Christmas came once a month in the Open-Unsolved Unit. That was when the lieutenant made her way around the squad room like Santa Claus, parceling out the assignments like presents to the squad’s six detective teams. The cold hits were the lifeblood of the unit. The teams didn’t wait for callouts and fresh kills in Open-Unsolved. They waited for cold hits.
The Open-Unsolved Unit investigated unsolved murders going back fifty years in Los Angeles. There were twelve detectives, a secretary, a squad room supervisor, known as the whip, and the lieutenant. And there were ten thousand cases. The first five detective teams split up the fifty years, each pair taking ten randomly chosen years. Their task was to pull all the unsolved homicide cases from their assigned years out of archives, evaluate them and submit long-stored and forgotten evidence for reanalysis with contemporary technology. All DNA submissions were handled by the new regional lab out at Cal State. When DNA from an old case was matched to an individual whose genetic profile was carried in any of the nation’s DNA databases, it was called a cold hit. The lab put cold hit notices in the mail at the end of every month. They would arrive a day or two later at the Police Administration Building in downtown Los Angeles.
Usually by 8 a.m. that day, the lieutenant would open the door of her private office and enter the squad room. She carried the envelopes in her hand. Each hit sheet was mailed individually in a yellow business envelope. Generally, the envelopes were handed to the same detectives who had submitted the DNA evidence to the lab. But sometimes there were too many cold hits for one team to handle at once. Sometimes detectives were in court or on vacation or on leave. And sometimes the cold hits revealed circumstances that required the utmost finesse and experience. That was where the sixth team came in. Detectives Harry Bosch and David Chu were the sixth team. They were floaters. They handled overflow cases and special investigations.
On Monday morning, October 3, Lieutenant Gail Duvall stepped out of her office and into the squad room, carrying only three yellow envelopes. Harry Bosch almost sighed at the sight of such a paltry return on the squad’s DNA submissions. He knew that with so few envelopes he would not be getting a new case to work.
Bosch had been back in the unit for almost a year following a two-year reassignment to Homicide Special. But coming back for his second tour of duty in Open-Unsolved, he had quickly fallen into the rhythm of the squad. It wasn’t a fly squad. There was no dashing out the door to get to a crime scene. In fact, there were no crime scenes. There were only files and archive boxes. It was primarily an eight-to-four gig with an asterisk, that asterisk meaning that there was more travel than with other detective squads. People who got away with murder, or at least thought they had, tended not to stick around. They moved elsewhere and often the OU detectives had to travel to retrieve them.
Excerpted from the book THE DROP by Michael Connelly. Copyright © 2011 by Hieronymus, Inc. Reprinted with permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York, NY. All rights reserved.
Harry Bosch is facing the end of the line. He’s been put on the DROP—Deferred Retirement Option Plan—and given three more years on the job until he’ll be forced to retire from the LAPD. With his swansong looming, he wants cases more fiercely than ever. In one morning, he gets two.
First a cold case from 1989 gets a DNA hit for a rape and murder, pointing to a 29-year-old convicted felon. Was he an 8-year-old killer, or has something gone terribly wrong in the new Regional Crime Lab? The latter possibility could compromise all of the lab’s DNA cases currently in court.
Then Bosch and his partner are called to a crime scene fraught with internal politics. Councilman Irvin Irving’s son jumped—or was pushed—from a window at the Chateau Marmont. Irving, Bosch’s longtime nemesis, has demanded that Harry handle the investigation.
Relentlessly pursuing both cases, Bosch makes two chilling discoveries: an unknown killer operating in the city for as many as three decades, and a political conspiracy that goes back into the dark history of the police department.
The Drop is Michael Connelly’s 15th thriller featuring police detective Harry Bosch—and it’s as twisted as the double helix of a strand of DNA!
Hardcover Book : 400 pages
Publisher: Hachette Book Group Usa ( November 28, 2011 )
Item #: 13-476579
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 0.937inches
Product Weight: 14.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
I think Michael Connelly is one wonderful writer...and this book displayed his talents. Entertaining, suspenseful and intriguing. Harry Bosch rocks and so do his cases...Harry is shrewd, quick-witted and inventive and that is why reading how he solves these crimes is so interesting and thought-provoking.
I love this character and was not at all bored my the story. It made perfect sense to me and the action was fast-paced and suspenseful. It was not predictable to me even up to the end so I really enjoyed the book.
It kept my interest but not his best- a little predictable and ho-hum. Still, anything by Connelly is one of the best around.
Reviewer: Cathy S
Harry Bosch is much the same as in all of the dozens of other books that I have read. The story line is good, but the pace is slow and Harry with a teen aged daughter to care for after the death of his wife is cooling off this former hard-shell dectective.
A fast read, cleverly plotted story with wonderful characters. Love the fact that Harry Bosch is set in Los Angeles. Connelly's descriptions are very accurate and the places really do exist. Can't wait for the next Micheal Connelly novel as he is one of my favorite authors.
Reviewer: Steven W