Just finished Michael Connelly's latest Harry Bosch book, The Closers. Not as good as the last 2, Lost Light and The Narrows, but still engrossing. This one is pure police procedural, as Harry rejoins the force in a "cold case" unit, called Open/Unsolved. His first case dates back 17 years to the killing of a young, biracial high school student, Rebecca Verloren. A new DNA hit on the gun brings out a suspect, Roland Mackey, but did he pull the trigger on Rebecca or just pull the trigger at some point on the stolen murder weapon? That's where the case lies.
This one really takes about 100+ pages to get rolling, when a rusty Harry starts to realize this is not just a simple unsolved case, that it has LAPD influence written all over it. Connelly is best when he wraps in the interdepartment politics of the highest-profile police force in the nation. But where he stumbles a bit, I think, in this one, is by introducing real people into the book, including current LAPD police chief Bill Bratton and detectives Tim Marcia and Rick Jackson (who I recognized immediately from the excellent non-fiction book, Homicide Special by Miles Corwin). While Bratton is never specifically named, it's clear the chief on the sixth floor is him. With Connelly's last book, The Narrows, a special DVD, titled Blue Neon Night, was given away. The documentary on it focused on Connelly's L.A. and one scene was him with Bratton at some kind of police function, probably the cadet graduation at the Police Academy which is mirrored in the next-to-last chapter of the book. While I love historical fiction which weaves in real-life personages into the storyline, like Ragtime and so many others, this just kind of bothers me here, and almost makes it seem like Connelly is making up for being not so kind to the LAPD in the past, showing a force corrupted and corruptable.
One good thing about this book: Connelly is definitely thinking about Cassie Black, the unforgettable protagonist of Void Moon, one of his best non-Bosch-starring books. While I think his next book has a whole new lead in it, I'm hoping that a Void sequel isn't far off. It looks like the previously announced film, supposedly starring Diane Lane and Al Pacino, is dead in the water. I hope Cassie comes back soon, and gets better on-screen treatment than Terry McCabe got from Clint Eastwood. After the movie of Blood Work, Connelly up and killed McCabe in The Narrows, at the hands of The Poet (whose first adventure is still Connelly's best book, period). Let's hope Cassie either stays off the big screen altogether, or gets a new story from the pen of this masterful writer.