Two Kinds of Truth (Harry Bosch #22), by Michael Connelly

Eight stars

Michael Connelly has been hard at work to bring readers another instalment in the Harry Bosch series. With Bosch having such a long existence in the crime thriller world, some permutations had to be expected with the 22nd novel. Three years away from the LAPD, Bosch has been contentedly working for the San Fernando PD as a detective. His current focus is the piles of cold cases that haunt the region. When Bosch is visited by a former partner and two other officials, he learns that a man sitting on death row that he put away for murder three decades ago has been given another chance by the LAPD Convictions Integrity Unit (CIU). After opening an investigation when another man confessed to the crime, DNA not previously processed was found on the victim’s clothing. Additionally, there is an attempt to sandbag Bosch, citing that he went rogue and planted evidence. As Bosch tries to process this, he is called out on a fresh case, where two pharmacists have been killed at work. With the CIU investigation pushed to the back of his mind, Bosch begins exploring the dark world of drug-dealing by scrip, where plants are sent into pharmacies (sometimes willing) and having hundreds of prescriptions filled for oxy pills, only to have them released on the streets. The deeper he digs, the more complex the web Bosch discovers. While he may be a few years away from dealing with warm victims, Bosch will stop at nothing to get to the bottom of this case. Meanwhile, turning to his half-brother, Bosch engages the services of Mickey Haller to help him through the mess that is CIU and the upcoming hearing to clear the name of a death row inmate. Does Bosch have enough recollection to keep his name clear from the mud? Can Haller pull a proverbial rabbit out of a hat? How can they dismiss the video of a sealed evidence container holding clothing that was stained with DNA that did not belong to the killer? Readers are treated to a wonderful story that does not let go until the bitter end. Perfect for series fans who enjoy a little Bosch with their mystery.

I have long been a Michael Connelly fan and this novel helps support that claim. It is a successful author who can juggle a series for as long as Connelly has kept Bosch going without allowing things to go stale. Connelly finds new angles and approaches for his protagonist to ensure that the grit for which Bosch is so well known does not dull. Pulling on a few threads from Bosch’s background or personal life, Connelly pulls the reader into the middle of the man’s life, as well as his acclamation to a smaller and less vigorous life as a cold-case detective. Bosch is surrounded by many secondary characters, some new and some long-established, all of whom complement (never compliment) Bosch on his journey through the narrative. The story is clean and the premise poignant, as oxy drugs supersaturate the market now. Connelly shows his research is strong and all-encompassing to present such a wonderful story, pulling on various parts of the underworld. I can see Bosch continuing his strong reign within the crime thriller genre, helped by the superior writing of Michael Connelly. Surely Haller fans with also enjoy what the author has done in this meshing story.

Kudos, Mr. Connelly, for this wonderful piece. Some have commented that things are going off the rails, though I cannot see it myself. I wonder if you have ideas about meshing all your L.A. characters in a coming novel.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: