Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly: A review

I read the first Harry Bosch mystery, The Black Echo, five years ago, in August 2013 and I was hooked. I came late to my addiction because that book had been published more than twenty years before in 1992, but I've been chasing Harry ever since, usually reading three or four of the books each year. 

And now I've finally caught him! Two Kinds of Truth is the most current entry in the series, so now I'll have to wait around until Michael Connelly produces another one. 

Harry is well past his time with the LAPD and well into his 60s. He's working now for the police department in the small city of San Fernando, a suburb of Los Angeles, reviewing cold cases. But, one way or another, he keeps getting pulled back to his days with the LAPD.

This time an old case of his, one that he had cleared thirty years before, is being reviewed. The man he arrested for the rape and murder of a young woman was convicted and sent to death row where he has remained for the last thirty years. But DNA evidence that had not been available thirty years before now seems to indicate the the man convicted was not guilty of the crime. Harry is not buying it. He is convinced that the man was guilty and that the new evidence has somehow been faked and the whole thing is an elaborate scam. 

The team that is reviewing the old case includes one of his former partners, Lucia Soto. The team comes to San Fernando to interview Harry and he is immediately defensive and irascible and imputes biased motives to the investigation. In other words, Harry is being Harry.

In the middle of his interview with the review team, he gets called out because the SFPD has caught a double homicide. Since the department has limited staff, they need all hands on deck to help handle the case and that includes Harry. So for the first time in several years, he finds himself working a current case.

At the same time, he is reviewing material from that old case and trying to figure out how the defense team set up the scam that he is certain is being worked.

The current case involves the murder of two pharmacists, a father and son, at a small independent farmacia. Harry immediately develops the theory that the murders are the result of some nefarious activity on the part of the son, but he is wrong! Gasp! 

In fact, it turns out that the hit was because of a complaint that the son had filed because his father was providing opioid painkillers based on falsified prescriptions. And the complaint filed with the medical society had landed on the desk of - wait for it - another of Harry's old partners, Jerry Edgar. Jerry is able to assist Harry with some information that helps him when he goes undercover to try to break up the drug ring. A drug ring run by Russians and other Eastern Europeans.

Meantime, Harry hires his half-brother, Mickey Haller, the Lincoln Lawyer, to protect his interests in the old case that's being reviewed. With Haller and his investigator Cisco on the case, we can be pretty sure of how this one is going to end.

So we have two story-lines: the old case that's being reviewed and the current double murder case. Both of the stories could easily have been pulled from today's headlines, especially the Russian-run opioid drug ring. Connelly deftly handles the two plots and never lets us get lost in the weeds. After more than 25 years of writing these mysteries, I think he's finally got the hang of it.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars      

Comments

  1. Yet another satisfying entry in the Bosch saga. Too bad you have finally caught up because now you have to wait for Connelly to write as fast as he can.

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  2. I doubt I will ever catch up with Harry but if he continues with the new female character I will read those. I think he has a new one coming in November.

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    Replies
    1. In that case, you'll get two for the price of one, because I understand the new Renee Ballard book will also feature Harry.

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