The Late Show (Renee Ballard #1) by Michael Connelly

Book Description:

Published: July 18, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

From New York Times best-selling author Michael Connelly, a new thriller introducing a driven young detective trying to prove herself in the LAPD.

Renée Ballard works the night shift in Hollywood, beginning many investigations but finishing none, as each morning she turns her cases over to day shift detectives. A once up-and-coming detective, she’s been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.

But one night she catches two cases she doesn’t want to part with: the brutal beating of a prostitute left for dead in a parking lot and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting. Ballard is determined not to give up at dawn. Against orders and her own partner’s wishes, she works both cases by day while maintaining her shift by night. As the cases entwine, they pull her closer to her own demons and the reason she won’t give up her job, no matter what the department throws at her.

Review –

I love Michael Connelly and his character, Harry Bosch, is one of my favorites so I was a bit surprised to see that he is starting  a new series with a female LAPD detective, Renee Ballard, as the headliner.

Ballard has been banished to the police department’s night shift — the Late Show — because of an ugly incident with her boss. Her Lieutenant made a sexual advance toward her and she filed a sexual harassment claim against him, of which he denied and even denies to her face that it ever happened.  She also feels betrayed by her former partner, and her new partner wants to spend as much time as possible with his wife. So Ballard operates as a lone wolf, Southern California-style.

She doesn’t exactly live anywhere. When her shift ends, she greets the morning by pitching her tent at the beach, changing clothes in her van, getting out her paddle board and hitting the waves, washing away the horrors of the night before. Ballard grew up in Maui. Her father, a surfer raised in California, drowned; her Hawaiian mother wants nothing to do with her. Her closest companions are the grandmother she seldom sees and Lola, her beloved dog.

In the book she  begins by answering an elderly woman’s complaint about credit card fraud. Then she learns of a cross-dresser who’s been savagely attacked. As usual, Connelly relies on his inside-baseball knowledge about police attitudes. “Drag queens, cross-dressers and transgenders were all generally referred to as dragons in vice,” he writes. “No distinctions were made. It wasn’t nice but it was accepted. Ballard had spent two years on a decoy team in the unit herself. She knew the turf and she knew the slang. It would never go away, no matter how many hours of sensitivity training cops were subjected to.”

Then, during the same night, there are “four on the floor in a club on Sunset” — four shooting victims in one booth, and a waitress near the back exit who turns out to be a fifth. This club, the Dancers, takes its name from another in Raymond Chandler’s “The Long Goodbye,” and its drinks are named for Los Angeles literary titles. Connelly doesn’t give Ballard Harry Bosch’s taste for jazz, but he laces the book with noir references. There’s a character who favors brass knuckles that say “Good” and “Evil,” à la Robert Mitchum’s “Love” and “Hate” tattoos in the film “The Night of the Hunter.”

By the end of a highly populated book Ballard will get to the bottom of every aspect of several crimes. And she’ll do a lot more. Smart and fierce, she never stops working. She’s also steamy enough to weaponize seduction if it will help her, and absolutely blunt when she speaks her mind. When a colleague who betrayed her tries to apologize, she responds with an unforgiving tongue-lashing.

The pacing of Ballard’s debut story is breathless. Unless she’s in the water, she never has a peaceful moment: There’s always a lead to follow, a house to scope out, a late-night call to make. One thing she loves about the night shift is feeling entitled to assume a combat stance at 3 a.m., scare some miscreant out of bed and shout: “Police! Let me see your hands.”

Mr. Connelly has hit a home run with this one and I can’t wait for the next installment in the Renee Ballard saga.

Fantastic read.

Five stars!!!!!

 

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The Burning Room (Harry Bosch #19) by Michael Connelly

Book Description

November 3, 2014
In the new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly, Detective Harry Bosch and his rookie partner investigate a cold case that gets very hot… very fast.

In the LAPD’s Open-Unsolved Unit, not many murder victims die a decade after the crime. So when a man succumbs to complications from being shot by a stray bullet ten years earlier, Bosch catches a case in which the body is still fresh, but any other clues are virtually nonexistent. Even a veteran cop would find this one tough going, but Bosch’s new partner, Detective Lucia Soto, has no homicide experience. A young star in the department, Soto has been assigned to Bosch so that he can pass on to her his hard-won expertise.
Now Bosch and Soto are tasked with solving a murder that turns out to be highly charged and politically sensitive. Beginning with the bullet that has been lodged for years in the victim’s spine, they must pull new leads from years-old evidence, and these soon reveal that the shooting was anything but random.
As their investigation picks up speed, it leads to another unsolved case with even greater stakes: the deaths of several children in a fire that occurred twenty years ago. But when their work starts to threaten careers and lives, Bosch and Soto must decide whether it is worth risking everything to find the truth, or if it’s safer to let some secrets stay buried.
In a swiftly-moving novel as relentless and compelling as its hero, Michael Connelly shows once again why Harry Bosch is “one of the most popular and enduring figures in American crime fiction” (Chicago Tribune).
Review –
I love the character of Harry Bosch and I loved this installment in the series but I’m afraid of what’s going to happen to Harry in the next one because his time with the LAPD is nearing the end. He is in the DROP program, that is the Deferred Retirement Option Plan, and will be forced to retire in less than a year. Police work is all he knows and loves. I hope the author, Michael Connelly, has great plans for my favorite character.
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The Overlook by Michael Connelly

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Bestseller Connelly’s dazzling 13th Harry Bosch novel (after 2006’s Echo Park) reunites Bosch with his former flame, FBI agent Rachel Walling. Bosch must break in a new partner, rookie Iggy Ferras, when they’re called to look into the execution of physicist Stanley Kent on a Mulholland Drive overlook. When a special FBI unit, headed by Walling, arrives and tries to usurp his case, claiming it’s a matter of national security, Bosch refuses to back down. Walling’s focus on the potential theft of radioactive material from the hospital where Kent was lending his expertise to cancer treatment and her unwillingness to share information only make Bosch more determined to solve the case. This is a quick read, almost half the length of Connelly’s previous novels, but he spares no punches when it comes to complexity and suspense. The scramble to investigate threats to national security, justified or otherwise, is a timely subject and one on which Connelly puts a brilliant new spin. (May 22)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.                                             
 
 
 
 
 
Review-
 
Harry Bosch is one of my favorite “crime fighters” and so I pulled this audiobook down from the shelf  for a second listening.
 
Harry is like a dog with a bone and won’t let go until the crime is solved and the bad guy put away.   It’s good to have him on your side.
 
I enjoyed the story even more the second time around because I had forgotten some key points and how much Echo Park   played a part in the story,
 
If you’re a fan of crime fiction-give this one a try.  You won’t be disappointed.