Read: The Closers, Michael Connelly.
Considering that I only read this book a couple of months ago, I shouldn’t be having problems remembering what it was about. Harry Bosch is a well-drawn detective (even if he’s got the usual isolation-bleakness-cynicism trio going on), and I really like the series. Unfortunately, I wonder whether Connelly has hit a wall of interesting places to take the character. Bosch has fought his past, had a child, and been kicked out of the department. Being reinstated into the cold-case squad? Interesting, sure, but it’s starting to feel like things are happening in the series just so that the author has an excuse to keep bringing Harry back. That may be part of why the case Connelly cooked up just wasn’t that memorable.
This is a problem that seems endemic to many detective series, actually: they don’t end. Some of them (like my beloved Andrew Vachss series) don’t even ever put anything significant at stake. The character will always survive and solve the crime, one way or another, and they never risk any of the serious relationships that they care about. For example, Bosch complains about losing his daughter, but you never get a sense that it really matters to him - and I certainly don’t have a sense that Bosch will ever really deal with his departmental nemesis, Irving, in a meaningful way.
I wonder if that’s got something to do with the series-ness of it: if they take risks mid-series, the author risks alienating their core readership with very little chance to pick up a new set of readers who might like the new situation. Still, although I do recall liking the book, I’m starting to find this particular series disappointing. I’m going to give Connelly one more Bosch book to do something interesting, unusual and cool, then he loses me for good.