Harry Bosch has always been the lone wolf in Michael Connelly’s series, with the singular mission of catching murderers. He’s no superman, but he’s an insightful cop who doesn’t let office politics, incompetent supervisors or even the passage of time stop him.
So what kind of father is a man so dedicated to his job?
A pretty darn good one, given Bosch’s relationship with his daughter, Maddie, in The Drop, Connelly’s 17th novel in this series and the author’s 24th novel.
When Bosch first found out he was a father in Lost Light (2003), Maddie was in the background, living with her mother. Bosch made a point of spending time with his child; phone calls and emails became part of his routine when Maddie and her mother moved to Japan.
But Nine Dragons in 2009 was a game changer and Maddie now lives with Bosch.
In The Drop, Maddie is 15 years old, a teenager about become a young woman. It’s not lost on Bosch, given the number of cases he’s handled, that young women often become prey. Bosch is making sure that doesn’t happen to Maddie.
He listens to her, keeps an open line of communication and makes arrangements when he is late.
Maddie’s desire to become a cop is a point of pride for Bosch and he’s doing his best to give her a head start. When she watches a security video with him, Maddie makes some observations he hadn’t noticed.
. . . he was proud of her read. He had noticed that her powers of observation were increasingly impressive. . . . One of their favorite things to do was to go to a restaurant like Du-Par’s and watch the other patrons and pull reads off their faces and mannerisms. Bosch was teaching her to look for tells.
And as a cop, she will need to know how to shoot so he teaches her about guns, their safety and storage. He enrolls her in courses at a firing range and she proves to be quite the sharpshooter.
There was no philosophical debate about it. Bosch was a cop and there were guns in the house. It was simply a given and he considered it good parenting to teach his daughter how to use and safeguard the weapons.
Bosch knows that his parenting style is different than most. But it works for him and Maddie. Once he was a cop first; now he is a father first and a cop second.
He knew that other girls her age weren’t learning about guns and shooting. They weren’t watching their fathers at night poring over murder books and autopsies and crime scene photos. They weren’t left alone in their house while their fathers went out with their guns to chase bad guys. Most parents were raising citizens of the future. Doctors, teachers, mothers, keepers of family businesses.
Bosch has another plan: “Bosch was raising a warrior.”
Connelly smoothly incorporates Maddie and Bosch’s relationship in The Drop. Their time together doesn’t overwhelm the plot but complements Bosch’s ever-evolving personality.
Should Connelly ever have to retire Bosch—and his mandatory departure from the LAPD is hinted at throughout The Drop—Maddie could be next in line for a series. She already is a good shooter.
Read my full review now online at the Sun Sentinel.
Oline H. Cogdill writes a twice a week blog for Mystery Scene magazine at www.mysteryscenemag.com. She also reviews mystery fiction for Mystery Scene magazine, the Sun Sentinel newspaper (www.sunsentinel.com/books), McClatchy Tribune Features Wire and Publishers Weekly.