Program Coordinator, Mount Diablo Branch of the California Writers Club
The Crossing (2015, Hieronymus, Inc. hardcover, $16.92, 388 pages) by Michael Connelly exemplifies Connelly’s mastery at revealing interesting details of the law and crime investigation. In this latest suspense book, Connelly’s twenty-eighth novel, Mickey Haller, a defense lawyer, believes his client, Da’Quan Foster, is innocent. Foster is accused of brutally raping and murdering Lexi Parks. Odds are decidedly in the prosecutor’s favor on this case because the accused’s DNA has been found inside the woman’s body. Haller’s challenges don’t end there. His top-notch private investigator is in the hospital. With nowhere else to turn, Mickey strong-arms his reluctant half-brother, Harry Bosch, a newly retired homicide detective formerly with the Los Angeles Police Department, to help on the case.
Throughout the novel, Connelly’s sense of place adds yet another intriguing dimension. During a visit to Hollywood Forever, a cemetery for celebrities, readers learn a wonderful tidbit about the demise of Carl Switzer, best known for his portrayal of Alfalfa from Our Gang, a 1930s television show. On a more sobering note, the author weaves in disturbing aspects of the dark recesses of Los Angeles underworld.
Throughout the twists and turns of the Parks case, the “crossing” theme emerges. First described early on in the book as the point at which the perpetrator meets the victim, the nuances of crossings pop up again and again. For instance, Bosch, who has given testimony only for the prosecution, crosses over to the defense table. A doctor crosses a professional line and has a relationship with one of his patients. Several unethical cops collide with Haller and Bosch to thwart their quest for truth.
One of the great things about reading Connelly’s novels is his ability to create realistic characters. From to the irascible Bosch, to Cisco, the tattooed private investigator, to my personal favorite, Mickey Haller, played by Matthew McConaughey in the 2011 movie, The Lincoln Lawyer, the characters are memorable. With the launch of Season 2 of the television series, Bosch, which premiered on March 11, 2016, the transformation of Connelly’s characters from page to screen has occurred once again. But don’t let the lure of television keep you from picking up The Crossing, because there is one last crossing that must take place: the junction between readers and Bosch’s journey as he discovers the truth behind Lexi Park’s murder.