Russian mobsters and crooked lawyers in the latest Harry Bosch

Two Kinds of Truth by Michael ConnellyTwo Kinds of Truth by Michael ConnellyTwo Kinds of Truth (Harry Bosch #20) by Michael Connelly

@@@@@ (5 out of 5)

Harry Bosch can’t catch a break. He was forced into retirement from the LAPD, where he served for more than forty years. His wife was murdered.  Now his integrity is being called into question when a three-decade-old case is reopened by the LAPD. Meanwhile, as a volunteer detective for the tiny San Fernando Police Department, he’s looking into a cold case and getting nowhere. Then an active double-homicide investigation sidetracks him from his other worries.

This is the setup in Two Kinds of Truth, the twentieth Harry Bosch thriller from Michael Connelly. Even well past retirement age, Harry hasn’t lost his touch. Nor has Connelly. The novel is tautly written, compulsively suspenseful, and timely to boot: one of the central lines of the plot concerns Russian mobsters running a huge opioid scam that the DEA hasn’t been able to crack. The details about how they operate are jaw-dropping—and no doubt based on fact, given Connelly’s consistently strong research.

Harry faces three investigations simultaneously. Fifteen years ago a young mother had disappeared, leaving her infant sleeping in a crib. The case haunts the San Fernando police chief, who has never turned up a clue—and nor has Harry. Two pharmacists, a father and son, have been brutally murdered at work in San Fernando. The two masked men who executed the pair have left no clues. And Preston Borders, a serial rapist-murderer Harry brought to justice twenty-nine years ago seems about to be freed from death row because DNA evidence has turned up implicating another man in the one rape and murder for which he was convicted.

Harry broods a lot. That’s always been his way. Now he reflects that “there were two kinds of truth in this world. The truth that was the unalterable bedrock of one’s life and mission. And the other, malleable truth of politicians, charlatans, corrupt lawyers, and their clients, bent and molded to serve whatever purpose was at hand.” The events that unfold illustrate this distinction to a T.

If you wonder where Harry Bosch started out, take a look at Michael Connelly’s first Harry Bosch novel: the backstory. You might also be interested in reading my post, “15 great suspenseful detective novels (plus 23 others).”

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Mal Warwick