x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

The Drop: a deft balance of action and character development

Michael Connelly keeps the plot moving in his 17th Harry Bosch detective mystery.

The Drop is Connelly's 17th Harry Bosch mystery and his fans can expect a good, meaty detective caper to get stuck into. Connelly's readers should appreciate the effort he has put in to upgrading his favoured Los Angeles setting, strategically placing iPhones and iPads in his narrative to remind us that Bosch - not far off retirement - is still capable of hanging in there with his contemporaries.

Technological advances aside, it is trusted, old-fashioned detective work that Bosch sticks to, even when faced with two weighty cases to crack.

One concerns a new development in the rape and murder of a teenage girl, while the other has Bosch aiding a familiar nemesis, councilman Irvin Irving, in solving the murder of his son. If those weren't enough, the political ramifications of each (or 'high jingo' as Bosch refers to it) means his work is cut out for him.

Precarious as the plot is, Connelly maintains the balance of action and character development with deft precision. For a writer who has won just about every mystery fiction award out there, it's further evidence of his unfaltering skill.