Dark Sacred Night (Renee Ballard #2, Harry Bosch #21) by Michael Connelly

Book Description:

Published: October 30, 2018

Format: Audio/OverDrive

LAPD Detective Renée Ballard teams up with Harry Bosch in the new thriller from #1 NYT bestselling author Michael Connelly.

Renée Ballard is working the night beat again, and returns to Hollywood Station in the early hours only to find a stranger rifling through old file cabinets. The intruder is retired detective Harry Bosch, working a cold case that has gotten under his skin. Ballard kicks him out, but then checks into the case herself and it brings a deep tug of empathy and anger.

Bosch is investigating the death of fifteen-year-old Daisy Clayton, a runaway on the streets of Hollywood who was brutally murdered and her body left in a dumpster like so much trash. Now, Ballard joins forces with Bosch to find out what happened to Daisy and finally bring her killer to justice.

Review –

“Harry Bosch, who just can’t stay retired, unwillingly teams up with a Hollywood detective who has reasons of her own for wanting in on his latest cold case.

It may be nine years since 15-year-old runaway Daisy Clayton was grabbed from the streets of Los Angeles and killed, but the daily presence of her mother, Elizabeth, in Harry’s life—she’s staying at his place while he helps her stay clean—makes it a foregone conclusion that he’ll reopen the case. On the night Bosch drops into Hollywood Division to sneak a look at some of the old files, he’s caught by Detective Renée Ballard, who was bounced from LAPD Robbery/Homicide to “the late show,” Hollywood’s third shift, after her complaint about aggressive harassment by a superior went nowhere. Bosch needs to find out who was responsible for what happened to Daisy; Ballard needs to work a case with teeth, even if she’s partnering with a reserve investigator in the San Fernando Police Department (Two Kinds of Truth, 2017, etc.) who’d rather work alone. Before they get what they need, they’ll have to wade through a double caseload as grueling and sometimes as maddeningly routine as you can imagine, from an apparent murder that turns out to be a slip-and-fall to an ancient gang killing whose repercussions flare to sudden life to the theft of some valuable Andy Warhol prints to a missing man who’s not just missing—not to mention Elizabeth’s sudden disappearance and Ballard’s continuing lack of support, and sometimes even backup, from her department. Not even the canniest readers are likely to see which of these byways will end up leading to the long-overdue solution to the riddle of Daisy Clayton’s death.

Fans who don’t think the supporting cases run away with the story will marvel at Connelly’s remarkable ability to keep them all not only suitably mystifying, but deeply humane, as if he were the Ross Macdonald of the police procedural.” Kirkus Review

Five stars!

After reading The Late Show last December I said the Michael Connelly had hit a home run with the new character of Renee Ballard and this book solidly confirmed it. Adding to it, she partners with Harry Bosch on a cold case and together they save each others lives and solve both cases.  Fantastic!!!!

Now, I have to wait another year for the next installment but I know it will be worth it!

 

 

 

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Force of Nature ( Aaron Falk #2) by Jane Harper

Book Description:

Published: February 6, 2018

Format: Audio/Audible

Five women go on a hike. Only four return. Jane Harper, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry, asks: How well do you really know the people you work with?

When five colleagues are forced to go on a corporate retreat in the wilderness, they reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking down the muddy path.

But one of the women doesn’t come out of the woods. And each of her companions tells a slightly different story about what happened.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing hiker. In an investigation that takes him deep into isolated forest, Falk discovers secrets lurking in the mountains, and a tangled web of personal and professional friendship, suspicion, and betrayal among the hikers. But did that lead to murder?

Review –

A great story with so many things going on it’s hard to know where to begin.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk and his partner, soon to be married, Carmen, had been using Alice, the murder victim as an inside source to solving a huge money laundering scheme within the company she worked for. Now that she’s dead, they have to figure out if her murder had something to do with their investigation or she was just a random choice. As the investigation continues they discover that she was disliked by the majority of her co-workers, so that could be something to look at. On the other hand, years ago the same area of wilderness had been the killing grounds for a serial killer and his son is still out there, or so some people say. Could he have killed Alice? So many people to consider and motives to sift through.

Eventually the killer is found out and the reason(s) behind the act discovered and the book ends on an upbeat note after having learned a bit more about the quiet, hermit-like Aaron Falk.

Now I’ll just have a wait until next year for the next installment of the Aaron Falk series. That’s one reason why I don’t usually read a just released book, the wait for the next in line is soooo long!

Great book and I highly recommend it.

 

 

 

 

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!!!!!

 

Night Is Darkest (Men In Blue #1) by Jayne Rylon

Book Description:

Published: November 24, 2009

Some secrets refuse to stay hidden.

Lacey Daughtry’s perfect weekend is interrupted by tragic news of her brother’s murder in the line of duty. Plagued by a rash of mysterious phone calls, she turns to her brother’s best friends and fellow officers for protection…and comfort.

Spending time in close contact with Mason and Tyler, the two men she’s dreamed of since her first girlhood crush, seems like the answer to a prayer. Especially when they begin to explore the desire she’s harbored for so long.

But the partners are holding out on Lacey. Determined to suppress the most extreme facets of their lust, they agree to settle for sharing the woman they crave while concealing their desire for each other. Until Lacey cracks their resolve, unleashing a torrent of emotions that threatens to distract them when they can least afford it.

Their blossoming relationship is complicated by secrets. And the only way to evade the killer threatening their lives is to bare their souls in the darkest hours of the night. Or everything will come crashing down, just before the dawn.

Review –

I guess this would be classified as “erotic romance” but it also fits into the “crime fiction” genre and that’s what makes it so good.  While there is a LOT of sex, and not your run of the mill male to female vanilla sex, it worked well with the storyline.  Maybe I’m becoming  more in tune with the erotic romance genre and realize that the authors are giving readers what they want because this is the second book that I’ve read lately with a prominent threesome.

The chemistry between Lacey and her brother’s two male best friends is electric and Mason and Tyler have the same kind of chemistry for each other.

Together they cope with the death of Lacey’s brother and a fellow policeman and piece together who killed him and why. It’s a very good story with well-defined characters and a romance that is somewhat believable. I mean, it all depends on if you mind sharing your sexual partner or spouse.

 This is the first in the Men in Blue series but I haven’t decided if I’ll read any of the others. This one is a good stand alone.

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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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Suspect by Robert Crais

15755201Product Description:

Published: January 22, 2013

APD cop Scott James is not doing so well. Eight months ago, a shocking nighttime assault by unidentified men killed his partner Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty—until he meets his new partner.

Maggie is not doing so well, either. A German shepherd who survived three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan sniffing explosives before losing her handler to an IED, her PTSD is as bad as Scott’s.

They are each other’s last chance. Shunned and shunted to the side, they set out to investigate the one case that no one wants them to touch: the identity of the men who murdered Stephanie.  What they begin to find is nothing like what Scott has been told, and the journey will take them both through the darkest moments of their own personal hells. Whether they will make it out again, no one can say

 

Review –

This is not what you would expect of a Robert Crais book.  He is best known for his Elvis Cole character and series and this is as far away from Elvis  as you can get.  It’s about a man and a dog, a defeated policeman and a shell-shocked bomb sniffing dog and it is a love story.  A love that comes from supporting one another in any situation always.  This is a great read and I highly recommend it.

 

 

 

Gauntlet: An All Hallow’s Eve Prequel Short Story by Carolyn McCray

Product Description:

Published October 7, 2012

The Gauntlet is an  action packed 8,500+ word prequel short story to the bestselling Mystery/Horror novel All Hallow’s Eve…

Detectives Paxton Prover and Ruth Matte have one hell of a first day as
partners. They’ve entered a gauntlet of horror they may never escape.

Review –

This short story is about horrific murders committed by horrific people and is a prequel to All Hallow’s Eve (which I am reading now).  The chemistry of the two law enforcement partners is comical and all business but I’m betting that will change as the series continues.