After reading The Late Show, I was most eager to get to my beloved Harry Bosch. Our affair, lopsided as it is, goes back twenty years. Occasionally, Harry has let me down (Nine Dragons) and sometimes I want to slap him, but mostly Harry is so perfectly Harry that I dive into his stories with the enthusiasm of new lovers looking longingly into each other’s eyes.
Two Kinds of Truth starts with double gut punches: a pharmacist and his newly graduated pharmacist son are murdered in cold blood, and a 30-year-old case of Harry’s is re-opened on the premises that either he and/or his partner back in the day botched a case and/or planted evidence to convict an innocent man.
All right, I admit it, for a moment I was like—whatever, here’s Harry playing the underdog again. Sigh, okay, I’m in. But turn the page, my reader friend, and see that out of the gate, this is a different kind of story.
Bosch is still working as a volunteer detective with the San Fernando Police Department and partners with Bella Lourdes. Although still in minor roles, Bella and Bosch’s former LAPD partner Lucia Soto and his daughter Maddie feel like they have more substance in this story. They aren’t merely props to move the story along, but women with their own opinions and roles. I like that. Another former partner, Jerry Edgar (whom I like very much in the Amazon Bosch TV show) makes a comeback. He’s still the complex Edgar he was throughout their partnership, but dang I can’t help cheering for him to come through when it’s critical.
Bosch goes undercover, something he has rarely done, explained in chapter 25, “But when you went undercover, you moved from the safe confines of justice done and entered the world of the depraved. You saw how humans prayed on one another, and there was nothing you could do about it without blowing cover. You had to take it in and live with it to see the case through.” This, opposed to being a homicide detective and showing up after the murder, when all you can do is solve the case.
There’s a scene where Bosch is held captive and I held my breath wondering how he’d get out of this mess. We know the hero has to survive, but the how is always so intriguing…
I love the appearance of Mickey Haller—a half-brother so distinct from Bosch that any writer having difficulty writing descriptive dialogue to discern speakers needs to read these chapters. You know every time when Mickey is speaking and when Bosch is speaking. I also love that Cisco, Mickey’s investigator has a good sized part in this story. When I last read about Cisco, he hadn’t fared too well after a motorcycle accident. So, good to see his recovery struggles bring him out the other side.
Not sleeping last night had its benefits. A cup of lavender tea, classical music on the Bose (I should have played Jazz) and ripping through the last third of this fast-moving, absolutely well-written book. Can I wait a year for Harry to rise again?