The Closers by Michael Connelly
When my husband and I go on holidays, we each take books and, half way through the trip, we swap. I was recently introduced to Michael Connelly books after the Scottish author, Karen Campbell, mentioned that she enjoyed them. So last month when we sent off for the Canary Isles, The Closers, by Michael Connelly came with me. Michael Connelly is an American author of detective novels and other crime fiction, notably those featuring his characters LAPD Detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch . I had previously read his book, The Narrows which is reviewed here: but I enjoyed this book far more. The story is more complex and interesting to me. The Closers is the eleventh book featuring Connelly’s character Harry Bosch.
At the beginning of the book Bosch is told, “A city that forgets its murder victims is a city lost. This is where we don’t forget,” With this Bosch ends a three-year retirement and rejoins the Los Angeles Police Department at the start of The Closers, Bosch is assigned to the newly re-branded Open-Unsolved Unit (the “cold case” squad), and charged with resolving the 17-year-old abduction and slaying of a mixed-race teenager, Rebecca Verloren. At 16 she was discovered missing from her home on a July morning in 1988. Her corpse and the gun that ended her life were later found on a hill behind the house. An autopsy revealed that she had recently undergone an abortion, and a piece of skin tissue–presumably the killer’s–was found trapped inside the murder weapon.
DNA science has matched that tissue to Roland Mackey, a dyslexic 35-year-old tow-truck operator with no obvious connection to the deceased. Bosch, along with his partner with Kizmin Rider, must determine whether Mackey killed Becky Verloren, or was an accessory to that murder.
The more Bosch and Rider dig into this dusty crime, trying to determine whether racial animosity might have been involved, the more resistance they encounter. Becky’s white mother maintains the girl’s bedroom as a shrine, while her shattered father, an African-American chef, has vanished into LA’s homeless community.
One of the two original investigators on the case, has committed suicide, and Bosch suspects that the other (now a police commander) is not helping his investigation.
Bosch is a bit rusty after three years away from the force and makes his share of personal and professional mistakes. Would-be novelists wanting an example of a solidly constructed cop tale need look no further than The Closers. This is a well written book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I highly recommend it.