Michael Connelly,
The Closers
(Time Warner, 2005)

LAPD Detective Harry Bosch is back in his 11th novel, The Closers, by Michael Connelly. For those of you who keep up with the character, you know that he retired from the police department and became a private investigator. After a three-year hiatus, Harry is back on the force. The current police chief specifically okayed his return to work in the Open/Unsolved unit. Harry and his partner, Kiz Rider, are tasked with closing these cases.

The first case that Harry looks into dates back to 1988. The gun used to kill a 16-year-old girl contained a skin and blood sample that, at the time, could not be matched to a suspect. Today's DNA profiling has linked the gun to a man still in the area. Harry's probe into the case opens up old wounds, not just with the child's parents who split up after their only baby's death, but also within the LAPD. Evidence suggests that the case was suppressed from inside the department, allowing the killer (or killers) to go free.

By all appearances, the killing of Rebecca Verloren was racially motivated. She had mixed blood. Her mother was white and her father, black. The main suspect, Roland Mackey, was a member of a white supremacist group back in '88. At the same time, Rebecca's autopsy revealed she had recently had an abortion -- a surprise to both her parents and best friends. This too, could have been a factor in her murder. Harry devises a scheme to force Mackey to tip his hand as to whether he killed Rebecca, or knew the person who pulled the trigger.

Len Cariou is back to perform the part of Harry and the rest of the characters in the audiobook version of The Closers. From past experience with previous Connelly audiobooks, this is the voice I've come to associate with Detective Bosch. It is gruff, deep, almost harsh. This voice reveals a man who has experienced much in his long life, yet still has the energy to keep moving forward. This is a man with a mission -- to see justice prevail. Cariou has been in the films About Schmidt and Shall We Dance. On television he has been seen on The West Wing, as well as Law & Order.

Connelly has written a number of novels, including the well-known Harry Bosch series. This former journalist not only enjoys writing detective tales, but also stories about lawyers. At the end of the 10th CD, Connelly reads a chapter from his novel, The Lincoln Lawyer, which revolves around criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller. Connelly reveals that Mickey and Bosch are related. I expect this implies that these two characters will work together in an upcoming story.

Michael Connelly is an excellent author of thrillers. His books are fast paced and almost always entertaining. The Bosch series is especially good. The Closers may be the 11th book in that series, but by no means does that mean you have to pick up the first 10 beforehand. This book has the ability to stand on its own. My guess, however, is that if you start here, you will be interested in reading/listening to the previous stories about Bosch.

by Wil Owen
25 March 2006

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