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The Closers Reading Guide

Print these questions and use them to lead a discussion about The Closers. Spoiler Warning! This guide does address the entire book.

1. 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?

2. 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?

3. 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 closure—that 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?

4. 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?

5. 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?

6. 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?

7. 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?

8. One Coming, One Going
Do you think Irving will just walk away? How can he get back at Harry and the chief?

9. 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?