Book excerpt: “The Drop”, a Harry Bosch novel

Michael Connelly is a best-selling author of gritty and gripping murder mysteries — in particular, a series featuring Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch, a Vietnam vet and Los Angeles Police Department detective. His Bosch novels are celebrated for their portrayal of police procedures and politics in the City of Angels.

If you have never read any Harry Bosch novels, you’ll want to start with the first, The Black Echo, because the action in the novels follows Bosch’s life, later stories building on earlier events and even characters from other series by the same author.

I picked The Drop to excerpt although it’s the fifteenth in the series because while Bosch is most well known for covering Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley, in this novel he and his partner Chu follow the clues to Orange County! From Chapter 34, the two detectives are at their shared cubicle at the Open/Unsolved unit (cold cases) in downtown Los Angeles, deciding on a field trip as part of an attempt to track down bad guy Chilton Aaron Hardy Junior:

Chu turned back to his desk and pointed to his computer screen.

“Just background Hardy as much as I can,” he said. “Not a lot there on him. More on his father buying and selling properties. Chilton Aaron Hardy Senior. He’s lived down there in Los Alamitos for fifteen years. It’s a condo and he owns it outright.”

Bosch nodded. It was good intel.

“I also tried to find a Mrs. Hardy. You know, in case there was a divorce and she’s living somewhere and could be a lead to Junior.”

“And?”

“And no go. Came up with an obituary from ’ninety-seven for Hilda Ames Hardy, wife of Chilton Senior and mother of Chilton Junior. Breast cancer. It listed no other children.”

“So it looks like we go down to Los Alamitos.”

“Yeah.”

…It was a forty-minute drive south. Los Alamitos was at the northern tip of Orange County, and one of a dozen or so small, contiguous bedroom communities between Anaheim on the east and Seal Beach on the west.

On the way down Bosch and Chu worked out how they would handle the interview with Chilton Hardy Sr. They then cruised through his neighborhood off Katella Avenue and near the Los Alamitos Medical Center before stopping at the curb in front of a complex of town houses…

Bosch and Chu are getting close — they don’t yet realize how close!

Amazon has produced a video series based on the Bosch novels, now in its fifth season. Also from Amazon is an original movie, The Lincoln Lawyer starring Matthew McConaughey, based on a series of books about Mickey Haller, a defense attorney who turns out to be Harry Bosch’s half brother.