Reading Guide Questions
Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
- Welcome Back Roy:
In Michael Connelly's novel, The Closers, Harry Bosch rejoins the ranks
of the LAPD after three years in retirement. Harry has a hard time
suppressing his excitement at being back. At one point, he says to his
partner, Kizmin Rider, "The point is I need the gun. I need the badge.
Otherwise I'm out of balance. I need all of this." Why do you think
Harry needs to be a cop?
- The Oldest Living Boot: The new chief of police welcomes Harry back but at the same time he
warns him that he is on probation. Harry can't screw up or he'll be
out. Later, Harry has a run in with an old adversary, Deputy Chief
Irvin Irving, who also welcomes him back with a warning, calling him "a
retread." So Harry has to prove himself all over again while watching
his back. What do you think Harry's reputation is within the LAPD? What
does Irving think of Harry?
- Forget Closure: Harry's new boss, Abel Pratt, warns him that closing cases is not the
same thing as closure. He warns that there is no such thing as
closurethat all the police can do is provide answers. Do you agree
with that? Can there ever be closure for the victims of crime? Is
justice the same thing as closure? How about revenge?
- The Ripples: The Closers focuses on the toll of violence over time. What effect did
Becky Verloren's murder have on her mother and father? Can you think of
other examples from the book that show the ripples of crime?
- High Jingo: Throughout the book, Kizmin Rider fears that Harry's actions will
somehow backfire and hurt the chief. Do you think Kiz was dedicated to
solving the case or more concerned about helping the chief? In the end,
Harry thinks he was set up by the chief to bring Irving down. Is Kiz
implicated in that?
- The City Of Angels: "It was a city full of haves and have nots, movie stars and extras,
drivers and the driven, predators and prey." Michael Connelly's novels
are, in a way, a love letter to Los Angeles. They describe the good and
the bad, the highs and the lows, of this "destination city." How does
he reflect that in Harry Bosch's take on the city?
- A Black Hole: Think about Robert Verloren's actions at the end of the book. Do the
terms justice, satisfaction, or closure apply in any way? Why do you
think Harry felt guilty about Robert Verloren?
- One Coming, One Going: Do you think Irving will just walk away? How can he get back at Harry
and the chief?
- Red Herrings: A red herring is defined as something that draws attention away from
the central issue. In crime fiction, a red herring is often put there
to fool or distract you. Were you fooled by anything in The Closers?
Were you surprised by the killer's identity?
Posted with permission of MichaelConnelly.com
Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Grand Central Publishing.
Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.