Six years ago I reviewed Michael Connelly’s The Lincoln Lawyer ; I’ve read several other books by Connelly before or since, and I highly recommend them. In recent years I’ve read The Overlook, The Narrows, Lost Light, The Poet, Blood Work, The Scarecrow, Nine Dragons, The Brass Verdict, and The Drop. It’s the last of these that I’m reviewing here, but obviously I like this author or I wouldn’t keep reading him.
The best thing about these gritty Los Angeles mysteries is the realism: the stories feel realistic, and the characters are realistically flawed, especially detective Harry Bosch and lawyer Mickey Haller. In The Drop, Bosch is thinking of retiring for the second time — permanently now. So it wouldn’t be a good choice for a first Connelly novel to read. While it’s not strictly necessary to read the books in order, it would help to have some background before tackling this one. The title refers to an apparent suicide of the son of a prominent city councilor; both the father and the son are former LA police detectives. Or the title might refer to the “Deferred Retirement Option Plan,” under which Bosch had returned from his first retirement for a few additional years. And I think there’s a third possible interpretation, but I’m not saying what, as it would be a spoiler. Most of the characters have both good and bad aspects, just as in real life.
Anyway, this is a powerful novel with perhaps too much violence for many readers, so be forewarned.