24) Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly
When times are tough, I always reach for a comfort read – and a Harry Bosch novel by Michael Connelly feels like the reading equivalent of lighting a fire, making a cup of tea and putting on some velvet slippers. From the off here, we are in the hands of someone completely in control of their craft. I think I’ve read all of Connelly’s Bosch and Mickey Haller novels (this one features them both), and they rarely disappoint.
This one is safely towards the top of the middle of the pack – Bosch is still toiling away on long left behind unsolved work, but gets pulled into two new cases. One is a double murder in a pharmacy that leads (fascinatingly, I thought) into a labyrinth of Russian gangsters, pharmacy corruption and the use of addicts to create an enormous criminal drugs business. The undercover work that Bosch undergoes is a bit far-fetched and James Bond-esque, but it’s a fascinating sub plot.
The main plot involves a killer that Bosch had put away many years ago: a conviction which is now being questioned by new DNA evidence – and an accusation that he planted evidence as a detective. It’s not quite as interesting as the sub-plot, and a mite predictable, but packs a good bit of emotion in as well as a satisfying Perry Mason moment or two in the courthouse.
In the field of US police procedurals, there are few better, and I felt this was the best for a while. Worth a few quid for the beach.