Each strand of Michael Connelly’s latest thriller moves the novel’s title, “Drop,” in a fresh direction. LAPD Detective Harry Bosch, now on his second tour of duty with the Open-Unsolved Unit, begins investigating a 1989 murder after new tests on old evidence — a small drop of blood — reveal a match with a convicted predator. Before he can pursue that lead, however, Bosch finds himself pulled onto a higher-profile case: A city councilman’s son jumped, fell or was dropped from a seventh-floor hotel balcony. And back in the office, Bosch receives disappointing news about his Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP). That imperiled plan has kept him in the field and maintained the income he desperately needs as a newly single parent to a 15-year-old daughter (a relationship that really blossoms in this book).
As in the best of Connelly’s books, few things are what they first appear. That DNA match has fingered a suspect who couldn’t have committed the crime. The grieving councilman is a noted LAPD critic (and Bosch nemesis), which intensifies the tension when evidence of political corruption points in the councilman’s direction. And Bosch’s concerns about staying on the job are balanced against his recognition that he may be suffering “a drop-off of skills.”