The Crossing (a book review)

The Crossing

The title has several meanings…

Considering how prolific he is, you would think author Michael Connelly’s recurring characters, and especially the stories, would get stale. Okay, he’s not James Patterson prolific, but he’s also the only one writing his novels (as far as I know). The characters do have some recurring arcs and the occasional dramatic development usually reserved for long-running TV shows, but the stories haven’t seen the wear of age yet. Harry Bosch, and even the Lincoln Lawyer, Mickey Haller, are taking on one interesting case after another.

Keep in mind that I am a huge mystery fan.

Though Haller receives more than a cameo, The Crossing is a Harry Bosch story. To keep things interesting for our hero, Bosch is now out of the police force and wondering what to do with his spare time. Unexpectedly, Haller finds himself in need of an investigator for a client he’s currently representing on a murder case. It sounds like middling work that Bosch isn’t interested in, but Haller believes his client has been framed, meaning another killer could be on the loose. Is Bosch ready to cross over to the other world of criminal defense instead of prosecution? He still has friends in the department, but cops don’t like it when one of their own changes sides. If he says no, a killer might run free. If he says yes, he’ll be altering his life at a time when he isn’t sure he wants to.

There’s more to it, of course, as this is a mystery novel, but I won’t spoil the plot for mystery fans out there. Just know that Connelly does a fine job with his exceptional pacing and carefully built suspense; he easily brings minor characters to life without long exposition; and the story unfolds in a natural way.

I’ve read that Connelly writes without a plot outline. I’ve read enough of his novels to believe it. It’s the journey and I think that’s the part he likes. He doesn’t try to wow you with Jeffrey Deaver-like plot twists. He develops the case until the point where the detective puts it all together and events have no choice but to resolve. For the reader, this usually means suspense throughout and an expeditious, but usually satisfying, conclusion.

The end was particularly satisfying here because, like his previous novel called The Closers, which set up Bosch as a cold-case detective and opened up new avenues for the author and the character, Connelly appears to be setting up Bosch for a whole new world for possibilities. I hope so, because I’ve already purchased two other Connelly novels (one in the Lincoln Lawyer series).

Michael Connelly has set some high expectations. I probably shouldn’t let him know that he already has my money.

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