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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Review of The Drop

Goodreads | Eric_W Welch (Forreston, IL)'s review of The Drop:

I liked this classic Connelly as I have enjoyed most of the Hieronymous Bosch detective series. on for a few caveats.

The title is a play on multiple plot themes: the suicide of the son of Bosch's earlier nemesis who now sits on the city Council and has become a thorn in the side of the police department; Bosch's ability to continue work as a detective past the normal retirement sequence (called the "drop); and the budding relationship Harry's starts with a Hannah, a psychologist working in a half-way house for sexual predators. This relationship, BTW, seems woefully unnecessary to the rest of the story(ies) and appears to be there for the sole purpose of some Connelly "preaching" -- I use the word advisedly -- with regard to how society treats sexual predators and the roots of evil and Harry seems to do a flip-flop-flip on the issue depending on whether he wants to have Hannah in bed or not.

Connelly likes to show off his knowledge of LAPD police procedure and buildings, which is OK, it brings some verisimilitude to the book, but at times feels like overkill.

There's also a tension between getting the bad guys and doing things by the rules. This is always something the bugs the hell out of me. Many police detective stories rely on the heroes breaking the rules in order to get the bad guys as if they couldn't without doing so. It's the we're-righteous-so-it's-OK syndrome. [spoiler coming] After the suicide/murder investigation has been resolved and Harry and his partner, David, have returned to his original cold case, they finally track down the father of the guy they think is the perp in an old rape case.  Bosch cleverly realizes the guy is not the father but the son.  Then Bosch proceeds to coerce a confession out of the guy and does an illegal search of the next door apartment where the guy says all his trophies are stored.  This, while they are preparing a search warrant (he jumped the warrant) to look for evidence they already know is there and would be totally tainted if the coerced confession were revealed.  This is followed by a sanctimonious lecture on how important it is to follow the rules in order top make sure the guy doesn't get off on a Fourth Amendment violation. The fact is, Bosch has just committed a plethora of legal errors quite willingly and totally unnecessarily.  Once they had the information about the son's impersonation of the father they had more than enough information to get a proper warrant (they can submit requests wirelessly and it would have taken but a few minutes) and search the adjoining condo where all the incriminating evidence was stored, thus eliminating the risk of a tainted prosecution.

Now, if that's the way the LAPD really operates, it's abhorrent and breeds a sense of distrust and dismissal of the very rules the police are enjoined to enforce.

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