Written by Michael Connelly — I was never very good at maths but you need an abacus to crunch the numbers where Michael Connelly is concerned. A search of Google tells me he has now written 28 novels. The Crossing is the 20th to feature Hieronymus ‘Harry’ Bosch, and in a Venn diagram moment it is the sixth Mickey Haller novel too, because within its pages the half brothers appear together.
The title is a little enigmatic and had me thinking of poor, weary travellers crossing snowy wastes. Which is apt, in a way, because it actually refers to a treacherous journey into the unknown for Bosch. Newly (and forcibly) retired, Harry is not taking well to a life of ease. When Mickey offers an alternative to enforced idleness, however, Bosch has a potentially life-changing decision to make.
Mickey Haller, the Lincoln Lawyer, is representing a man who is protesting his innocence. The accused is a former gang member, and the charge is the murder of a well-liked public official. Nothing new there then – the prisons are full of people claiming they are innocent and at first glance the case against Da’Quan Foster looks iron clad. But Mickey is convinced his man didn’t do it, and after his investigator ends up in hospital after a hit and run driver knocked him of his motorcycle, he wants Harry to do some digging.
Can the former homicide detective cross to the dark side and act for a defence lawyer? Harry hums and haws for a while but is eventually pulled into the maelstrom that is Mickey’s case. It’s a decision set to alienate a fair few of his former colleagues – though luckily ex-partner Lucy Soto isn’t among them and she bends more than a few rules to help him on his way (Harry trained this one well). Trouble is, the deeper Harry digs, the greater the danger to himself and his family because there’s much more to this case than meets the eye.
Master storyteller Connelly is on top form here, creating an absorbing narrative that will certainly keep the Bosch fans happy. Haller is more than a bit part player here but still on the periphery for much of the time, which is all to the good, because it is Harry who is at the thick of the action. Without the might of the LAPD behind him he has to think on his feet – and one of the best scenes is when he has to download and use the Uber app to get transportation!
In a strange mix of real life and fiction, Haller mentions Matthew McConaughey playing him in The Lincoln Lawyer. He’s not the face I’d have in mind for Mickey, to be honest, although Titus Welliver has now become my Bosch of choice. As usual, Los Angeles is described in vivid detail and springs to life off the page – and there’s even a detour to the bright lights of Las Vegas for Bosch, in pursuit of information about an expensive watch that could be a key to the case.
We were getting towards the end of this book when a phrase appeared that struck a chord with me. The phrase is ‘retired and relentless’ and it sums up Harry Bosch very neatly. Funnily enough, it also applies to another of my favourite series characters, John Rebus. Now there’s a crossover novel that I’d definitely want to read!
CFL Rating: 5 Stars