Featured Review: ‘Two Kinds of Truth’ by Michael Connelly

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The past comes back to haunt Harry Bosch in Michael Connelly’s Two Kinds of Truth, the must-read follow-up to last year’s The Wrong Side of Goodbye.

It’s been thirty years since Bosch worked on a homicide case involving the murder of Danielle Skylar, a small-town girl who moved to Hollywood to pursue her dream of becoming a movie star. Instead, she was found naked and strangled to death in her Toluca Lake apartment after being brutally raped. 

Skylar’s case was one of the first Bosch worked with his former partner, Frankie Sheehan, a year after he got his detective badge in 1977. It hadn’t taken Bosch and Sheehan long to zero in on Preston Borders, a Los Angeles resident by way of Boston, living off his parent’s money while he partied and acted like a celebrity without any real claim to fame. 

Now, three decades later, Bosch is notified by the DA’s office that new evidence has emerged thanks to better technology, which has matched DNA on Skylar’s pajama bottoms to another known rapist who died in prison after being convicted of other crimes. The shocking revelation means that Preston Borders will get to walk out of San Quentin, where he’d been awaiting a state execution, alive and free. The shocking revelation means that Preston Borders will get to walk out of San Quentin, where he’d been awaiting a state execution, alive and free.

The news doesn’t sit well with Bosch, who is still volunteering with the San Fernando Police Department where he uses his nearly four decades of experience looking into cold cases for them — while also mentoring the department’s three young detectives.  

Bosch refuses to sit back and watch Preston Borders walk free, but he has just nine days to prove once and for all that Borders was the real killer. To make matters worse, Border’s attorney, Lance Cronyn, filed a habeas corpus petition claiming that Bosch planted evidence during the original investigation that ultimately led to his client’s guilty verdict. On top of that, the district attorney’s office is working to negotiate a financial settlement with Borders, but that won’t necessarily include protection for Bosch — who still isn’t on good terms with city officials since he sued to keep a foot in the door with the LAPD years prior — leaving him open to a civil suit that could ruin him financially. 

In the middle of Bosch’s search for a way to keep Borders behind bars and on schedule for his execution, a pharmacist named José Esquivel Senior, and his son, José Junior, are gunned down inside their family-owned pharmacy.

The double homicide shakes the small town of San Fernando, which doesn’t see many murder cases. The relatively inexperienced detective squad struggles to keep up with the high-profile case, and it doesn’t take long for the chief to call on Bosch to take the lead on the investigation — making it his first non-cold case homicide since he started volunteering with the SFPD. 

The Esquivel pharmacy case takes an interesting turn when Bosch discovers evidence suggesting that the family’s pharmacy was part of a much larger pill mill — prompting him to go undercover as a drug addict, something that’s both painfully real and emotionally difficult for Harry to deal with. 

Connelly masterfully weaves both plotlines together while mixing in several cameos from fan-favorite characters — including Bosch’s former partner from his days with the LAPD’s Open-Unsolved Unit, Lucia Soto, and Harry’s half-brother, defense attorney Mickey Haller. Each plays an important role in helping Bosch as he makes his way towards a shocking discovery that’ll surprise even the most observant and seasoned readers, as Connelly pulls off another high-powered twist, proving that he’s still the undisputed king of crime.  

With his reputation on the line and the weight of two major cases threatening to come crashing down around him, Harry Bosch realizes for the first time in his storied career that he might have finally bitten off more than he can chew…

This series, now twenty books in, just keeps getting better and better. Two Kinds of Truth is some of Michael Connelly’s finest work yet, and a real contender for best crime novel of the year. 

Book Details

Author: Michael Connelly
Series: Harry Bosch #20
Pages: 416 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0316225908
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 9.5/10
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