In one corner we have Patrick Kenzie, Dennis Lehane's Boston PI from his excellent series. If you're ever wondering what agents mean by a high end or literary mystery, this is a great example. Kenzie grew up in the Irish working class neighborhood of Dorchester, and he's tough enough and smart enough to negotiate the social and political currents of the city.
In the other corner is Harry Bosch, Michael Connelly's LAPD Detective. Harry is the definition of stubborn, constantly on probation for something, relentless in his pursuit for justice. His mother was a prostitute, and he spent much of his childhood in orphanages and foster homes. You could say he's got a problem with authority, but that would be understating things significantly.
In the past this would have been an easy vote for me. Lehane, in my opinion, is the best mystery writer in the business. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of Connelly as well, I just think that Lehane spits out plots, settings, and characters that are as complex and intriguing as I've ever seen. But I have to say that Connelly's The Narrows has me rethinking things, especially when there's been nothing new from Lehane since 2000.