his known record...except that he would have been eight years old when the blood had been left at the scene... The victim had been 19 when she was snatched on the street and the blood had come from a small smear found on her neck...  To clear Pell, they were going to have to find the real killer... 

Several characters in the story--Bosch's daughter and Clayton Pell's counselor--allow readers a chance to see the personal side of Harry. The relationship between Harry and his daughter is wonderfully sound and she's already planning to join the Police Academy, with Bosch already training her in all the little ways he has become such a great officer. Then, Harry is attracted to his counselor, Hannah Stone, when he goes to meet Pell for the first time.

Twenty minutes later he walked through the front door of his home to find his daughter reading a book and playing music in the living room. He stood there frozen in the entranceway, taco bad in one hand, briefcase in the other, murder book under his arm.
"What?" she said.
"You're listening to Art Pepper?"
"Yeah, I think it's good music to read by."
He smiled and went into the kitchen...
"How are school?" he asked while opening his briefcase. "Did you skip lunch again?"
"School was a drag like always. I skipped lunch to study for the algebra quiz."
"How'd you do?"
"I probably flunked."
He knew she was exaggerating. She was a good student. She hated algebra because she could not perceive a life where it would become useful. Especially when at the moment she wanted to be a cop--or so she said...

Another female friend is Kizmin Rider who once was Harry partner and who is now in the Chief's office Readers first meet her during an interesting discussion of another DROP... Bosch has asked for an extension to his retirement for another five years. During this book, Harry goes back and forth considering whether he just wants to go ahead and retire and be with his daughter more than he normally has in the past...

One thing immediately became apparent to Bosch...a cop was probably involved in the death of Irvng... Connelly spends some time in the novel to explain about the controversial choke hold that had been used in the past--I appreciated this back-fill information since all of us are aware of the deaths attributed to this hold! And the outrage from those deaths! And, indeed, Bosch's assumption moved forward in a direction that could lead to the death actually being a murder... Because that choke hold left a mark on Irving's body!

There is an interesting relationship with Bosch and his partner that creates a unique situation later in the book. Bosch is a man who is used to working on his own and has a difficult time sharing all that he is thinking. I could understand that because so many different options were coming forward for both cases... But the Irving case was supposed to be top priority, while Bosch was interested in the cold case... No matter what, both cases were being handled, whether or not Harry was willing to feed every thought to others, especially Irving's father...

[Harry] began by carefully rereading all the reports and summaries he had clipped into the binder. He let the information flow over him and he looked for new angles and colors. If George Irving jumped, then Bosch had to more than simply believe it. He had to be able to prove it not only to the power that be but, most important, to himself. And he wasn't quite there yet. A suicide was a premeditated killing. Bosch needed to find motive and opportunity and means. He had some of each but not enough.
The CD changed moved to the next disc and Bosch soon recognized Chet Baker's trumpet. The song was "Night Bird" from a German import. Bosch had seen Baker perform the song in a club on O'Farrell in San Francisco in 1982, the only time he ever saw him play live. By then Baker's cover-boy looks and West Coast cool had been sucked out of him by drugs and life, but he could still make the trumpet sound like a human voice on a dark night. In another six years he would be dead from a fall from a hotel window in Amsterdam.
Bosch looked at his daughter. "You put this in there?"
She looked up from the book. "If this Chet Baker? Yeah, I wanted to hear him because of your case and the poem in the hallway."

Chet Baker

looks out from his hotel room 
across the Amstel to the girl
cycling by the canal who lifts
her hand and waves and when
she smiles he is back in times
when every Hollywood producer
wanted to turn his life
into that bittersweet story
where he falls badly, but only
in love with Pier Angeli,
Carol Lynley, Natalie Wood;
that day he strolled into the studio,
fall of fifty-two, and played
those perfect lines across
the chords of My Funny Valentine--
and now when he looks up from
his window and her passing smile
into the blue of a perfect sky
he knows this is one of those
rare days when he can truly fly.

"I looked him up on Wikipedia," Maddie said. "They never knew for sure if he jumped or just fell. Some people said drug dealers pushed him out.

...Bosch felt he was missing something...It was there but he just couldn't read it...
Harry suddenly had it!


         Oh yeah, reading Michael Connelly's series with Harry Bosch sure makes a very smooth read! You've probably read them all if you are a fan, but like I said in this month's "What's Happening" I had been neglecting my top favorite authors to respond to other requests for reviews...Won't let that happen again. I missed several of this series since the early ones I had read many years ago, and it was great to watch Bosch, one of my favorite cop characters, working again... Hope you enjoy learning about The Drop. I loved it!
And by the way, in case you, too, hadn't heard, the television series is now available!

I started to watch the first one on my Fire, but the book kept calling me back...I'd rather read the book first...LOL

Anyway, if you haven't read this author, surely you are not a fiction reader, else there'd be no way you haven't heard of him! Do check this book out, in particular, and we'll see what else is waiting on my book shelf for the next book by one of my top favorite authors! This one is a must-read for fans of the series and highly recommended for those who love thrillers, suspense and police action!


