If there is a better police procedural crime novel, I've missed it. I approached this book with some misgivings, having been disappointed by "Chasing the Dime." But Henry (Hieronymous--I liked that little touch) Bosch is a first-class, believable detective, all the way. He's jaded to some degree but tries to maintain some touch with the populace. The us-them relationship police have with the press and the "looky loos," as civilians are called, is there, certainly, but outwardly subdued.
The plot feels right, enhanced by the fact that the writer didn't try to tie up all the loose ends, such as, the surprising matter of Julia Brasher and, not to give too much away, the fact that the killer is not at all a sure thing when we reach the final page. Not all killers confess into a tape recorder and psychoanalyze their own motives.
Bosch makes mistakes. He goes down dead-end trails after false clues. He is imperfect. In short, he is realistic. So are the other characters, including his partner, the technicians, Bosch's superiors in the department, the suspects, the incidental personae--the entire cast. They don't always do what we expect, but people in real life don't either. Too many books have characters who appear to be "on rails." We know exactly where they are going and how the plot is going to follow them.
I realize I haven't outlined the plot, but others have, and sometimes they give away too much. Suffice it to say that I'll read more of the Harry Bosch series and hope for books that are in this same class.