Among contemporary American crime novelists Michael Connelly stands out for the consistent excellence of his long-running series of police procedurals featuring detective Harry Bosch. His novels about Bosch’s half-brother, Mickey Haller, the “Lincoln Lawyer,” are equally engrossing. The Crossing brings Connelly’s two engaging protagonists together in a collaboration that pushes both to the limits of their skills and endurance.
The title, The Crossing, resonates on many levels. Bosch has been forced into retirement from the LAPD and, against all his better instincts, is induced to “cross over” to Haller’s side on the defense. He has reluctantly agreed to work as Haller’s investigator on a capital murder case, awakening a vicious response from many of his former colleagues on the force for what they consider to be a betrayal. The “crossing” also refers to the possibility that Haller’s client might have actually crossed paths with the woman he has been unjustly accused of murdering. (“The job of the investigators is to find the crossing, the place where the circle of the victim’s life overlaps the circle of the predator.”) And the real murderer at some point “crossed the line” into murder.
The Crossing (Harry Bosch #18) by Michael Connelly (2015) 272 pages ★★★★★
Unlike his fellow Angeleno, Joseph Wambaugh, a former Los Angeles cop who portrays the LAPD in a largely positive light, Connelly sees the dark side as well. Though Harry Bosch has friends and allies on the force, he typically finds himself at odds with his colleagues, and especially with his superiors. Earlier novels in the series depict Bosch’s struggle with the political corruption that is so widespread in the LAPD (as it has been in reality in the department’s history)—and The Crossing spotlights two cops who embody the very worst excesses of police work.
The Crossing is both a police procedural and a courtroom drama. It’s a thriller, suspenseful to the end — a grim story, ably told. It’s not for the weak of heart.
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