“They ate at Traxx in Union Station. It was a nice place that was courthouse close and favored at lunchtime by judges and lawyers. The waiter knew Haller and she didn’t bother giving him a menu. He simply ordered the usual.”
COMING off the back of the excellent My Bloody Project which you could stretch a point to say was also a crime detective novel, for comparison we have the uber bestselling Michael Connelly. Here are just the bones of a story, no heart, no lungs, no liver, an X-ray, almost for comparison, a crime in abstract. Reading Connelly is like being on a ski lift taking you up the mountain.
It is also akin to a job interview in that half the pleasure here is being shown around the inner workings (or non workings) of the LAPD. Put on the uniform, wear the badge, see how it fits. Escapism through job roles. Look for the clues. Piece the motives together. Duck the interference from upstairs. (Or let someone else imagine all this for you). Given that you will dip in and out of this text, there are plenty of reminders as to what is going on as you go which is helpful because it is not without its complexities. This is not the only ski lift on this hill.
I reviewed his last book Burning Room here, but we are quite advanced in the Harry Bosch series now which opened in 1992 with Black Echo where Harry, a veteran of two tours of Vietnam and now with five years as a detective is investigating the murder of one of his former comrades. In the Crossing he is partnered up with the defence lawyer Mickey Haller again who has seven books to his name since the best known Lincoln Lawyer in 2005. We have familiarity through volume, which is to say soap opera. Connelly likes to slip in a few real places to colour his fiction so the pair drink vodka and tonics at Musso’s bar where Charlie Chaplin also favoured the martinis. Musso and Frank’s Grill has been trading since 1919 at 6667 Hollywood Boulevard. Traxx mentioned in the opening quote is also a real place.
Connelly is also a former crime reporter and so there are bits of the procedural and real crime interspersed here and there. Another character series is Jack McEvoy the reporter on the Rocky Mountain News in the Poet from 1996 but journalism has not proved as rich a setting of inquiry for Connelly. McEvoy was set up to go out with a splash in the Scarecrow in 2009 as his paper imploded. Bosch though is climbing up the media ladder and now features with a slow drawl on Amazon prime crime.
How far do you need to be detained as regards the plot of the Crossing? Harry is suspended, pending an inquiry. Haller has a bang to right client accused of murder whom he believes innocent and was set up. Harry is reluctant to take the case because he does not work the defence. Except here, he may have to…It is a ball of string…