About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Crossing by Michael Connelly

The Crossing by Michael Connelly – Harry Bosch has retired but it has not been a graceful exit into the sunset. A suspension without pay over his actions in The Burning Room pushed him to retire so he could access pension and deferred retirement income. Being Harry he did not accept the shove and, after retiring, hired his half-brother, Mickey Haller, to sue the Police Department over its actions. Only Harry could still be fighting the bureaucracy in retirement.

With Harry retired Mickey immediately asks Harry to work for him on the defence of a former gang member, Da’Quan Foster, who is now an artist and teacher. He has been charged with brutally raping and murdering Lexi Parks, a city manager, whose husband is a Sheriff’s deputy.

The trial is six weeks away and Mickey needs a skilled investigator. His regular investigator, Cisco, has been injured in a motorcycle accident and cannot work with Mickey.

Harry tells Mickey he already has a retirement project – restoring a 1950 Harley motorcycle. While Harry genuinely wants to restore the motorcycle no one believes it is enough to occupy him.

Mickey tells Harry that Foster is innocent. Considering the evidence includes the DNA of the accused (semen found in and on the victim) Harry is skeptical. Through his career he has heard the guilty protesting innocence. Yet Foster is now a well-regarded artist, conducts art programs for children and has a wife and two young children. There is a stirring in Harry that all is not right.

At the same time Harry struggles with the concept of going to work for a defence lawyer. He knows that he will be ostracized by former colleagues if does defence work. As a police officer Harry felt contempt for officers who worked for accused after leaving the force.

With his customary enthusiasm Mickey assures Harry that if he does not believe Foster did not commit the crime he need not continue to work for the defence. It is a shrewd assurance. Harry does not want to work to create reasonable doubt. He will only work a case for the defence to find the real murderer thereby clearing the client.

Mickey arranges for Harry to have access to the murder book of the investigating officers. With his customary thoroughness Harry reviews the book. He is impressed that the officers have done more then assemble the evidence that implicates Foster. They have carefully reviewed facts and individuals around the victim and not found evidence that would suggest a different killer.

Harry is uneasy that the investigators are unable to find a crossing between Foster and Parks. The nature of the murder strongly suggests it was a planned killing. It was not a random act of violence.

Harry explains to Mickey the importance of the crossing:

“Motive and opportunity. They’ve got DNA that puts your man in that house and at that crime scene. But how did he get there? Why did he get there? This woman led a fairly public life. City Hall hearings, council meetings, public events, and so on. According to the records, they looked at hundreds of hours of video and they don’t have one single frame that has both Lexi Parks and Da’Quann Foster in it.”

After poring over the book Harry is led to wonder about a couple of issues. He asks to meet Foster and his interrogation skills provide a lead.

Mickey is not at the interview as he has been arrested on an alleged driving while under the influence charge. It is false but Mickey spends a night in jail and receives considerable media attention on his release. Being Mickey, who lives by the principle that all publicity is good publicity, he walks out the front door and gladly faces the assembled crowd of microphones.

At home Harry is trying to appreciate the final days Maddie will be with him before she graduates from high school. It is a time of gleeful anticipation for Maddie and dread for Harry that all parents who have had children graduate from high school will appreciate. Maddie will soon be in university and Harry can see the emptiness ahead.

In a nice touch of connectedness Maddie will be rooming with Hayley, Mickey’s daughter, at Chapman University in Orange County.

Connelly weaves another excellent murder mystery. My only regret is that he is staying with the approach of one dimensional bad guys. Excellent would become great with at least some complexity to the killers. This reservation does not diminish my love for Connelly’s books. I eagerly await this year’s new book. I hope it will see Harry and Mickey together again. They are a formidable team.
Connelly, Michael – (2000) - Void Moon; (2001) - A Darkness More than Night; (2001) - The Concrete Blonde (Third best fiction of 2001); (2002) - Blood Work (The Best);  (2002) - City of Bones; (2003) - Lost Light; (2004) - The Narrows; (2005) - The Closers (Tied for 3rd best fiction of 2005); (2005) - The Lincoln Lawyer; (2007) - Echo Park; (2007) - The Overlook; (2008) - The Brass Verdict; (2009) – The Scarecrow; (2009) – Nine Dragons; (2011) - The Reversal; (2011) - The Fifth Witness; (2012) - The Drop; (2012) - Black Echo; (2012) - Harry Bosch: The First 20 Years; (2012) - The Black Box; (2014) - The Gods of Guilt; (2014) - The Bloody Flag Move is Sleazy and Unethical; (2015) - The Burning Room; (2015) - Everybody Counts or Nobody Counts; Hardcover


  1. A book I'm very much looking forward to, Bill!

    1. Jose Ignacio: Thanks for the comment. I look forward to your review.

  2. They are, indeed, a formidable team, Bill. And this does sound like an excellent addition to the series. It's always great to see Harry Bosch in action, too; I'm really looking forward to reading this one.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. Give yourself some reading time. You are going to want to keep reading.

  3. I am so far behind with this series I don't think I will ever catch up... but I enjoyed the review.

    1. Moira: Thanks for the comment. I have read 21 of Connelly's books in the last 17 years. He is a steady writer of brilliance.

  4. Well, I'll certainly move up The Crossing on my TBR list. It sounds very good.

    I've read several Harry Bosch books, liked most but stopped reading The Burning Room, too much police procedural, not enough character development.

    I've read all of the Mickey Haller books, and so I'll read this one, which has the added ingredient of Harry Bosch. It should be a good one.

    1. Kathy D.: Thanks for the comment. The Crossing is one of the best Connelly mysteries in recent years.

  5. Your post sent me to the library website to put this book on reserve. It will be a wait; lots of other people ahead of me.

    A good legal mystery is always fun for me, between my having worked in a civil liberties law office and having started reading and watching Perry Mason as a teenager.

    I do suggest Pleasantville by Attica Locke.

    Also, a British writer's blog suggests The Plea by
    Steve Cavanaugh.

    1. Kathy D.: Thanks for the further comment. I think you could tell some good legal stories from your work experience.

      I recall you recommending Pleasantville in past comments. I shall keep an eye out for it in bookstores.