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We met last month to discuss the 20th book in the Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly, Two Kinds of Truth. Kim brought a feast of goodies, including a caramel topped dip for apples that was so good there were several requests for the recipe. Thank you also to Paula for bringing an extra snack to add to the mix. It truly was a feast.

Two Kinds of Truth featured Harry Bosch solving not one, not two, but three cases. See more on that later. Here is the synopsis in case you forgot:

Harry Bosch, exiled from the LAPD, is working cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department when all hands are called out to a local drugstore, where two pharmacists have been murdered in a robbery. Bosch and the tiny town's three-person detective squad sift through the clues, which lead into the dangerous, big-business world of prescription drug abuse. To get to the people at the top, Bosch must risk everything and go undercover in the shadowy world of organized pill mills. Meanwhile, an old case from Bosch's days with the LAPD comes back to haunt him when a long-imprisoned killer claims Harry framed him and seems to have new evidence to prove it. Bosch left the LAPD on bad terms, so his former colleagues are not keen on protecting his reputation. But if this conviction is overturned, every case Bosch ever worked will be called into question. As usual, he must fend for himself as he tries to clear his name and keep a clever killer in prison.

On the whole the book got excellent ratings. It received five 8s, one 7.5, four 7s, two 6.5s, seven 6s and one 5. Here’s what we thought:

Some of the “lower” ratings were because there were no surprises. (I put that word in quotes because I really think a 6 is a great rating and a sign that a book was enjoyed.) The book was mostly a police procedural where we kind of knew who the bad guys were and Harry investigated. We followed along as he caught the bad guys (he always does) and it was satisfying at the end.

The third plot was where people got a bit confused. We could handle the pharmacy killing plot and also Harry’s convicted killer claiming he planted evidence, but when the Esme thing came out of the woodwork some of us were confused. We determined that Connelly was trying to close the loop on that old case to leave him open to investigate the cold case he brought up at the end of this book. As least he tied up the loose end for his readers, there would have been complaints otherwise. The Russians seemed a bit unbelievable and many of us were shocked that the one just gave up and jumped out. Лодырь (that’s quitter in Russian).

Kelly wanted Bosch to have missed the evidence in the one case, just so he was less of a super hero, but alas, the guy working in evidence messed with the tape. Jeff wanted the DNA evidence to have been planted in a much more exciting way, like with a syringe through the box and plastic bag inside without leaving a trace. Gail has read every single Bosch book and said the early ones are better. Jose thinks he’s getting a bit long in the tooth and needs to maybe retire from his retirement. Stephanie thinks LA seems depressing and I think it probably is—if you don’t live in a mansion worth 35 million dollars (or maybe even if you do). The necklace evidence that convicted the guy who claimed Bosch planted it was a bit flimsy and we were kind of surprised that it was enough to convict. But he also took the stand and the jury probably saw what a horrible person he was and couldn’t help but reach a guilty verdict.

You might be wondering with these items of critique, how we arrived at such high scores. Well, Connelly is a great writer and he tells a good story. We still enjoyed the book and thought it was an interesting read. Can’t always have a jaw dropping twist in the plot or 10 suspects on an island where one of them is the killer, big sigh. It was also a fast read and part of our enjoyment was that Mickey Haller was in it. Yes, we love Haller (alright, alright, alright). Terri found out he was in 15% of the book, not enough for my tastes, but I’ll take it. Raj thought Bosch was noble to give his earthquake money away to the women who needed rehab. Kim confirmed that people in LA do indeed have earthquake funds. Apparently they also sleep with a flashlight attached to the bed and a pair of shoes underneath, for when the earthquake hits and breaks window glass; can’t walk on that barefoot. We also loved that Cisco played a larger part in this one, working with Bosch to help the woman who needed rehab. It was a very timely issue to deal with, the crooked doctors and prescriptions and sale of opioids.

We will meet on September 24th to discuss The Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz. I’m super excited because I’ve wanted to read this book for ages and waited so it was fresh in my mind. God knows if I even read it 3 weeks in advance I will forget everything and wonder if I’ve read the same book. I have fun teasing Sharon K. about forgetting but I really think I’m worse. I did, however, remember to put the 2nd book in Connelly’s Ballard series on the Book Movement list, but because I wrote it down and managed to not lose my notes.

Amy is bringing the snack in September and thank you to everyone who signed up to lead and bring snacks for the next 6 months. All the spaces for snacks are full.

Happy reading and see you later this month!