Michael Connelly was born in Philadelphia, PA on July 21, 1956. He moved to Florida with his family when he was 12 years old. Michael decided to become a writer after discovering the books of Raymond Chandler while attending the University of Florida. Once he decided on this direction he chose a major in journalism and a minor in creative writing -- a curriculum in which one of his teachers was novelist Harry Crews.

After graduating in 1980, Connelly worked at newspapers in Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, primarily specializing in the crime beat. In Fort Lauderdale he wrote about police and crime during the height of the murder and violence wave that rolled over South Florida during the so-called cocaine wars. In 1986, he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of a major airline crash. They wrote a magazine story on the crash and the survivors which was later short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. The magazine story also moved Connelly into the upper levels of journalism, landing him a job as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, one of the largest papers in the country, and bringing him to the city of which his literary hero, Chandler, had written.

After three years on the crime beat in L.A., Connelly began writing his first novel to feature LAPD Detective Hieronymus Bosch. The novel, The Black Echo, based in part on a true crime that had occurred in Los Angeles, was published in 1992 and won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by the Mystery Writers of America. Connelly followed up with three more Bosch books, The Black Ice, The Concrete Blonde, and The Last Coyote, before publishing The Poet in 1996--a thriller with a newspaper reporter as a protagonist. In 1997, he went back to Bosch with Trunk Music, and in 1998 another non-series thriller, Blood Work, was published. It was inspired in part by a friend's receiving a heart transplant and the attendant "survivor's guilt" the friend experienced, knowing that someone died in order that he have the chance to live. Connelly had been interested and fascinated by those same feelings as expressed by the survivors of the plane crash he wrote about years before. The movie adaptation of Blood Work was released in 2002, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood.

Connelly's next book, Angels Flight, was released in 1999 and was another entry in the Harry Bosch series. The non-series novel Void Moon was released in 2000 and introduced a new character, Cassie Black, a high-stakes Las Vegas thief. His 2001 release, A Darkness More Than Night, united Harry Bosch with Terry McCaleb from Blood Work, and was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Los Angeles Times.

In 2002, Connelly released two novels. The first, the Harry Bosch book City Of Bones, was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times. The second release was a stand-alone thriller, Chasing The Dime, which was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Los Angeles Times.

Lost Light was published in 2003 and named one of the Best Books of 2003 by the Los Angeles Times. It is another in the Harry Bosch series but the first written in first person.
Connelly's 2004 novel, The Narrows, is the sequel to The Poet. It was named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Los Angeles Times. His 11th Harry Bosch novel, The Closers, was published in 2005, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. The Lincoln Lawyer, Connelly's first-ever legal thriller and his 16th novel, was published in 2005 and also debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. This book introduced Mickey Haller, a Los Angeles defense attorney who works out of the back seat of his Lincoln Town Car. The movie adaptation, starring Matthew McConaughey as Haller, was released in 2011. This is the second film adapted from a Connelly novel.

Crime Beat, a non-fiction collection of crime stories from Michael's days as a journalist, was released in 2006, as was the Harry Bosch novel, Echo Park. The Overlook, Michael's 18th novel, was originally serialized in the New York Times Magazine. This Harry Bosch story was published as a book with additional material in 2007.

Michael's 19th novel, The Brass Verdict, was released in 2008, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It introduces Lincoln lawyer Mickey Haller to LAPD Detective Harry Bosch in a fast-paced legal thriller. Michael's 20th novel, The Scarecrow, was released in 2009, and reunites reporter Jack McEvoy and FBI Agent Rachel Walling for the first time since The Poet. It too debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Michael released a second book in 2009, the 15th Harry Bosch novel, Nine Dragons. In this story, Bosch goes to Hong Kong to find his missing daughter.

In 2010, The Reversal was released and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. This book has Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch working together on the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. The Fifth Witness, a Mickey Haller novel, was released in 2011 and also debuted at #1. Michael's 2011 novel, The Drop, a Harry Bosch novel, debuted at #1. Another #1 ranked book, The Black Box, focuses on Harry Bosch once again and is Michael's 25th novel. Its release came in Michael's 20th year in publishing, 2012. The Gods of Guilt , a Mickey Haller novel, was released in 2013, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. The Burning Room, a Harry Bosch novel, was released in 2014 and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Fifty-eight million copies of Connelly's books have sold worldwide and he has been translated into thirty-nine foreign languages. He has won the Edgar Award, Anthony Award, Macavity Award, Los Angeles Times Best Mystery/Thriller Award, Shamus Award, Dilys Award, Nero Award, Barry Award, Audie Award, Ridley Award, Maltese Falcon Award (Japan), .38 Caliber Award (France), Grand Prix Award (France), Premio Bancarella Award (Italy), and the Pepe Carvalho award (Spain) .

In addition to his literary work, Michael is one of the producers and writers of the TV show, "Bosch," which is streaming on Amazon Prime Instant Video now. All 10 episodes can be watched here:

Michael lives with his family in Florida.

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