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Monday, November 23, 2015


4 stars out of 5

The trouble with Harry is that he's agreed to work with his "Lincoln Lawyer" half-brother. I love both characters (Harry Bosch and Mickey Haller ), but if I'm honest, I'd have to say I wasn't as thrilled to see them working together as I thought I'd be. I'm not exactly why, except that while both share center stage as they go about their respective business, some of the shine (for want of a better word) that puts the uniqueness in their personalities just seemed a bit dull around the edges.

The story begins as the Mickster is defending a former gang member who's been charged with the brutal murder of a woman - according to the cops and prosecutor, an open-and-shut case. Haller, though, is convinced his guy has been set up; but to prove it, he needs a better-than-good investigator. Enter Bosch, who retired from the Los Angeles Police Department and in theory is available. Problem is, he doesn't want anything to do with Haller or his blustery, sometimes shady tactics; signing on with the defense would be tantamount to thumbing his nose at his former LAPD family.

Eventually, Haller wears down Bosch's defenses, convincing him to view the job as if he were doing his cop thing by finding the real culprit rather than helping to get a low-life killer out of jail (like beauty, intent apparently is in the eye of the beholder). And as he starts sniffing around, Bosch finds several holes in the investigation that make him think the case may be more open than shut - and his old cop instincts really do start kicking in.

So does the action, which includes a hit-and-run, scantily clad "businesswomen," more murders and the potential for blowback that could put the LAPD in the eye of a hurricane. As he gets deeper into the investigation, Bosch seeks help, and gets it, from a few former colleagues like former partner Lucia Soto even as he butts heads with a few other department cronies who are less than thrilled that he's joined the dark side.

All things considered, this book is very good, but not great. I look at it this way: After more than seven decades of eating, I still get a little antsy when different foods on my plate touch each other; similarly, I prefer that my characters lead separate lives (and books).

The Crossing by Michael Connelly (Little, Brown and Co., November 2015); 401 pp.

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