One thing about crime novels that bugs me is that you know who the bad guys are from the beginning. But of course, the protagonist doesn’t know. Even though this tale begins with a scene involving the villains, we don’t know how or why they committed the crime. In this case, the crime in the first chapter is not the one that the story is about. As with most police procedurals (although the main character is no longer a cop), the details of how the detective unravels the plot and figures out “who done it” is what keeps you reading. Connelly is a master of the twists and turns.
This novel centers on Harry Bosch, a newly retired police detective. He is talked into investigating a murder for his brother, Mickey Haller, a defense attorney. Haller believes his client, who has been arrested for the crime, is innocent. But Bosch thinks all defense lawyers believe their clients didn’t commit the crimes. Bosch has a problem with working for the defense. His whole life has been about catching the criminals. Working to help the accused get off goes against his deepest instincts. He goes about the investigation as if he were still a policeman—trying to not cross the line where he would be working against law enforcement. He believes if he can catch the real perpetrator(s), he can keep his principals in tact.
It was slow getting started for me. Probably because the book starts with the antagonists’ point of view. But I quickly got into the story and thoroughly enjoyed it.